Summary of the VI International Mentoring Days

Mentoring Institute, IBLF and Youth Business Russia, the authors of International Mentoring in Entrepreneurship Days being carried out annually since 2013, organised and delivered the VIth Mentoring Days on November 22-23.

Following successful partnering between the Mentoring Institute and the Agency for Strategic Initiatives (ASI) at the ASI Mentor 2018 Forum in February, ASI acted as co-organiser of Mentoring Days this year and provided premises at Boiling Point coworking space, invited all ASI partners in mentoring, and helped with organizational issues.

The events were supported by continuous partners of the Mentoring Days: Youth Business International was represented by Joanna Gray, Head of Mentoring, as a key speaker on November 22-23 (it was her second performance at the Mentoring Days), Victor Sedov, CEO, Center for Entrepreneurship, Sofia Azizyan, Partner, EY Russia, Anna Palagina, Rector, International Institute of Management for Business Associations at the Chamber of Commerce and Industry of Russia.

The main agenda of the Mentoring Days this year was the assessment of mentoring impact over entrepreneurs.

Jo Gray came up with the results of international research completed in 8 countries of YBI presence. Boris Tkachenko elaborated on the results received in Russia based on the activity of YBR, one of the research participants.
This year, the Mentoring Institute and ASI decided to invite guests outside traditional experts, coordinators and mentor groups specializing in mentoring in entrepreneurship, but the actors from any other mentoring areas.
Based on the YBI 25-year international operational experience in 52 countries and 10-year experience of the Mentoring Institute / YBR in Russia and CIS countries, co-organisers decided to highlight this experience as a role-based model for other areas.


The Day 1 was opened by Boris Tkachenko, Founder and CEO, Mentoring Institute and Youth Business Russia, and Natalia Kravchenko, Mentoring Development Manager, ASI. Natalia read out the words of welcome on behalf of Svetlana Chupsheva, CEO, ASI, addressed to the organisers and participants of the Mentoring Days. It was followed by presentation of the aforementioned research with the focus on systemic and programme-based approach as an example of proper organization of mentoring programmes and the contribution of this approach to successful mentoring development. These were the aspects but in the international context covered by Joanna Gray. Boris’ report showed the consistence of the performance approach in Russia with international processes, as well as Russian local context.

Next was panel discussion with Victor Sedov, Sofia Azizyan and Anna Palagina, that confirmed the importance of analyzing the results and correctness of systemic approach to programme implementation.

After break and networking session, the panel discussion was held dedicated to current entrepreneurship support programmes in Russia that include mentoring component. It was finished with Q&A session “until the last questions is answered”, and the participants continued with the discussion for a long while.


The magic of mentoring visualized when Alexey Komissarov showed up after his name had been mentioned several times during the day. Responding to the audience requests, Alexey briefly talked about his experience in mentoring during implementation of the project managed by Boris Tkachenko in 2010-2011, when he was invited to participate by Victor Sedov.

At the end of the day all the participants who stayed till closing session made the group picture.


The agenda of the Day 2 was mainly intended for mentors, though many of coordinators and experts also decided to stay. It was opened by Joanna Gray, who presented the research outcome from the point of view of the benefits for mentees and mentors. Boris Tkachenko again added the details connected with Russian local context. The speeches were followed by panel discussion with participation of a Russian mentor and mentee match, Alexander Prosekin and Dmitry Boichenko, and experts Alexey Korovin and Sergey Gil.

After networking break, the mentoring school took place. Joanna Gray and representatives of Mentoring Institute Boris Tkachenko, Irina Gorelova and Victor Liberansky carried out qualification upgrade session for mentors (coordinators and experts also attended). First, the participants did exercises in pairs to feel the difference between online mentoring without video and offline/online mentoring with the use of video. Then, Joanna Gray organised the group exercise with mentoring style cards describing directive and non-directive approaches, and the participants moved the cards around to the right places during the discussion. The exercises were followed by group work on correction of the 5 key mentors and mentees mistakes. Each individual group discussed one of mentors mistakes and one of mentees mistakes and analysed why it happens, how to escape such mistakes, how to mend the situation if you have made these mistakes, submitted the observations and solutions to the audience. The training session was closed with overall discussion and experts comments.


With the same groups, Lika Chekalina held a project session on the development of mentoring environment.

At the end of Day 2, the video about mentoring filmed by Youth Business Spain was showed, and the participants made the last group picture.

The Mentoring Institute acknowledges the support from:

- all the speakers,
- ASI team – Natalia Kravchenko, Olga Zubareva and Elena Firyulina
- Mentoring Institute team Irina Gorelova and Victor Liberansky
- Youth Business Armenia team Liana Sargsyan and Hasmik Sevumyan, who took an active part in the events.

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