Quantitative benefits of mentorship

According to research by MENTOR (The National Mentorship Partnership) in the US, young people who have been mentored are more likely to go to college, hold leadership positions, volunteer in their local community, and make a greater economic contribution in adulthood:

  • 76% of those with a mentor are likely to aspire to enrol in and graduate from colleges compared to only 56% of those without a mentor
  • 45% versus 29% are likely to be enrolled in a college
  • 67% versus 37% are likely to participate regularly in extracurricular activities
  • 51% versus 22% are likely to hold a leadership position in a club, sports team, school council or another group
  • 48% versus 27% are likely to volunteer regularly in their communities

The report states that “young adults who are not connected cost society $93 billion annually in lost wages, taxes, and social services. On the other hand, recent data show that every dollar invested in quality youth mentoring programs yields a $3 return in benefits”

The UK Department for Business Innovation and Skills and the Federation of Small Businesses found that:

  • Nearly twice as many mentored businesses reported an increase in revenue than non-mentored counterparts
  • Twice as many mentored businesses than non-mentored ones had hired more staff
  • 70% of small businesses that receive mentoring survive for five years or more, which is double the rate of non-mentored entrepreneurs

This led them to conclude that closing the ‘mentoring gap’ would have a multi-million-pound impact on the UK economy

Endeavor Insight surveyed thousands of tech businesses in NY in early 2015 and found that 33% of founders who are mentored went on to become top performers – over three times better than the performance of other NYC-based tech companies.

A micromentor.org studied found that mentored businesses increased their revenues by 83% while non-mentored businesses increased their revenues by only 16%.

Software company Sage studied 11 000 small and medium-sized businesses in 17 countries, and found a ‘mentoring gap’, with 93% of respondents saying mentors could help them succeed, but only 28% actually using a business mentor.

Big Brothers Big Sisters in the US believes that the ability of mentors to keep students in school makes them more productive members of society later on. It cites an estimate by the Alliance for Excellent Education that the economic benefit of achieving a 50% reduction in student dropouts in the 50 largest metro areas in the US is more than $13 billion.

The Maytree organisation in Canada carried out research on the mentoring of skilled immigrants and found that mentees “had significantly improved employment outcomes, earning trajectories and shorter times to find employment”. Some highlights:

  • A year after the start of their mentoring relationship, unemployment dropped from 73% to 19%
  • 71% of mentees were employed in their field, compared to 27% pre-mentoring
  • Average full-time earnings increased by more than 60% from $36,905 to $59,944.

During the first 13 years of the South African Jewish community’s mentorship programme ORTJet, ORTJet founder and NMM co-founder Paul Bacher reports that over 1 200 businesses were assisted through mentorship with the following impact on understanding the business, turnover, profitability, market share, etc:

  • 35% massive impact
  • 35% significant impact
  • 20% some impact
  • 10% no impact

According to the Character company which is a South African Organisation focused on mentoring boys:

  • 59% of boys who are MENtored, get better grades.
  • Boys who meet regularly with their MENtors are 52% less likely than their peers to skip a day of school and 37% less likely to skip a class.
  • Boys who meet regularly with their MENtors are 46% less likely than their peers to start using illegal drugs and 27% less likely to start drinking.

In a study entitled Should Mentors of Entrepreneurs be Trained or is their Experience Enough?, Étienne St-Jean and Stéphanie Mitrano-Méda analysed the effect of training for mentors and mentees on the mentee’s satisfaction and learning. Their results show that the more a mentor is trained, the more he/she develops relational competencies, which creates a trusting environment and develops an appropriate mentoring style, which allows the mentee to learn and become more autonomous. They conclude that mentoring relationships have three times more chances to succeed if the mentors and mentees have been trained.

Among microenterprises in Kenya, an experiment showed that classroom training had no effect, but mentorship did (mentors were successful business owners from the same community and sector).  Many of the mentor/mentee relationships lasted beyond the duration of the project; however, while profits increased at first due to mentorship, the increase did not last beyond the mentorship period.

According to Allen et al., participants training is positively correlated to stronger mentor engagement, a better understanding of the programme, and perception of its results.  They also found that the mentor’s experience in entrepreneurship does not have a high impact on the quality of the mentoring relationship, nor does it impact learning.