The role of the diaspora in economic development has been widely recognized. For example, the World Bank’s Migration and Remittances Factbook 2011 reports that migrants from developing countries sent home US$441 billion in 2010, more than three times the official development assistance (ODA) of US$134 billion. Migrant remittances represent a significant and growing share of GDP in many developing countries: in 2010, they were equivalent to 8.5 percent of GDP in Lesotho, 7.6 percent in Nepal and 5.3 percent in the Philippines.
The diaspora can also play an important role in promoting entrepreneurship and investment in their countries of origin. Studies have shown that migrants are more likely to be self-employed than the native-born population in both high-income and middle-income countries. In the United States, for example, 15.7 percent of migrants are self-employed, compared to 10.5 percent of the native-born population.
The diaspora can transfer entrepreneurial skills and knowledge to their countries of origin through mentoring, training and financing. In addition, the diaspora can provide valuable networks and linkages, which can help entrepreneurs access markets, technology and other resources.
There is growing evidence of the positive impact of diaspora engagement on entrepreneurship and economic development. A study by the World bank found that diaspora-led firms are more likely to be innovative and to export than firms that are not diaspora-led.
The Global Entrepreneurship Monitor (GEM) has also found that individuals with transnational social networks are more likely to start businesses than those without such networks.
There are a number of initiatives that facilitate diaspora engagement in entrepreneurship and economic development. For example, the African Diaspora Entrepreneurship Programme (ADEPT) is a multi-country initiative that provides training, mentoring and financing to diaspora entrepreneurs wishing to start businesses in Africa.
Another example is the Maldives Economic Development and Investment Promotion (MEDIP) program, which provides mentoring, training and financing to Maldivian entrepreneurs wishing to start businesses in the Maldives.
There are also a number of private-sector initiatives that facilitate diaspora engagement in entrepreneurship and economic development. One example is the Global Innovation Fund (GIF), which is a venture capital fund that invests in early-stage companies with high potential for impact in developing countries.
How can mentors help aspiring professionals and entrepreneurs back home.
Mentorship is a hot topic in the diaspora community. Many people are talking about how mentorship can help aspiring professionals and entrepreneurs back home. And there is good reason for this.
Mentorship can provide invaluable support for people who want to start their own business or develop their professional career. A mentor can help you to develop your skills, gain confidence and build your networks.
But what does mentorship actually involve? And how can mentors help aspiring professionals and entrepreneurs back home?
In this blog post, we will explore the concept of mentorship, and look at how mentors can help aspiring professionals and entrepreneurs back home.
What is mentorship?
Mentorship is a process whereby an experienced individual helps someone else to develop their skills, knowledge and networks. Mentors provide support, guidance and advice, and help mentees to overcome obstacles and achieve their goals.
Mentoring relationships can be informal or formal. Formal mentoring relationships are typically developed through mentoring programs, whilst informal mentoring relationships often develop spontaneously.
In either case, mentoring relationships are based on trust, mutual respect and shared goals.
What are the benefits of mentorship?
Mentorship can offer a range of benefits to both mentors and mentees.
For mentors, mentorship can be a rewarding experience. It can give you a sense of satisfaction to see your mentee grow and develop over time. Mentorship can also help you to develop your own skills and knowledge, and to expand your professional networks.
For mentees, mentorship can be invaluable. A mentor can provide support, guidance and advice when it is needed most. A mentor can also introduce you to new ideas, people and opportunities.
How can mentors help aspiring professionals and entrepreneurs back home?
Mentors can help aspiring professionals and entrepreneurs back home in a number of ways.
Firstly, mentors can provide support and guidance. They can help mentees to develop their business plans, and to identify and overcome challenges.
Secondly, mentors can help mentees to build their networks. A mentor can introduce you to new people, and help you to develop your professional relationships.
Thirdly, mentors can provide advice and coaching. They can help mentees to develop their skills, and to gain the confidence they need to succeed.
What are the challenges of mentorship?
There are some challenges associated with mentorship, which should be considered before embarking on a mentoring relationship.
Firstly, mentoring relationships can be time-consuming. Mentors need to be prepared to give their time and attention to their mentees.
Secondly, mentoring relationships can be emotionally demanding. Mentors need to be supportive and understanding, and need to be able to deal with difficult situations.
Thirdly, mentoring relationships can be challenging. Mentees may not always take the advice or follow the guidance of their mentors. Mentors need to be prepared to deal with this.
Fourthly, mentors need to be aware of the power dynamics at play in mentoring relationships. Mentors have more power and authority than mentees, and this must be used wisely.
Finally, mentors need to be aware of their own limitations. Mentors cannot provide all the answers, and they should not try to do so.
Despite these challenges, mentorship can be an extremely rewarding experience for both mentors and mentees. If you are thinking about becoming a mentor, or are looking for a mentor, we encourage you to give it a try.