The Growth Formula continues its mentoring program for social entrepreneurs

3 september 2021

A mentoring program has been launched as part of the Growth Formula, a business development accelerator program for active social entrepreneurs, run by the Our Future Regional Social Programs Foundation with support from SIBUR's Formula for Good Deeds social investment program.

The program involves six months of one-on-one interactions done in pairs made up of one social entrepreneur vis-a-vis one mentor. 18 teams have been taking part in the project, with each mentor being hand-picked specifically to help the entrepreneurs deal with their individual challenges over the course of the accelerator program, such as entering a new market, creating a franchise, opening a branch, or scaling up one’s operations. The pairs hold their online meetings at least twice a month, and, following each session, they fill out monitoring questionnaires to track the program’s effectiveness. At the year’s end, a summary of the results of their collaboration will be made and presented.

The program is supported by the Mentoring Institute that has been involved in developing mentorship programs on the Russian market for more than 13 years and has been participating in educational projects for social entrepreneurs since 2015. The course’s mentors include seasoned entrepreneurs operating on interregional and international markets with experience in supporting social businesses.

Not only does a mentor offer his mentee practical business advice, but also provides psychological support that goes a long way to help the individual build the courage to make some serious steps and take their business to the next level, Boris Tkachenko, CEO of the Mentoring Institute, noted.

The mentoring program is an important culmination point of the nine-month Growth Formula Accelerator Program. Interactions with their mentors provide mentees an opportunity to have a lively exchange of experience and knowledge of doing business in the social field and help the entrepreneurs to quickly deal with their current challenges, find new points of growth and build an effective strategy for company growth, Natalia Zvereva, Director of the Our Future Foundation, said.

Social entrepreneurs are drivers of positive change and the region's human capital. Social and small business support programs are part of SIBUR's systemic work aimed at improving the quality of life in the cities where it operates. We hope that the accelerator format amalgamating theory and intensive hands-on practice under the mentor’s guidance will help the participants grow in a significant way during the training period and build a basis for further stable development of their businesses, Stanislav Kasparov, Director for Business Support in SIBUR's presence regions, commented.

Launched at the end of March, the Growth Formula accelerator program includes several phases: an educational program made up of intensive full-time and online sessions, and a six-month-long one-on-one mentoring program. The program seeks to enable fast and quality growth of social entrepreneurs' businesses in the regions. This year’s program has been attended by representatives of seven cities: Tobolsk, Dzerzhinsk, Nizhnevartovsk, Nyagan, Pyt-Yakh, Noyabrsk, Gubkinsky and Muravlenko. Among the program’s participants are the likes of Anton Druzhinin, the founder of a taekwondo sports school "Winning Together!”, Oksana Khrabrova, head of "Kodiki", a programming school for children, Elena Smirnova who runs a family entertainment center called Another Planet, and other founders of socially oriented businesses.

Previously, the Growth Formula was successfully implemented in 2018 in Kaliningrad, in 2019 in Nizhny Novgorod, and in 2020 in Astrakhan and Yugra. The participants of the accelerator program were able to achieve a 15% or greater increase in their businesses’ turnover, as well as augment the social effect of their activities by optimizing business processes and working more efficiently with their target audiences.