Expand mentorship opportunities: Mentorship is central to successful start-ups. It is different from consultant support because mentors provide the pastoral and personal support essential for young entrepreneurs. The Prince’s Trust (PT) pioneered the concept of mentorship which, in 35 years, has helped almost 400,000, mostly disadvantaged, young people start successful businesses. The great majority of them have grown to provide significant tax revenue to government and reduce their benefit bills. Youth Business International has franchised the model to 50 countries with similar success, convincing many policy-makers to see the wisdom of investing in mentored start-ups.
PT and YBI recruit and train effective volunteer mentors. Rockstar Mentors, by contrast, believes that paid mentors result in a more serious commitment from both mentor and young manager.
Rockstar Mentors Founder – Jonathan Phahl
Jonathan Pfahl, Founder and CEO of Rockstar Mentors, arrived from Australia in 2005 determined to continue his career in finance. New to London and to his job at Goldman Sachs, he paid a senior staff member to show him the ropes. That initiative was the key to his success, so when he chose to move into the booming London property business, again, he spent £3,000 on a three-month mentoring programme with a multimillionaire investor. This helped him buy six houses. He became a true believer in the idea that “the fastest way to be successful in business is to go out and find someone who has already done what you want to do and to get them to show you how to do it, one-on-one.” So, in 2007, Jonathan recruited a group of highly successful entrepreneurs, each of whom had created and sold a company for more than £5 million, and created Rockstar Mentors, a one-stop shop where a young entrepreneur could choose the mentor with the achievements she or he most wanted to emulate.
Rockstar’s mentors have since supported 8,500 businesses – 70% of which have survived and are prospering. It now has an online mentoring app (http://rockstarbusinessworld.com/) that young business owners can use to search by industry, as well as by the area of that industry they need help with. On the app, Rockstar mentors give users free advice on how to succeed in that field. Then, if they want one-on-one mentorship, users can hire them for a face-to-face meeting or Skype call.