The 2017 mentee presentation evening at the Chamber of Commerce on 7 December was attended by numerous entrepreneurs and members of the business world.
The mentees 2017 with Claude Faber (mentor), Rachel Gaessler (nyuko), Karin Schintgen (nyuko / House of Startups), Martin Guérin (nyuko), Carlo Thelen (Chamber of Commerce) et Patrick Wildgen (Ministry of Economy)
In his opening speech, the director general of the Chamber of Commerce, Carlo Thelen, expressed his delight with the extent to which our entrepreneurs have embraced mentorship as a tool for running their businesses. The BusinessMentoring scheme continues to be popular, with 24 mentees for 2017, the same number as last year. Most are in the ICT sector, namely artificial intelligence, fintech and regtech, but there are also a good number from the more traditional areas of trade, services and hospitality and catering. Our mentors are as enthusiastic as ever, with a few new members (mainly with backgrounds in IT, communication and industry) bringing the total up to around fifty.
Launched in 2010 by the Chamber of Commerce, the Luxembourg BusinessMentoring program was inspired by the methods developed by the Fondation de l’Entrepreneurship in Canada, which found that the mentorship program doubled the chances of survival for new businesses. The system brings together a young entrepreneur (mentee) and an experienced business director (mentor) over a period of six to eighteen months. The program is extremely popular, and on the evening, various mentees testified to its success. Martine Jungers, joint director of the family company, Buedemleër, took part in an 18-month mentorship after taking over the family business with her brother in 2012. She said "the mentorship experience is above all a journey of personal development, helped by someone more experienced and capable of asking the right questions without necessarily giving or even knowing the answers to these themselves." Simon Tritz, director of BS Innoclean, a company he founded in early 2016, agreed, saying, "My mentorship has pushed me to set up a solid development strategy for the industrial sector".
This was followed by a word from Claude Faber, spokesman for the mentor network, highlighting the uniqueness of the program: "The support we provide is open to directors from all sectors, at any stage of development (start-up, development, buyout). Start-ups can also be accepted, provided they are at a sufficient stage of development. They must already have a legal status established, and a product that is ready to go on the market. The mentor is generally someone who has gone through similar experiences as the ‘young’ director." He sees this last point as the key to success, making it much easier for mentees to identify with their mentor and truly take inspiration from them. Seven years on, the program has proved itself, instilling significant improvements in managerial and leadership capabilities in its mentees, and with an 80% survival rate for the businesses taking part.
In 2015, BusinessMentoring moved to the nyuko offices. This start-up accelerator has been backed by the Chamber of Commerce throughout its existence. According to Carlo Thelen, the move was not simply "a logistical operation", but a logical progression in "the Chamber of Commerce’s push to improve and simplify the processes in the development of entrepreneurship". A concrete example of this is the House of Entrepreneurship one stop shop, established a year ago and set to be extended in a few months’ time with the opening the House of Start-ups. The recently elected president of nyuko and CEO of the House of Start-ups, Karin Schintgen, closed the evening with a few words outlining the aims of this expansion project and the move for nyuko and BusinessMentoring into their new offices. She stated "nyuko is a real asset to the House of Start-ups and its main incubators, the Luxembourg House Of Financial Technology and the Luxembourg City Incubator. The House of Start-ups brings a new challenge for BusinessMentoring and an expanding, exciting scope of activities."
The BusinessMentoring program has also undergone a makeover with an improved logo, a more colourful corporate identity and a new website, making for a dynamic new approach placing more emphasis on the human aspect of the mentor-mentee relationship: businessmentoring.lu