Mowgli Voices: Imarisha Mentoring Programme

Left — Mentor, Lillian Omondi. Right — Mentee, Joanne Onyango

Participants reflect on the Imarisha Mentoring Programme

In2019, we launched one of Mowgli’s biggest and most dynamic programmes, the Imarisha Mentoring programme across three counties in Kenya. Meaning strengthen in Swahili, the Imarisha programme aimed to support Nairobi, Kisumu and Mombasa based early and growth stage entrepreneurs to better structure, and develop their businesses with the support of experienced and locally trained mentors.

The programme came to an official end in September 2020, and with COVID-restrictions, we delivered a series of online graduations to celebrate the successes, reflect on the lessons learnt and officially welcome the Imarisha participants into our growing alumni community. We’re grateful to have supported 140 motivated participants within this programme, each of them committed to develop themselves on a personal and professional level.

What did the participants get out of this experience you may ask yourself? Well, the mentors and mentees are best suited to answer this question and they share more below..

Left — Mentor, Lillian Omondi. Right — Mentee, Joanne Onyango

Name: Joanne Onyango

Role: Mentee, Kisumu

Having spent quality time with my mentor Lilian Omondi, I have been able to look at life with different types of lenses. A new life has been birthed within me filled with determination, balance on when to hold on or let go on different issues in my personal as well as business life. Through her (mentor’s) reference, I was able to go through an intense six-month training on scaling for success business which took us through a business appreciation from its mission, vision, business model, how to know its performance and scale it for better, up till the point of pitching a business for investors after being investor ready. What an interactive and useful session coaching was to me as a whole!!

Name: Mercy Kilili

Role: Mentee, Nairobi

“When I was starting off, I wasn’t sure exactly which business route to take. My mentor has steadily assisted me to work through the many ideas I had, and with her guidance, I have been able to find my true north.”

Name: Victor Kimanthi

Role: Mentor, Nairobi

“I learnt the real meaning of mentoring. One doesn’t have to be an expert to mentor but rather a good listener who is able to probe the mentee, and not to offer solutions but an opportunity for the mentee to discover their own way.”

Name: Hellene Otieno

Role: Mentor, Mombasa

“A mentoring relationship is one where both parties mutually benefit as it is a journey of shared experiences. I had a mentee who was very proactive and who ended up adopting some desired best practices for her business. I personally felt that I positively impacted her life just as much as she impacted mine.”

Name: Stephanie Nguku

Role: Mentor, Nairobi

I too have learnt through the eyes of my mentee. Sometimes I see myself in him and some of the struggles I experience as an entrepreneur are similar to his. Being a support system to someone inspires me to become better because I like to share from my experiences. I have learnt from the materials shared by the Mowgli Mentoring team as an individual, and an entrepreneur.

Name: Jackson Gevera

Role: Mentor, Mombasa

“When I signed up for the programme I had an open mind, with a strong desire to share the little knowledge I had. However the training exposed me to various features of the mentorship journey and this aroused a strong desire to get more involved. As I progress with this mentoring journey, and through our conversations, I have become more present in my own life.’’