The Leaders in Innovation Fellowship (LIF) Global Programme (Cohort 6) – Mentoring as a Lifeline During the Pandemic

The LIF Global Programme (Cohort 6) demonstrates the power of combining business training with individualised mentoring to support entrepreneurs, particularly during unforeseen crises. By providing guidance, fostering confidence, and adapting to evolving challenges, mentorship empowered participants to develop innovative solutions and navigate the pandemic's disruptions.
The importance of mentoring in entrepreneurship programmes - Blog Image

Project: Leaders in Innovation Fellowship (LIF) Global Programme (Cohort 6)

Location: Newton Fund Countries (Jordan, Egypt, Indonesia, Malaysia)

Client: Royal Academy of Engineering

This case study explores the impact of integrating a mentoring component into the LIF Global Programme (Cohort 6), designed to support engineers-turned-entrepreneurs during the COVID-19 pandemic.

The Challenge:

  • The programme aimed to equip participants with skills to commercialise their engineering innovations.
  • The COVID-19 pandemic disrupted travel, trade, and business operations, posing significant challenges for the participating entrepreneurs.

The Approach:

  • The programme, delivered by The Shine Consortium (including Mowgli Mentoring – now The Human Edge), combined:
    • Commercialisation training
    • In-country events and activities
    • Mentoring
    • Peer networking
  • Mentors received specific training to adapt their support to the “COVID survival and adaptation” context.
  • The programme provided additional resources to help navigate the “new normal.”


  • Despite pandemic challenges, participants:
    • Developed 123 products and services across the four participating countries.
    • Reported improvements in competence, performance, well-being, learning, and self-confidence due to mentorship.

Key Takeaways:

  • Mentoring, alongside business training, provides individualised support tailored to each entrepreneur’s needs.
  • Mentors can act as sounding boards, cheerleaders, and mirrors, guiding and encouraging entrepreneurs through challenging times.
  • Integrating a well-designed mentoring component can significantly enhance the effectiveness of business programmes, even during unforeseen circumstances.