The Mentor Capital Network (MCN) identifies and supports for-profit entrepreneurs who are using business to solve the world’s biggest social, economic, and environmental problems in a way that others will be inspired to follow their lead.

What you write here will be valuable both as feedback on a business plan and as a tool to assist both you and the entrepreneur in identifying and building mentoring relationships that will be useful, interesting, and engaging for the both of you. Please complete this form by April 25th, 2022.

Our program has three primary goals:

  1. To provide the entrepreneurs with constructive feedback on their business plan to help them accomplish their goals.
  2. To identify entrepreneurs that you, personally, might want to engage with as a mentor. And to give those entrepreneurs a chance to see how you would add value as a mentor.
  3. To collect data to make both the MCN and the field of social entrepreneurship better able to serve future entrepreneurs. 

In that regard, we offer the following guidance:

We recommend completing the offline form and then pasting your comments into the online form at https://forms.gle/XYbFrpx5gr46j75w9.

Write your feedback to the entrepreneur(s), not to the MCN. Everything between and including “Product / Service” and “Reviewer Context” will be sent directly to them.

Your only commitment is to provide written feedback on the business plan. Should you wish to engage further with the entrepreneur (and we hope that you do), that is entirely your choice. The last question on the review form gives you the chance to express your preference on that.

Write from your perspective and expertise. You are part of a team of reviewers who were specifically chosen to provide different points of feedback.

Keep in mind that the plan may not be written in the reviewer’s native language. Or, that the MCN or one of our partners translated it.

The comments are more important than the scores. They are what add value to the entrepreneur’s endeavors.

You are reading a business plan written for the entrepreneurs, not for the MCN reviewers. There is little point in our providing feedback on a document written for the MCN. Many of the questions on this form will not apply to certain kinds of businesses. If you feel that they should have mentioned something in their plan, note that in the comments.

The scores are for our research. You can learn more about that at https://mentorcapitalnet.org/research/ . To that end, we ask you to rate various aspects of the plan. If you don’t have an opinion about an area of the plan, just check “no score provided.”

Please use these criteria:

  1. Poor: If this area is not addressed, the business will not succeed.
  2. Adequate: While this area is a weakness, it won’t disrupt the entire business.
  3. Fair: This area will neither hurt the business nor provide a competitive advantage.
  4. Good: This is the level you would want to see in a business before working there yourself.
  5. Outstanding: They got this perfect. Or it’s very good, and they have a new approach to the challenge.
  6. No Score Provided: If you do not feel qualified, or otherwise don’t have a strong opinion on a particular section, check this box.

Questions about any part of this process should be sent to ian.fisk@mentorcapitalnet.org.


Your email:                                                            

Your name:                                                            

Company Reviewed:    


Product / Service
Your comments in this section could cover:

  • Is it clear what problems their product or service will solve for their customers?
  • Is it clear what how they expect for it to solve those problems?
  • Do you think their product or service will do what they claim?


__ Poor __ Adequate __ Fair __ Good __ Outstanding __ No Score Provided

Do you have any comments on this area that could help them?  


Customers / Marketing
Your comments in this section could cover:

  • Is it clear who they think will pay for their product or service?
  • Are their assumptions of their addressable market reasonable?
  • Is it clear how they will identify and approach these people?
  • Do you think they will be able make the sales required by their financial model?

__ Poor __ Adequate __ Fair __ Good __ Outstanding __ No Score Provided

Do you have any comments on this area that could help them?    


Competition / Risks
Your comments in this section could cover:

  • Is it clear who their competitors are?
  • Is it clear what their competitive advantage is?
  • Is it clear what their major risks are?
  • Is it clear what the barriers to entry are for potential competitors?
  • Do you think their assumptions in this area are reasonable?
  • Is it clear (if appropriate) that they have the appropriate intellectual property protection?

__ Poor __ Adequate __ Fair __ Good __ Outstanding __ No Score Provided

Do you have any comments on this area that could help them? 


Team

Your comments in this section could cover:

  • Is it clear who their current team is, and the roles they will play?
  • Is it clear what roles they will hire for as they grow?
  • Is it clear (if appropriate) who their partners and champions are?

__ Poor __ Adequate __ Fair __ Good __ Outstanding __ No Score Provided

Do you have any comments on this area that could help them?


Financials

Your comments for this section could cover:

  • Is it clear how and why they will price their product or service?
  • Is it clear that they understand their costs of goods sold?
  • Is it clear what their financial assumptions are?
  • Are those assumptions reasonable?
  • If they are seeking investment (debt or equity), is it clear how they plan to repay the investor, and/or getting to a discernable stage where they can attract more risk-averse investors?

__ Poor __ Adequate __ Fair __ Good __ Outstanding __ No Score Provided

Do you have any comments on this area that could help them?


Operations / Viability

Your comments for this section could cover:

  • Do you think this is a viable business in its current form? Not yet.
  • What do you see as their strongest asset? How they are going about production.
  • What do you see as their biggest challenge? Better understanding selling, brand positioning and marketing.
  • Do think they will be able to execute production, sales, delivery, and other basic business operations? Production yes but not the rest of it as of yet.
  • Do they know how they will measure their success? Are there any aspects of the plan that particularly excite or concern you? I think by hitting their sales goals, but the path to getting there needs work.
  • This is also the place to put comments that don’t fit anywhere else on the review.

__ Poor __ Adequate __ Fair __ Good __ Outstanding __ No Score Provided

Do you have any comments on this area that could help them?


Mission Integration

Every company accepted by the MCN claims to have a social, environmental, and/or cultural mission. We believe that they want to accomplish these missions. While the Why can be an important marketing tool and/or a sign that the entrepreneurs are truly committed to the success of their business, this section is focused on the How.

We’re looking for companies that will inspire others – companies that will keep true to their values as they grow because their values are part of why they are successful. Comments for this section could address if and how they integrated their values into their business operations.

Some broad examples of what this might look like include:

  • Using diversity (gender, class, ethnicity, and more) as a business strength – e.g. engaging a community as customer or employees that are underrepresented for non-business reasons.
  • Using waste as product
  • Making long-term investments in employees to reduce turnover
  • De-risking environmental issues for the company and its customers
  • Empowering and training employees as both a sales force and a force for their community
  • Taking a holistic gender lens approach. (If you are unfamiliar with the term “Gender Lens” we recommend this article: http://ssir.org/articles/entry/the_rise_of_gender_capitalism.

(The MCN is aware that doing these things in and of themselves might not make for a better world. We’re looking for the folks who will do them Well.)

__ Poor __ Adequate __ Fair __ Good __ Outstanding __ No Score Provided

Do you have any comments on this area that could help them?


Mission Integration Score:

__ Poor __ Adequate __ Fair __ Good __ Outstanding __ No Score Provided



Are there any resources that you’d like to share with the entrepreneur? (e.g. examples of companies doing similar work that the entrepreneur may not be familiar with.)

Do you have any comments on this area that could help them?

Reviewer Context

Please provide a short description of your background as it specifically relates to the plan, e.g. “I am a business school finance professor who has worked in the automotive industry in India.” or “I have started two organic textile companies.”


The next set of questions are for MCN research purposes, and will only be shared in aggregate, without attribution. 


In your opinion, what is the likelihood that the business will accomplish each of the following in the next year?

  Already
Done
0% 20% 40% 60% 80% 100%
Raise investment of at least a year’s local middle-class salary?              
At least one founding entrepreneur will work full-time on venture.              
First product or service paid for and delivered              
First (non-founding) employee hired.              
Product sales equal to a year’s local middle-class salary.              



Was this plan a good fit to your interests and experience?

Poor       |      Adequate      |      Fair      |      Good      |      Outstanding

Why or why not? Do have any other feedback for the MCN?


Can you suggest other entrepreneurs or mentors who would be a good fit for the MCN?


What do you know now that you didn’t before reading this plan?


Approximately how long did it take you read the plan and complete this form?
__ 1        Hour                     __ 2        Hours                   __ 3        Hours  
__ 1.5     Hours                   __ 2.5     Hours                   __ 4.+     Hours


Should we add, update, or remove your name from this list on our website?

(Only reviewers from the past three years are listed.)

__ No changes needed

__ Do not list me.

__ Add or update my bio with the text below:

Website Bio Update
If we should add or update your information on our public website, please provide a *short* biography here. This may be different from the “Review Context” above in that it does not need to reference your connection to the specific plan you are reviewing. Please keep it under 150 words if you can. We may edit it otherwise.



The last and most important question

Do you want to mentor this company?

The word “Mentor” means different things to different people. We’re looking for people who will engage with an entrepreneur over an extended period of time. Calls every two to four weeks for three to six months is about average, although some of our relationships have lasted more than decade.

If you just want a one-time conversation with the entrepreneur in which you answer their questions about your feedback, or you offer them resources and/or suggestions beyond what’s written here, that’s fine as well.

Mentoring has the most positive impact when mentors and entrepreneurs both feel validated, which is more likely to happen when they are given the choice to engage with each other. If you select any of the “Yes” options below, the entrepreneur (and the other reviewers) will see your name, email, and LinkedIn profile (or other public biography, if provided) on the review form. It is then up to the entrepreneurs to decide whose comments they found constructive and useful, and it up to them to reach out to those individuals.

__ Yes, I would be willing to mentor this business.

__ Yes, I would be happy to engage in a single follow-up conversation.

__ Yes, I am willing to answer questions about my feedback via email.

__ No, leave me anonymous to the entrepreneur and other mentors.