About New York State - Empire State Development

Business Mentor NY
Entrepreneurs often cite mentoring as essential to their success. For this reason, New York State, under the leadership of Governor Cuomo and in partnership with MicroMentor, created Business Mentor NY. Business Mentor NY is the State’s first large scale, hands-on small business mentoring program that helps NYS entrepreneurs and established small businesses overcome challenges to grow their business.
A critical component of the State’s effort to assist businesses as they recover and rebuild from Superstorm Sandy, Hurricane Irene and Tropical Storm Lee, Business Mentor NY provides an opportunity for small businesses and volunteer mentors to easily connect and work together.

Empire State Development

Business Mentor NY is an initiative of Empire State Development (ESD). ESD is New York’s chief economic development agency. The mission of Empire State Development is to promote a vigorous and growing economy, encourage the creation of new job and economic opportunities, increase revenues to the State and its municipalities, and achieve stable and diversified local economies. Through the use of loans, grants, tax credits and other forms of financial assistance, Empire State Development strives to enhance private business investment and growth to spur job creation and support prosperous communities across New York State.
Learn more about ESD and the myriad ways it supports small businesses.

What to expect – When you make an offer

A client will have 14 days to review your offer and either accept or decline it. If they accept the Mentoring Offer, we will connect you and your mentee and your mentoring relationship will begin.
Some things to keep in mind
• About half of all offers are accepted
• Entrepreneurs accept offers within 3 days, on average
• If your offer hasn’t been accepted within a week, you should consider it declined.
Our recommendation
Make 2 offers a week to ensure you get connected with an entrepreneur.

Here are some tips for making a successful offer

• Affirm your support and belief in their business.
• Establish your credentials, but specifically as they relate to how you are qualified to address the needs expressed in the mentoring request.
• Avoid being overly prescriptive right off the bat. Remember, these entrepreneurs haven’t come to know and trust you yet! 

Thank you for volunteering!
Business Mentor NY Support

What is Business Mentoring?

Business mentoring can take a variety of forms, including consulting someone on specific technical issues to coaching through broader business goals. Mentoring is best defined as counsel, advice, and support provided by experienced entrepreneurs and business professionals to emerging entrepreneurs in a structured relationship. Mentoring offers the entrepreneur an opportunity for an ongoing and supportive relationship with an experienced business person concerned about his or her success, and able to open doors to information and other resources to help the business grow.
    On MicroMentor, all mentoring relationships should share the following qualities:
  • Based in mutual respect, trust, and honesty
  • A sincere and voluntary interest in the entrepreneur's growth
  • Clear expectations and communication of goals
  • Commitment from both parties to follow through on agreements
  • Patience and an open mind
  • An agreed-upon timeframe for meeting and a plan for closing the formal relationship upon goal completion.
    Mentoring relationships should not possess the following qualities
  • Solicitation for individual financial gain
  • Unrealistic expectations about what the other party is able to contribute, including deliverables, time dedication, or overall timeframe.
  • Delivery of information that one is unqualified to give
To learn more about program expectations, please read our Code of Conduct thoroughly.