Student Entrepreneurship Program Mentors

SEP Mentorship Program

The WBENC SEP Mentorship program seeks to enhance the experience of the students throughout SEP including; pitch competition preparation, networking at the National Conference & Business Fair, and ongoing support as students look to successfully launch their business and begin their careers.

WBENC SEP connects WBENC Corporate Members known as “Corporate Mentors” and WBENC-Certified Women Business Enterprises (WBEs) known as “WBE Mentors” with selected WBENC SEP students.

This model creates an opportunity for supplier development between the Corporate and WBE mentors while providing two valuable perspectives to the students throughout the program. WBENC seeks to find commonality between students and their selected Corporate and WBE Mentors based on the student’s field of study, interest, and entrepreneurial or career aspirations aligning with the Corporation and WBE’s industry and expertise.

Why should you become a mentor?

Students continually share the invaluable experience they have with their Corporate and WBE mentors. This interaction greatly adds to the value of the experience for each student helping to foster our next generation of women business leaders and entrepreneurs and we hope you will join us as a mentor.

How can you become a mentor?

WBENC Corporate and Government Members and Certified WBEs who are interested in serving as a mentor should contact Andrew Gaeckle, Director, Strategic Planning agaeckle@wbenc.org.

Mentorship Requirements

Pre-Conference:

  • Mentor assists student (who are participating in the pitch competition) prepare for pitch competition prior to conference

During Conference:

  • Mentor is invited to attends some classes/programs with the student
  • Mentor introduces student to WBEs and corporate contacts throughout the event (if Mentor has a booth, offers opportunity to participate during the Business Fair)
  • Mentor allows student to shadow during the Business Fair
  • Mentor, if space is available, invites student to sit at designated table during meal functions
  • Mentor serves as a resource for student preparing for pitch competition: answers questions during conference and listens to and supports a mock presentation by student prior to pitch competition

Post-Conference:

  • Mentor will actively engage their network to assist student following the program to support the student as they work to launch their business and/or begin their careers. 

Mentors

2016 Corporate Mentors:

  • Allstate Insurance Co.
  • Avis Budget Group
  • Bristol-Myers Squibb
  • CVS Health
  • Ericsson
  • ExxonMobil
  • EY
  • FedEx
  • Johnson & Johnson
  • Merck & Co., Inc.
  • Motorola Solutions
  • Raytheon Company
  • The Kroger Co.
  • UPS
  • USPS

2015 Corporate Mentors

  • Allstate Insurance Co.
  • Bristol-Myers Squibb
  • BP America
  • CapitalOne
  • Ericsson
  • ExxonMobil
  • EY
  • MetLife
  • Microsoft
  • Nationwide
  • Pfizer Inc
  • Raytheon Company
  • Shell
  • Toyota
  • UPS
  • USPS
  • Walmart Stores Inc.

2016 WBE Mentors

  • A10 Clinical Solutions, Inc.
  • Banneker Industries, Inc.
  • Communique USA, Inc.
  • Delta Personnel, Inc.
  • Eagle Consulting
  • Guy Brown Products
  • Highroad Press
  • Hired by Matrix, Inc
  • Intermodal Support Services, Inc.
  • JURISolutions
  • New Normal Life
  • Muffin Mam Inc
  • Ragozzino Foods, Inc.
  • Shea Writing and Training Solutions, Inc. 
  • Soft Stuff Distributors
  • Techway Services, Inc.
  • The DW Group
  • Whitsell Innovations, Inc.

2015 WBE Mentors

  • Banneker Industries, Inc.
  • Bocci Engineering
  • Charlies Plumbing
  • Corporate Fitness Works
  • Delta Personnel, Inc.
  • Eagle Consulting
  • G2nd Systems
  • Innolect Inc
  • Integrated Human Capital
  • JURISolutions
  • MYCA: Group
  • Point 2 Point Global Security
  • Premier Wireless
  • RIG-CHEM
  • Shea Writing and Training Solutions, Inc. 
  • Supplies and Solutions
  • The Griffin Tate Group, Inc.
  • UP Professional Solutions, llc
  • Van Oriental Foods
  • White Lion & White Bamboo Tea
  • Xioss

Do you want to be inspired? If so, participate in the WBENC SEP. You will experience the energy, creativity, resourcefulness and positive-think of these young women…our future business leaders. Getting to know, work with, coach and invest in these women far exceeded my expectations. While it was fortune to be paired with Fon Power. Founder of S.A.L.T and the winner of the SEP Pitch contest, we all benefit from a continuing dialogue and conversation about dreams, business plans and obstacle. Every mentor I talked with raved about the experience. Witnessing the impact of WBEN through the eyes of the student entrepreneurs reinforced how important it is for those of us who have gone before to offer support and lessons learned to these extraordinary young women. Together we are in a position to “ignite’ our collective power to help them realize their dreams and build sustainable businesses”
— Kittie Watson, President, Innolect Inc.

I was privileged to serve a second year in the SEP program as a mentor and judge. The energy and creativity the young women bring to the program is a delight. Their enthusiasm and eagerness to connect and lear is quite a boost – helping me to keep the entrepreneurial spark ignited. It is a pleasure to support a young engineer as she stretches her business analytical and commutations skills. Helping them through direct side-by-side mentoring, practice, and building of important relationship for career and business success. When walking the business EXPO my SEP mentee, I learning more about prospective partner client through engaging in conversation about their interest and mutually trying to guide the mentee.
— Lianne Lami, PE, CEM, CEA CEO, Bocci Engineering

In order for Shell to meet business and stakeholder goals and continue to find innovative ways to discover, develop and deliver sustainable forms of energy around the globe Shell looks for partners who also understand their business need and in 2012 joined the WBENC Student Entrepreneur Program (SEP).

History reflects that corporations tend to spend much time and effort coaching and mentoring current WBEs, many of whom have already found some level of success in business. But when thinking of the “Supplier Pipeline”, focusing on what goes INTO the pipeline? WBENC has an answer. Let’s collaborate to connect tomorrow’s WBE innovators with today’s leading corporations, better positioning suppliers to develop solutions for future industry challenges.
— Shell