We believe that mentoring is the best way to enable entrepreneurs’ success and provide for the survival of start-ups. Uwe Schober, Director, Finance in Motion
Uwe Schober, Director at Finance in Motion, Advisor of the SANAD Fund for Micro, Small and Medium Enterprises (MSME), tells us about SANAD’s partnership with Mowgli to provide personal and professional mentoring support to Syrian entrepreneurs based in Amman.
The SANAD Fund for MSME is an impact investing fund advised by Finance in Motion. It uses the combined power of public and private investors to support entrepreneurship and financial inclusion in the Middle East and North Africa (MENA). We work hard to expand access to finance, enable small businesses to grow, and help entrepreneurs to launch their businesses, with the ultimate goal of promoting employment and income generation throughout the MENA region. Since 2014–15, we’ve been looking to support Syrians — and particularly Syrian entrepreneurs in Jordan and Lebanon. We founded the SANAD Entrepreneurship Academy and began partnerships with experts like Mowgli to make a real impact on the ability of Syrian entrepreneurs in Jordan to found and improve their businesses.
We believe that mentoring is the best way to enable entrepreneurs’ success and provide for the survival of startups. Training can often provide too much information to entrepreneurs all at once without necessarily covering all their needs. Through mentorship, we can address entrepreneurs’ needs as they arise, while also encouraging their integration into the organic business networks that can mean success for a small business.
Mowgli has been professional and committed to excellence, empowering its participants. The organisation is much closer to their partners than many of the business development organisations we’ve worked with. They have an excellent concept for preparing mentors and mentees for their work together; and a clear understanding of the needs of the entrepreneur, when to step back and let the relationships develop, and how to support them in a sustainable manner. This has led to their having a strong positive impact to the benefit of the entrepreneurs they work with.
We concluded our first programme recently and were very happy with the result that four of the six programme participants who had not yet started a business when they joined the programme, did so during the mentoring programme. That’s something that we’ve never seen as the result of a normal skills training programme, and something that we’re very satisfied with.
Not only have we supported the creation of four new enterprises through our work with Mowgli, we’ve enabled existing micro-businesses to grow and created new connections between the Jordanian and Syrians in our programme. This new understanding and these new relationships are resources that some of the Syrians’ businesses might someday profit from. What’s more, most of the mentees in the programme were women, and we are very happy to see more women founding, running, and succeeding in creating and growing businesses!
We were so happy with the results of our initial engagement with Mowgli that we’re replicating our first project together in Lebanon. Like the SANAD Fund, Mowgli Mentoring is driving inclusive economic change in the Middle East and North and sub Saharan Africa by helping entrepreneurs, women, and youth to unlock their potential. We believe that our cooperation with Mowgli Mentoring reinforces our mission to help MSMEs fulfill their role as an engine of economic growth and employment and complements our activities in the region to reach out and support those entrepreneurs on their path to sustained growth and prosperity.
We would definitely recommend working with Mowgli Mentoring. We are very satisfied with the results the programme achieved and its impact on the lives of entrepreneurs. Mowgli has proven to be a reliable partner for us in further pursuing our mission of promoting entrepreneurship in the MENA region, and we are looking forward to our next project with them.