A survey of more than 200 small businesses sheds light on the importance of mentorship among entrepreneurs.
Kabbage, Inc., a global financial services, technology and data platform serving small businesses, surveyed more than 200 small businesses throughout the US to understand the importance of mentorship to small business owners. The findings show:
Only 22 percent of small businesses had mentors when they started their business. Another 17 percent indicated they have an advisor, which suggests a paid relationship for consulting and advice. This leaves a wide percentage of business owners, 63 percent, not pursuing professional guidance at the onset of their business.
92 percent of small businesses agree mentors have a direct impact on growth and the survival of their business. A separate Kabbage report revealed 84 percent of small business reach profitability in the first four years of their business, with 68 percent attaining profitability in the first year. The early years of any business is a crucial make-or-break period and most small businesses agree mentors are vital to success.
The study shows that 61 percent of small business owners mentor others, and 58 percent specifically mentor younger entrepreneurs. This shows that small business owners are taking the time and finding value in giving their time to mentor, and younger entrepreneurs are seeking mentors to help in their career. This was most prevalent in industries such as real estate, property management and construction.
Of all respondents, 89 percent of small business owners that don’t have a mentor wish they did. This represents the 63 percent of businesses that do not currently have a mentor, highlighting a need among the entrepreneurship community to easily find and connect with others that can deliver actionable advice and value to a business.
“A great mentor is someone who provides objective advice, provides counsel from a fresh perspective, is willing to collaborate, listen and learn, as well as remind you of your goals, your purpose and what you’re working so hard to achieve,” said Head of People Operations at Kabbage, Amy Zimmerman. “Businesses have a great opportunity to provide everyone in a company the benefit of mentors—from the founders to the interns—as the data shows it’s critical for success. We began offering this perk at Kabbage and have seen great success as it can be an affordable benefit that businesses can easily leverage.”