Information for entrepreneur applicants

About the Growth Mentoring Service

The Growth Mentoring Service is an ECJC program, modeled after the established and highly recognized MIT VMS mentoring program, which connects experienced entrepreneurs with a team of skilled volunteer mentors. We use a group mentoring approach—a lead mentor coordinates a team of 3-4 mentors that meet together with the entrepreneur(s) in sessions that provide practical, day-to-day professional advice and coaching. GMS mentors are matched based on their experience in areas relevant to the needs of entrepreneurs and their enthusiasm for the program and the entrepreneur’s business. Mentors are required to subscribe, in writing, to a Statement of Principles that govern their behavior, outline their responsibilities, ensure confidentiality, guard against conflicts of interest, ensure a safe environment and control financial involvement with the entrepreneurs and their businesses. Relationships between mentors and entrepreneurs are formed based on the needs of the entrepreneur and the interests of available mentors.

 

Quick Facts

  • GMS is a free service
  • Exclusively for entrepreneurs managing established businesses with greater than $100,000 in annual revenue
  • Expectations include at least monthly meetings during the first year of the program and quarterly meetings during the second year of the program
  • Participation in the program after 2 years is voluntary, your association with your mentor team can last as long as your business is active
  • All communications are confidential

 

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Frequently Asked Questions

Who is eligible to participate?

GMS offers mentoring services to entrepreneurs managing established businesses with $100,000 in annual revenue or more, who have an ambition to grow and scale operations.

Are the entrepreneurs responsible for any fees or considerations?

GMS services are offered free of charge; there are no fees for the service, nor does GMS ask for any equity.

Are there rules GMS entrepreneurs must follow?

GMS entrepreneurs are expected to commit to a sustained relationship with GMS and to be professional, open and responsive (coachable) to the volunteer mentors who work with them. They are also expected to provide GMS, to the best of their ability, with accurate information about their business.

GMS entrepreneurs are expected to meet with their mentor team at least monthly during the first year of the program, and quarterly during the second year of the program. Thereafter, entrepreneurs are welcome, but not mandated, to meet with their mentor group as needed.

How do I apply?

To apply, complete and submit our Business Information Form. All identified proprietary information provided by applicants will be kept strictly confidential by GMS. Any accompanying materials can be submitted to mroberts@ecjc.com. We will review your form and if addition information is required, we will contact you. Otherwise, you will receive an enrollment packet by e-mail within a couple days of applying. The materials in this enrollment packet describe the GMS expectations and procedures. There is also an acknowledgement and release form for you to sign. In signing, you acknowledge that the GMS mentors are providing advice to you on a volunteer basis, and that the mentors and ECJC incur no liability in the process.

How does the mentoring process work?

Once you have enrolled, the GMS office will arrange for your first mentoring session. Your first meeting will be with 1 mentor with the primary objective of understanding your current business situation. The discussion is likely to be wide-ranging in order to gain as complete a picture as possible and to identify the most critical action areas. Based on the information developed, we will bring in additional mentors and your mentor team will evolve over the next few sessions. Meeting frequency and timing is up to you based on your needs.

It is important for participating entrepreneurs to realize that GMS mentoring services are educational only. All business decisions remain under the full control of the participating entrepreneur. In other words, we are here to help guide you; we cannot do it for you.

How are mentor matches arranged?

The formation of a relationship between a mentor and entrepreneur is purely voluntary. The mentors assign themselves depending on their interests or areas of expertise. Though GMS is responsible for matching appropriate mentors and entrepreneurs, the decision to form a relationship remains with the prospective mentor and entrepreneur.

On occasion, GMS may not have the appropriate mentor resources and may have to decline a request for assistance.

If you have additional questions, please contact mroberts@ecjc.com.