How to attract rural mentors? Paid or not paid? What is their interest? Mentors on content or skills?
Youngsters nominate business people or local teachers as mentors. Hang photos on the wall, make it a big honor to be a mentor. You could use review economy, so by ranking during the process a mentor could come back in the next round or not. See for example Cool farming)
Specific the first year it is valuable to give support and coaching. Combine 2 mentors with specific business expertise (pool of experts) with one from own community and market. Tailor made mentoring is more effective than general gathering. Be aware of Western mentors with big egos (See for example Business in the Box – BID network)
Tapping into social responsibility at all business sizes + show how mentoring increases visibility of the business-man/woman + offer training to improve their impact (See for example Enterprise Uganda).
Dutch organization is sending teams of 4 students to rural areas to give support in designing local technical or modern solutions (TU Delft / Cross wise work)
Hands on co creation with experts/ volunteers/ students from abroad to dive in specific local issues and design practical innovative solutions. Application rounds 3 times a year (IDDS)
Business mentors can launch group mentor sessions with the support of a trainer, and can then invite participants to share and mentor each other within the group. This works better when participants are existing and new entrepreneurs. (See for example Enterprise Uganda)
Coaching from well-trained and paid staff members (Enterprise Uganda), former participants (program in Kenya), or existing entrepreneurs (Tanzania Gatsby Trust) offers additional guidance for entrepreneurs to better understand the market and navigating challenges they might face, while linking real-life experiences to the theoretical training offered by the programs. This component can increase the effectiveness of programs by reducing in-class training received, and increasing the tailored one-on-one support for entrepreneurs.
Caution on the selection of mentors: "In Kenya, the G-Youth project sought out elders and religious leaders to help mentor youth. This strategy has had mixed results. A youth volunteer with the project notes that, “the danger is that community elders have a lot of power, especially in Kenya. They may see our project as wanting to turn youth against traditions. If that’s the case, they will stand up against the project.”” (Source: EQUIP3 2003-2012 Lessons Learned http://idd.edc.org/sites/idd.edc.org/files/EQUIP3%20 Lessons%20Learned%20-%20Book_0.pdf