Mentoring Toolkit: Many things are changing in the chamber world: dues and revenue structures, workforce demographics, business models, and chamber leadership. ACCE’s Mentoring Program is a platform where chamber leaders can formally come together in a mentor-mentee capacity. The resources in this toolkit are designed to help you find, sustain and excel in your mentoring relationships.
Mentors for New Businesses - Community Development Foundation (CDF) of Tupelo/Lee County (Miss.): When the CDF learned that several start-up or fledgling businesses could not afford their Business Partners dues, the staff and board came up with an ideal solution. They asked members in good standing to sponsor/mentor a new, fledgling business for chamber membership for one year, at a cost of $350. Under this program, the sponsors receive recognition in the CDF e-newsletter and at board meetings, and the sponsored business is given all rights and privileges of membership for that year. In many cases the new businesses are mentored by their sponsors, and some have become clients and vendors for those businesses. Both experienced and new businesses are kept engaged and involved in the chamber and appreciate the additional opportunities for networking.
Young Entrepreneurs Academy (YEA!) is an a 30-week afterschool program aimed at educating and instructing students from middle school and high school about the art of entrepreneurship. These students come up with and design their own business plans and pitch them to a panel of local investors in order to gain funding for their own small businesses.
The Grapevine Chamber of Commerce (Texas) partnered with the Grapevine-Colleyville Independent School District to create the Young Entrepreneurs Academy. This video is a reflection on the first year of the YEA program. (7/15/2013)