I had a great night in London this past Wednesday. Fresh Ideas Events launched its first mentoring competition. Several successful entrepreneurial women have agreed to mentor a stranger for the next 6 months and the mentees got a 1-minute taster of what each mentor was like. Attendees will have a week or so to submit applications and will be matched with mentors for what promises to be a tonne of fun.
One thing that absolutely struck me was that the entrepreneurs all had such incredible stage presence. Funny, articulate, individual, enthusiastic... in another life they could be campaigners, comediennes, and politicians. I found myself a little jealous to be a mentor, and not a potential mentee, but judging from the women I continued to meet throughout the evening I will be in for a learning experience no matter what.
Thinking back through the many entrepreneurs that I have met and know they all seem to have this showmanship. It isn't a quality I thought of before, but I can see how necessary it is. Communicating a new idea, generating support, building a team, and raising money - these activities are all much easier if you have a 'public friendly' personality.
What I also enjoyed was the reason behind the show, making a difference, making an impact. This was not a social enterprise event, it was not about triple bottom line entrepreneurs, but that sentiment was there. Is the good business model spreading?
How can I help, how can we work together, what is your mission, how are you going to achieve it, how can we learn from each other to do more ... it was open and frank and really quite inspiring.
Photo credit: thenextstepuk