Romanian Business Leaders Foundation launches Antreprenoria, an app which digitalises the classical business and social enterprise mentoring process, making over 1,000 hours of guidance available to entrepreneurs, provided by volunteer entrepreneurs. The project is financed by the Vodafone Romania Foundation with a budget of RON 216,000.
The development of the mentoring app was accelerated in the context of the health crisis and the need of SMEs and social enterprises to continue to receive support in order to avoid bankruptcy or to identify new ways to develop. 8
“Since 2014, we have been supporting the mentoring activities organised by Romanian Business Leaders Foundation and this is why we welcomed the idea of developing an app which would calibrate and optimise the meeting between mentor and beneficiary (mentee) and which could be used by small businesses and social enterprises alike. The app is open source and can be taken, adapted and configured by any entity willing to connect communities eager to offer mutual assistance, the benefit being that they will be saving time and a sizeable part of the development costs”, declared Angela Galeța, Manager of Vodafone Romania Foundation.
“Through the digitalisation of the mentoring process, we intend to increase our contribution, by also offering access to support to SMEs and social enterprises from less developed cities in Romania, where entrepreneurs don’t have that many options. The contribution of each mentor is very valuable; therefore we invite them to join the programme. For example, in the past eight years, the voluntary contribution of mentors from the “Antreprenoria” programme towards the development of the Romanian entrepreneurial ecosystem surpassed the market value of EUR 10 million”, declared Dragoș Dinu, leader of the “Antreprenoria” programme.
Having at its core the over eight years of experience of Romanian Business Leaders Foundation in conducting face-to-face mentoring programmes, the “Antreprenoria” app uses new technologies and features a mechanism which can match mentors and mentees automatically.
Any entrepreneur or manager who wishes to support an SME or a social enterprise can become a mentor by downloading the “Antreprenoria” app from Apple Store or Google Play and creating a mentor account after enrolling in the dedicated webpage on www.antreprenoria.ro/mentorapp. The mentor will be automatically registered in the programme with 10 hours of pro bono mentoring. After filling in the profile, with the aid of an automatic matching mechanism, the provider will be suggested to entrepreneurs who are looking for help. Also, mentors can organise online pro bono webinars/workshops, which will be listed in the app’s calendar and which any beneficiary can participate in, free of charge.
The entrepreneur in need of support can create a beneficiary account in the app, which grants them 10 hours of pro bono mentoring, subject to an extension, depending on the progress of their projects. The 10 hours of support can be used either towards mentoring conversations with the entrepreneur who accepted their mentoring request, by creating a common project, or towards participating in online workshops provided by the programme mentors.
In the app, the mentor and beneficiary can have real time conversations, check the progress level of the objectives and project they are working on together, can filter the topics discussed and can view and validate the number of hours available for mentoring. In addition, for the organisations which connect communities with the aim of mutual assistance and which are prospecting the implementation of a mentoring programme, the app provides a management system by means of the administration panel.
The “Antreprenoria” programme was launched in 2012 by the Romanian Business Leaders Foundation with the aim of educating and supporting future business leaders to better run their businesses. Since 2014, Antreprenoria continued to develop and, with the financial support of Vodafone Romania Foundation, became a platform for support and social involvement for the new generation of entrepreneurs. To date, over 800 trainees or entrepreneurs and intrapreneurs have benefitted from the support of this programme.