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Kenya’s Optimistic Future: Visiting a KnowHow Mentee in Nairobi

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Gregg Talley is the CEO and President of Talley Management Group. He is serving as a mentor to Small and Medium Entrepreneurial Resource Centre in Kenya through CIPE’s Knowhow Mentorship program. 

I have the good fortune of traveling to Kenya annually to see friends and family. But now, thanks to CIPE, I have another great reason to visit. I met with the CEO and founder of my KnowHow Mentorship mentee association, the Small and Medium Entrepreneurial Resource Centre (SMERC), June Gathoni, in Nairobi on my trip this March.

We all know the value of face to face meetings and this proved itself again to be true for us. While we had many productive calls and have been able to deliver on the value of the mentorship, the ability to sit together and discuss our lives, challenges and plans for the future proved invaluable to us both. We now have a personal connection that will remain well beyond the life of this mentorship program.

Like any small to midsize program, June has A LOT going on and has to balance management of the day to day with the bigger picture role she has for the future growth and sustainability of the organization. Luckily, SMERC is completely aligned with the KENYA 2030 Plan envisioned by the national government.

Even better, SMERC has “sandals on the ground” in the counties where much of the devolution of government programing and spending is being focused. We have been working on how June and SMERC can raise their visibility within academia, the corporate sector, and government in Kenya. Continue reading

Best Practices in a Virtual Mentorship

What does it take to make a virtual mentorship successful? How effectively can experienced professionals share their expertise and wisdom by mentoring non-profit organizations around the world?

Through the KnowHow Mentorship platform, a virtual mentorship program that links the professional skills of volunteers with the needs of associations and chambers of commerce from around the world seeking technical assistance, CIPE is currently facilitating 13 virtual mentorships between experienced association executives from the U.S., Canada, and Europe with mentee associations all the way from Bangladesh to Tunisia. Continue reading

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Working on Its Own Development: Visiting a KnowHow Mentee in Tunisia

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Louis Delcart is the Director of Internationalisation and Innovation at  VOKA – Flanders’ Chamber of Commerce Halle-Vilvoorde. He is serving as a mentor to the Chamber of Commerce and Industry of the Centre through CIPE’s Knowhow Mentorship program. 

Tunisia is, for us Europeans, a touristic paradise, like Spain or Turkey. But it is also a country with an ancient civilization, dating from centuries before: Queen Dido, Hannibal and the Carthaginians, Pompey the Great and his African conquests, the Beys of Tunis and the corsairs attacking European ships from the pirates near Mahdia. They all are part of 3,000 years of rich history.

It was also in this country that the Arab Spring started in 2011. Within three weeks time, the popular uprising chased out the country’s autocratic leader, Ben Ali. A democratic process was started, with the election of Ennahda, a moderate Islamic party, to power. After three years, the love of the people for its new government is over. But Tunisia’s subsequent political development has been different from its neighboring countries: a technocratic interim government was recently formed and a new constitution is being edited, discussed, and voted on article by article in the parliament. Tunisia is – at least to this point — not missing its turn towards democracy.

It is in this context that I was invited by CIPE to mentor a chamber of commerce in this country. I was given a choice between two regional chambers, and I selected the one with the most elaborate strategic plan, the Chamber of Commerce and Industry of Centre (CCI-Centre) in Sousse, which made me curious. Continue reading

Learn More About CIPE’s KnowHow Mentorship

What if experienced professionals could share their expertise and wisdom by mentoring non-profit organizations around the world?

As highlighted previously in CIPE blog  (here and here), KnowHow is a virtual mentorship program that links the professional skills of volunteers with the needs of associations and chambers of commerce from around the world seeking technical assistance.

Join a conversation on Tuesday November 12, 2013 at 8 AM EST with two current KnowHow pairs to learn about the benefits of participating in the program. Hear how the Georgian Small and Medium Enterprise Association used the knowledge they gained from the mentorship to increase its membership by over 30% in less than a year. Discover what new insights and life-changing experiences the mentors have gained from sharing their expertise and experience with organizations overseas.

The webinar will feature two mentor-mentee pairs:

Peter O’Neil, Executive Director, American Industrial Hygiene Association

Olivera Popovic, Vice President, Association of Business Women in Serbia (ABW)

and

Elissa Myers, President & CEO, Advice & Consensus

Kakha Kokhreidze, President, Georgian Small and Medium Enterprise Association (GSMEA)

Please register for the webinar here

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Are You Seeking Technical Assistance?

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Does your association or chamber of commerce aspire to better serve your members?

Do you wish you could manage your organization differently so that things would improve?

Or are you looking for ways to help make your association more sustainable?

If you said yes to any of these questions, then sign up for CIPE’s KnowHow Mentorship program! CIPE is recruiting for business associations and chambers of commerce from around the world looking for free technical assistance. Continue reading