To connect established entrepreneurs with new and struggling ones, especially those from underserved backgrounds, the Small Business Administration (SBA) and the Corporation for National and Community Service (CNCS) should:
- Collaborate to develop an Entrepreneurship Corps, or “E-Corps,” to mentor and train entrepreneurs. The SBA should create a plan to deploy E-Corps members to underserved communities across the United States that apply for specific assistance.
Entrepreneurs who have successfully built new enterprises and have the knowledge and skills to mentor and train emerging entrepreneurs would apply to perform a year of national service in the new E-Corps. The success of E-Corps would be measured by the number of entrepreneurs mentored and trained, the number of new enterprises started by mentored entrepreneurs, and the revenues and jobs created and sustained as a result. Lessons could be learned from the experiences of other service organizations, such as SCORE.
- Endeavor Insights found that 33% of founders who were mentored by successful entrepreneurs went on to become “top performers,” compared with just 10% of all others.
- A study from the Journal of Small Business Management found that effective mentoring helped aspiring student entrepreneurs see themselves as entrepreneurs, enhancing their capabilities to further their new business ideas.