The art of Mentorship is a critical pillar of the TEF Entrepreneurship Programme. Mentors are selected for their expertise, passion for Africa’s economic growth and alignment to the programme vision and mission. They bring their substantial experience in business, supporting new entrepreneurs to grow and develop; and ability to share successes and failures to help others learn.
Since the launch of the TEF Entrepreneurship Programme in 2015, over 1000 mentors from 33 countries in Africa and 23 countries worldwide, representing over 20 sectors have participated in the programme. They have provided guidance to 3000 entrepreneurs from 54 African countries, helping them to build businesses from the ground up. Today these entrepreneurs are deploying their skills, creativity, and innovations for the economic development of Africa. Tinashe Gombiro is a mentor on the programme, who is passionate about guiding Africa’s future business titans.
Tinashe Gombiro is the managing consultant of TFG consulting group operating in Zimbabwe and South Africa. Starting his entrance into business consultancy in 2012, he discovered he had a gift and passion for performance and training and this he harnessed by becoming a mentee to established business practicioners “I began to seek mentoring from established consultants and coaches who had experience in leadership development, analytics, change management and organizational culture transformation”
With little capital to do business and no capacity to get loans from financial institutions, Tinashe started by offering business development, company registration, tax advisor and corporate branding services in 2013 and this helped him to build a reputation and slowly gain an audience for training activities. He has now further introduced program curriculums, impact assessments and consulting specialization alongside goal setting and career development trainings. Over the past five years he has witnessed steady growth and satisfactory business expansion and this he says he owes to perseverance “My biggest success driver has been perseverance. Consulting services in a developing economy are not valued and appreciated as in developed countries. This means consultants need to work very hard to prove their value and worth to corporate clients and government departments that would need their services. Perseverance helped me to stand out and distinguish myself in a dormant market.”
With financial and operational challenges along the way occasioned by unpredictable cashflows, he has had to develop robust financial planning and modelling to keep his business running and he remains inspired by testimonials of change, improvement and transformation in organizations and individual lives and by the evident impact on the lives of his clients.
Passionate about sharing his experience with upcoming African entrepreneurs and help them become successful without struggling in the areas that he did, Tinashe took to mentoring on the TEF programme. “This program keeps me responsive to my goal of sharing my entrepreneurial experience with those who has business ambition and hope to become future entrepreneurs. As a consultant, I am committed to empowering people and this mentoring engagement fits perfectly into that commitment. Being a mentor benefits me through the learning opportunity from my mentees stories of triumphs and difficulties. TEF mentoring experience has been good with several learning points particularly on the matching of mentors with mentees. I feel that while every mentor may have some useful information to share with their mentee, they may not be the most ideal to develop the mentee holistically. I believe a matching system along business or career lines would go a long way in mentee, mentor alignment. “
Currently a mentor to Albert Olodi, Agriculture , (Agri-business,. Farming), Tinashe openly shares his personal and professional values with his mentee as he believes sharing values gives an opportunity to appreciate other cultures, industries and nationalities on the African continent. For Tinashe, Time management is essential in mentoring. Balancing mentoring duties with a demanding personal schedule requires a regimented approach to time and maintaining exceptional levels of organization consistently. He is however appreciative of the benefits that come with mentoring on the programme, “TEF entrepreneurship programme has helped me to appreciate the opportunities in other parts of the continent and challenged me to broaden my horizons for business growth and expansion. My business has adopted a renewed philosophy of warming up to potential African clients starting with offering services in Portuguese, French and Arabic. I am grateful for the opportunity of mentoring African Entrepreneurs”