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.
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.
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.
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)
Elissa Myers, President & CEO, Advice & Consensus
Kakha Kokhreidze, President, Georgian Small and Medium Enterprise Association (GSMEA)
Please register for the webinar here.
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.
(Photo: The Telegraph)
Elissa Myers is the president and CEO of Advice & Consensus. She is serving as a mentor for the Georgian Small and Medium Enterprise Association through CIPE’s Knowhow Mentorship program.
When I was offered the opportunity to serve as a mentor to the Georgian Small and Medium Enterprises Association through CIPE’s KnowHow program, I jumped at it. Earlier I spent a couple of months in the Republic of Georgia, working with two other emerging associations, and fell in love with the country, its history, its culture, its people, and its potential.
Strategically located between Asia and Europe, with Turkey, Armenia, and Azerbaijan to the south, the Caucasus Mountains to the north, and with glorious port towns bordering on the Black Sea to the west, Georgia represents an important opportunity for international investment. It’s a country poised to blossom as an important market partner, but to do so a stronger internal business community is needed. Under the leadership of Kakha Kokhreidze, President CEO of the GSMEA, that community is gaining strength.
How can experienced professionals share their expertise to help build the capacity of associations around the world? With this question in mind, CIPE launched the KnowHow Mentorship in the summer of 2011.