Mentorship program now available in French

New partnership with Wellington Rural Action Centre extends our mentorship program to French-speaking business owners
French mentorship

L to R: Bilingual mentor and Acadian Chamber past president Jeanette Arsenault with GSCC Executive Director Jane Sharpe and RAC Development Officer  Velma Robichaud.

French-speaking entrepreneurs seeking guidance from a mentor can now benefit from the Business Mentorship Program in their own language, thanks to a new partnership forged between the Greater Summerside Chamber of Commerce and the bilingual staff at the Wellington Rural Action Centre (RAC).

Chamber manager Jane Sharpe and RAC development officer Velma Robichaud jointly announced the expansion of the two-year-old program during the Acadian and Francophone Chamber of Commerce of PEI 2016 Members’ Luncheon.

Sharpe explained that the program, sponsored by Innovation PEI and the Atlantic Canada Opportunities Agency, has been tremendously successful. In its first year, 13 matches were made between relative newcomers to the business world and experienced business people.

She said the program is geared specifically to help people who have been in business long enough to see the basic ins and outs of entrepreneurship – at least six months – but who are looking to expand or are facing difficulties in surmounting challenges. A mentor who may have overcome similar hurdles over the years can therefore provide guidance, knowledge and experience to the situation. Finding the right match is therefore the key to a successful mentor-mentee arrangement.

The mentorship program is available to any entrepreneur from anywhere in the province free of charge. Anyone wishing to benefit from the program in French, either as a mentor or a mentee, may contact the Wellington Rural Action Centre at 48 Mill Road at (902) 854-3439, Ext. 228, or velma@rdeeipe.org. There, Robichaud will provide the person with an application form along with a copy of the program guide, both of which were recently translated. She will explain the program in detail. Then, Robichaud and program coordinator Jo Ann Doughart will set out to find the right match for that person.

Those wishing to access the program in English can contact Doughart directly at (902) 436-9651 or gscc.mentorship@gmail.com.

Program participants are encouraged to maintain the mentor-mentee relationship for at least one year, with meetings taking place at least once a month. Both parties must sign an agreement to maintain confidentiality, to respect one another and to avoid potential conflicts of interest.

Chamber member Jeannette Arsenault, who has mentored new business people through the program, encouraged other experienced entrepreneurs to participate since they too would get to learn a lot from the mentee as well as share their own knowledge. She added that accessing such a program in one’s own mother tongue often makes the learning process easier.

Learn more about our mentorship program.