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Stavropoulou, Olga
Protopapa, Sophia
Year of Publication: 
[Journal:] Journal of Innovation and Entrepreneurship [ISSN:] 2192-5372 [Volume:] 2 [Year:] 2013 [Pages:] 1-10
Entrepreneurship has been considered the route towards European recovery and growth. The contribution of female entrepreneurship is of utmost importance as women bring into business ventures attributes such as team spirit, synergy, intuition, multi-tasking, and social awareness, beneficial both for entrepreneurial advancement and society. However, women wishing to pursue or/and maintain a successful entrepreneurial path are still faced with a gender gap prevailing in entrepreneurial practice and culture. Despite an encouraging recent increase in the number of women entrepreneurs, their representation is still limited to about 30% of EU entrepreneurs. Mentoring is considered effective for personal and professional development of women entrepreneurs. It is realistic and adjustable to their true needs, expectations and business context. In a mentoring relationship of equality and trust, the mentor provides just-in-time knowledge and experience which support the woman entrepreneur in making decisions. The mentee learns from the mentor's experience and is more likely to transfer new learning on her business because it is more meaningful and necessary. Strengths-based mentoring can be a more effective and dynamic developmental process for women entrepreneurs. It enhances social interaction in which the mentor facilitates the mentee to discover her strengths and use them to achieve her goals. Being aware of her strengths, the mentee engages in self-reflection and evaluation and develops both personally and professionally. The mentor is instrumental in enabling her to discover her strengths, use them in her business and release her potential. This paper presents an innovative strengths-based approach, 'feel the mentoring©', a human-oriented model that enhances personal experience and the professional milieu in which a woman entrepreneur performs. The feel the mentoring© enables the mentee to discover, recognise, emerge, free, use, combine and evaluate her strengths and sustainably employ them in her activities. The practical value of this approach is discussed through the real case of a woman entrepreneur who experienced strengths-based mentoring. While herein discussed in the context of female entrepreneurship, feel the mentoring© is not restrained to it. It can be successfully applied with male entrepreneurs, employees or unemployed individuals who wish to gear their inner strengths to professional and personal advantage.
female entrepreneurship
natural talents
strengths-based mentoring
feel the mentoring
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