The Mentor Capital Network is a community of more than 1,000 volunteers around the world, most of whom have built, managed, and/or invested in for-profit social enterprises. We are a USA 501©3 non-profit charity, coordinated by our staff and board. We identify and support entrepreneurs who are building for-profit companies that will make the world a better place when they succeed. We do this by connecting them to members of our community who are addressing similar challenges, but not competing for the same customers. We do not distribute grants. If you are starting or growing a non-profit company, we suggest you visit with our friends at The Unfunded List, who provide similar services to ours, but for non-profits.
We’re looking for entrepreneurs who are passionate about their expertise, but new to taking a for-profit business to scale. For example – maybe you’ve got a great product but you don’t know how to get it out of the lab and into the markets where people need it most. We’ve also had success supporting experienced business leaders who are new to integrating social and environmental values into their companies.
The application deadline for our next cohort will likely be in December, 2020. To receive updates, join our mailing list.
What We Offer
- Detailed and constructive feedback on your business plan from a team of 10-15 individuals who have been carefully curated to provide a diversity of experience in solving the same problems you are.
- Connections to mentors where you choose each other. We carefully curate teams who provide written and video-call feedback on your ideas. Then you decide who you want to be your mentor, based on how useful their feedback was, and how constructively it was delivered.
- Ongoing opportunities to connect with leaders who are addressing the same challenges that you are.
What We Ask Of You
- That someone on your team can communicate with our staff in English.
- That if you are accepted, you can submit a business plan for our review with 30 days. Here are some suggestions as to what your plan should include, and here is what we ask our reviewers to look for, but the most important thing is that you write the plan for yourself. There’s no point in us giving you feedback on something you wrote for us. This isn’t a competition.
- That you thank your (volunteer) reviewers, and proactively engage with the individuals best suited to be your mentors.
- That, if you are accepted, you pay a small processing fee — US$250 if you operate in an OECD country, US$25 if you operate in a LDC country, US$50 otherwise. We have found charging a small fee increases the quantity and quality of applications.
How Our Program Works
- The MCN builds a team of 12-15 reviewers for each plan, who are chosen for diversity of perspective (marketing, finance, operations, etc.) with a focus on individuals who are addressing the same challenges but not competing for the same customers.
- Reviewers have three weeks (Sept 21 – Oct 12) to provide constructive commentary on the business plans. During this time, we host video chats to give reviewers a chance to ask clarifying questions and to give everyone a chance to meet each other.
- The feedback is then returned to the entrepreneurs and other members of the review team, sorted by reviewer and by topic.
- MCN staff and entrepreneurs meet to discuss which reviewers would make the best fit as mentors based on how valuable the entrepreneurs found their comments. Then it is up to the entrepreneurs to follow up.
- After the business plan review and mentor-matching, there are ongoing Peer-To-Peer calls about various topics of interest, and as well as ongoing mastermind groups that members of the community can join.