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Leadership - Mentorship stories
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Mentee: Psih. Ruxandra Ion (President of Asociația EduCare)

Mentor: Gabriela Mosoiu (ERP Dynamics Financial Support Engineer at Microsoft)

"The association offers free therapies to children with disabilities. The project with which they applied is for 10 children but through the actions, they have done in a half month since they started, they have already helped over 100 children. The main objective of the project is the submission of a project to receive funds from the city hall and ministry. The submission date is September 28 and the result will be received on September 30. This grant will guarantee free therapies for 10 children for 1 year. At this time the project is written, the documents are in good condition of the prepared documents and the application deadline will be respected. They will apply to 2 different financing programs. In addition to this, they have created a project calendar to obtain 70% funding for their development. Gabriela helped to create a partnership between Microsoft and EduCare. The association was presented at a Microsoft event. During this event, Microsoft donated 100 child hygiene kits. EduCare will hold an event at the Promenade in collaboration with Microsoft. In addition, Microsoft has committed to funding one of the future projects of the association. Through this partnership, EduCare will get visibility and other collaborations. Both girls are very expressive, they speak with clarity and passion, they are humble but also aware of what they have achieved in a short time, the conversation is pleasant, they go along very well and they are both willing to make it happen. They met regularly every week and maintained the conversation through WhatsApp and the mentee had steps to take between sessions. The mentorship gave Ruxandra confidence by collaborating with a person who has no self-interest but a common desire in making the project a success.

News: The project passed in the first two phases, the financial and the NGO verification phases, followed by the approval of the local council. Today 30.10.2019 a FINAL RESPONSE is expected."

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Mentee: Tatiana Danciulescu (President of Piano Therapy Association)

Mentor: Adriana Preda (Executive Director at The Social Incubator)

"The association provides piano therapy sessions for children with autism. The project is aimed at helping children with autism offering piano therapy, about 15/20 children based on 2019’ data. As the primary objective was too ambitious for the time allocated, they planned to do a mini-project with which to apply for public funding. They met 3 times. During the first meeting, they identified the current needs and what to focus on and made the decision to focus on fundraising. In the second meeting, they found out how to get a grant and clarified which grant to apply for. In the third, they discussed the possibility of conducting events to raise awareness of families and individuals (not necessarily autism-related) i.e. a concert, a piano recital, a great event with stars and organizations supporting the cause. The project is in the phase in which the grant was written and submitted. By the end of December, they will have an answer on whether or not they will get the grant. Tatiana’s feedback:  The relationship with the mentor is very good, Adrian guided her very well. Mentoring offers confidence, effective feedback, knowing where to focus, tools and know-how. She agrees to share the story, she is talkative, she expresses herself positively, she is excited about the relationship with the mentor and the goals she has achieved in a short time. Adriana’s feedback:  Skills required as a mentor: creativity, results in orientation, project management. She found out that she can guide people effectively also out of the comfort zone.  She agrees to share the story, she is talkative, she expresses clearly complex concepts."

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Mentee: Adina Clapa (Vice President of Asociația Prematurilor)

Mentor: Larisa Budaca (General Manager at Golden Tulip Victoria Bucharest Hotel, 4*)

"The association has a central service– CENTRUL DE EXCELENTA IN PREMATURITATE, where premature children and their families have access to evaluations and expert professionals. An association that has a history of 2 years. One of the founders gave birth to premature children and so the idea was born.  Very well anchored in the area of Bucharest, the association also deals with the rest of the country through educational caravans for mothers who do not have access to information and assistance. They also carry out projects through which they involve people in hospitals and find economical resources.  The mentoring program was registered the same idea with objectives of fundraising, implementation of marketing/communication/networking, development of partnerships with large companies that have products dedicated to children.  They have had 5 meetings so far from June. They will influence 500 families per year.  Even though the mentoring project started late, they took a few concrete steps. The project is in the phase where they have already managed to discuss partnerships with some companies and have made a list with some other companies to help them with funds. Larisa, the mentor created some connections, put them in contact with a person responsible for communication at Pampers, with whom they’re agreeing on a partnership, introduced them also to structural funds and European funds, promoted them on her own networks. Adina followed up and implemented all. For the marketing and communication side, they made a visual map of Romania with the educational “caravans”. They decided to complete this map with the cities, the amounts made available to mothers and the number of children helped. This is a map that speaks from one glance about the true impact of the Association in terms of resources, education, and awareness of the Prematurilor situation. The map offers a powerful tool for establishing a trusting relationship with supporters. They need more visibility and the implementation of online marketing to find more supporters. Adina’s feedback: The fact that Larisa comes from outside, and does not have such experience with NGOs, adds value, she comes with inputs, know-how from other businesses, proposals, solutions. Larisa’s feedback:Adina is a serious, pragmatic person who makes things happen."

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Mentee: Alina Dragomir (General Manager at Learn and Play Events SRL)

Mentor: Weronika Stanko (Business Developer at KR Group LTD)

"The company works on a project that promotes financial education for kindergarten children. The mentee was stuck and didn't know what to do first and which are the important things. The mentor suggested the steps. The project is at the point where the mentee contacted the kindergartens. The feedback is good from the kindergartens and from the children while the parents are reluctant. Objectives - to expand the current portfolio and find new potential customers, marketing, and analyze strong and weak points. They started work a month and a half ago. Mentorship brings self-confidence, support, know-how on what to do."

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Anca Isar

Mentee: Anca Isar (Speech therapist at Asociatia numere colorate în autism)

Mentor: Anca Dumitrescu (Psychologist; Autism Voice President; Board Certified Behavior Analyst)

"The association operates in Pitesti with 3 employees and 2 volunteers, for 2 and a half years, and offers therapy services for children with autism. They applied for mentoring to learn how to promote themselves and communicate with those who ask for their services. Mentor and mentee started to work in the summer, July, via meetings, email communication, messenger, and telephone. Objectives: definition of mission and services, improvement in communication. The mentor gave directions, suggested the creation of a website, logo, communication materials, trained for free 2 of their staff (value Ron 3000).  At the moment the association’s still working on the site, promotional materials, and flyers, but already created the logo and business cards. They'll be ready with the communication material in a month! They will use it for promotion, sponsorship, and fundraising. Mentorship brings self-confidence, information, knowledge, know-how. The whole promotion part comes from the mentor, what and how. They met in Bucharest once,  and the Association’s staff went to mentors’ courses to be trained for the services they offer.  Because the staff is small and the space is small, the next step is to access funds to change the location, add a sensory room that would make the organization unique and offer trips for children. The fundraising director from Autism Voice met the mentee at their headquarters and explained to them how to do fundraising. People the Association aims to impact: association’s team (5 people) + 20 families + 10 children that she intends to attract."

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Mentee: Aliona Turcan (Owner at Radual Home SRL)

Mentor: Loredana Barbu (Executive Manager at Ginza Invest SRL)

"The company has created a collection of textiles for houses made of organic fabrics & minimalist design. Objectives of the mentorship project: support, someone to validate mentee's idea and make an assessment of the business, guidance, gaining confidence,  options for developing the business.  During the mentorship program, the mentor had to clarify why the company got stuck in the sales process after the start-up phase. Another goal of the mentoring was to help the mentee to decide to leave her business to fully deal with the new project. Following preliminary discussions, mentor and mentee began to think from several perspectives, the mentee acquired a sense of calmness and confidence in her own decisions. Besides this, they discussed some strategies to better promote the product: add the English language to the website, connect with some market influencers. They met 3 times in total and now the company is at the final stage of translating the site into English and promoting it in other countries through Instagram and Facebook, participating in a national fair, connecting with an influencer who is going to do a product review, applying to competitions.  About 20 customers generated since the company was opened in May. The value brought by the mentoring program is the support and validation."

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Mentee: Mihaela Cosescu (President of Asociatia Crestem Oameni)

Mentor: Ilinca Iliescu (Attorney at Law at Reff & Associates (part of Deloitte Legal)

"The Association promotes books for children that are not standard, have a social or cultural theme, the characters and the messages are social. The mentor and mentee met a few times and worked to create a more pragmatic vision of what it means to do business. Tips and advices: to take a business course, to develop their organizational area, to take a partner, to develop the retail, workshops within DELOITTE, storytelling, e-books, LinkedIn page for relationships. Currently, nothing has been implemented but the mentee has understood what are the steps to follow. The couple intends to continue after completing the program. "

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Mentees: Olga Rodica Cridland & Iuliana Ghidu (Asociatia P.A.V.E.L.)

Mentor: Cristina Buja (Programme Manager at "Princess Margareta of Romania" Foundation)

"The mentor met with Olga and Iuliana Ghidu, knew the history of the association, which departments they have. He discovered the lack of two essential departments - communication and fundraising. They have not yet set goals. Follow up should be a subsequent meeting and goal setting. They are looking to receive specific information on the duration of the mentorship."

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Mentee: Bianca Galateanu (Co-founder at Hubi's Lab)

Mentor: Cora Florea (Supply Chain Manager at McDonalds)

"Hubi's Lab offers science workshops, clubs and ateliers for children. They sought mentorship for marketing, the creation of new clients and business development in general. Trough the mentorship they understood that the next step is to create a product – a science kit - to develop in parallel to the workshops, a product to be sold on the site. Together with the mentor they decided to write a business plan and in addition, they received support in product development - consultancy, advice, contacts for printing, legal advice, and they discussed more aspects about launching it on the market. At this moment they wrote the business plan, they are going to discuss it. They are also working with someone external for the marketing plan for product development, then they will buy the components for the kit assembly. Launching on the market is scheduled for April 2020 - June 2020. The mentorship started in July, they got in touch by email, they met 3-4 times for 2 hours each time. They connected through different methods. The product is addressed to children and they planned to sell 500 pieces initially. A kit can be used in workshops, in schools, in children's classes, it can be used as demonstrative teaching material. The impact depends on whether it is used individually or in a group, somewhere between 500-5000 children. The mentorship brings the development vision, a plan, know-how on the planning and strategy side."

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Mentee: Daniela Costan (President at Asociatia Adriana Vintilescu)

Mentor: Mariana Hopartean (Organization Manager at MDM TRADE SRL)

"The association helps young people with disabilities and was created because Daniela has a daughter, Adriana Vintilescu, with a disability. The association helps 650 children. The mentor has brought business know-how by proposing an investment of time in the promotion and the creation of a map of the activity to be presented at the meetings with the sponsors. The objective has been reached, the map has been created and the relationship with the mentor has grown both through meetings and communications via telephone and email. Update: the application was submitted – to be approved in December 2019."

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Mentee: Erna Samoila (Founder of Asociatia Bucureștiul Nestiut)

Mentor: Laura Volocaru (Cloud Lead at Logicom)

"The project consists of creating a museum that incorporates innovative technologies. The museum is addressed to both the public in Bucharest and to tourists. It is a 2-year project in the beginning phase. Objectives: drawing up the strategy for raising funds for 10,000 euros and finalizing the authorizations. They drafted the business plan, contacted an advertising agency to create the visual identity, finalized the administrative part, implemented the strategy of raising 10,000 euros and negotiated with 3 companies to reach the target. Mentoring offers accountability, focus on key objectives, structuring ideas and business plan."

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Mentee: Irina Giurgiu (Manager at ACS Dream Team Bucuresti)

Mentor: Alina Dumitrache (Director at CEC Bank SA)

"ACS Dream Team Bucuresti is a women's soccer club with several age groups in each category. Each category participates in the national championships. The objectives of the mentoring were in two directions: club management - a financial organization to achieve major business development and financial development. Specific objectives: 1.  to improve the relationship with the staff and to manage the teamwork, to delegate various tasks like training schedules, presence of the players during training, etc.; 2.  to involve the players who have the potential and create new trainers; 3.  communication with parents, to organize meetings with parents, to share the program, to request help and sponsorships; 4.  hiring a psychologist for the players and parents. The most important objective was to develop a small group under 11. Objectives reached!!! They went from 5 players to 15 - they achieved it by appointing a new coach. They also decided to sponsor the new coach trough courses and the business will financially support the new coach trough the coaches’ school. Financially, they identified the problem that they had previously and worked toward keeping a centralized record of the financials. The benefit of improving financial is rapid business evolution by making some plans for future investments and cash flow optimization. The business currently influences about 90 people, players, parents, staff, and patents. The mentoring program offered to the mentee confidence, and specific knowledge about the financial part that has made a major impact. Added value: Alina brought both personal and professional knowledge, concrete help. They worked from August until the end of October. They will continue the relationship even after the program i completed because they both want to continue extra with applying for a loan."

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