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The path to success is sure filled with obstacles and challenges that many people have to go through, at least once in their life. Whether it’s students dealing with their exams, people dealing with their relationships, or even entrepreneurs with trying to launch their businesses.

However, we get to meet people on a daily basis, some who affect our life in a positive way. Some of these people stick through it all, and support you through every milestone, those people are called mentors.

Let’s be honest here, every successful person had someone to back them up. There’s nothing to be ashamed about. Mark Zuckerberg, CEO and Co-Founder of Facebook had Steve Jobs as his mentor, Bill Gates, Founder and Technology Advisor of Microsoft had Warren Buffet as his mentor. We also asked our Bahraini entrepreneurs about their mentors. Ahmed AlRawi, co-founder of the Malaeb app had Hasan Haidar from 500 Startups as his mentor, and Hussain Haji, co-founder of Inagrab as well had Ed Roberto as their startup’s mentor.

Mentors are actually more of a strength than of a sign of weakness. So this is why we decided to compile a list of 5 reasons why entrepreneurs need mentors to kick off their startups.

  1. Real life experience that you’re not going to find in books. Gaining experience is important for personal growth and development, and especially for your business to succeed. While books are highly beneficial and important, it’s still not the same as having someone next to you talking about their experiences, since some might be too intimate to be shared publicly in a book. Mentorship guarantees you to gain proper experience from others.
  2. Success can be guaranteed with a mentor. According to research and surveys done, there’s a correlation between mentorship and success. In a 2013 executive coaching survey, 80% of CEOs mentioned that they received some sort of a mentorship. In another research done by Sage, about 93% of startups admitted that mentorship was crucial to their success. Mentors provide you with connections, timely advice, guidance, support, motivation and can even help you ease your stress.
  3. With them, it’s all about reassurance & self confidence. According to research, a quality mentorship relationship proves to have a powerful positive impact on young entrepreneurs. Having someone that guides you through it all and shares your worries with you reassures you that you’ll be successful.
  4. Mentors will help you stay in your business longer: For real? Is it true that having a mentor can sustain your new business? Well, according to SBA, 30% of new businesses have a low chance of survival past their first 24 months, and 50% of who survive may not make it past 5 years. Alternatively, 70% of businesses who’ve had mentors along the way survive longer than 5 years.
  5. They will teach you how to avoid mistakes: One of the best benefits of having a mentor is that if you’re doing something that’s completely wrong, they’ll be there to stop you, since they’re much more mature in their entrepreneurial journeys. These mentors have already experienced the ups and downs of managing their own business, so trust them when they give you a piece of advice. Having a mentor can help you with issues like hiring, securing funding, marketing, developing your business plan and more.

You’re probably wondering now, where can I find myself a mentor? Tamkeen has its own mentorship program in partnership in Mowgli where it provides assistance to forthcoming entrepreneurs, and their Mashroo3i program as well provides mentorship and guidance throughout the execution of their business idea.

Furthermore, Youth Pioneer Society also has an annual program called “Chance” that encourages students to turn their business ideas into reality. During the entire process they have mentors that guide them through it all. In addition, the Bahrain Development Bank’s initiative Rowad has a mentorship program that seek to help entrepreneurs at any stage of their cycle.

Last but not least, remember that if you know someone you trust and admire their work, you can always shoot them a quick casual email, seeking their advice about something, or even asking them to mentor you. There’s absolutely no shame in that, and chances are, they’d be more than happy to guide you through your business!

Bayan Al-A'abed

Bayan Al-A'abed

Critical thinker, content producer, and editor at Matter in Hand, with a burning passion to shed light on successful, inspiring startups and entrepreneurs in Bahrain. Her interests include youth development, female entrepreneurship, and women in tech.