Entrepreneurial mentoring is the support of novice entrepreneurs by experienced professionals in the business world. Despite this practice gaining popularity, a question remains: is it necessary for these organizations to train mentors or is the mentor’s experience sufficient? To answer this question, we analyzed the effect of the mentor’s training, as well as his/her profile in terms of experience, on the mentee’s degree of satisfaction and learning. Our results show that the more a mentor is trained, the more he/she develops relational competencies, thereby creating a favorable (trusting) environment and developing an appropriate mentoring style (maieutic), which allows the mentee to learn and become more autonomous. However, the mentor’s experience in entrepreneurship does not have an impact on the quality of the mentoring relationship, nor does it impact the novice learning. Our results also show that, contrary to our expectations, mentoring experience has a negative impact on most of the psychological functions of the mentor. We found that this negative effect is neutralized by continuous training of mentors. This suggests that entrepreneurship support organizations should implement specific training sessions for experienced mentors.
Part of the book: Entrepreneurship