Leadership Mentorship stories 

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 the 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 fund 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 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.

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 to 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 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.

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.  In 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 in 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.

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 working a month and a half ago. Mentorship brings self-confidence, support, know-how on what to do.

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, since 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, to add a sensory room that would make the organization unique  and to offer trips for children. The fundraising director from Autism Voice met the mentee at their headquarters and explained them how to do fundraising. People the Association aim to impact: association’s team (5 people) + 20 families + 10 children that she intends to attract.

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 menee’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 a preliminary discussions, mentor and mentee began to think from several perspectives, the mentee acquired a sense of calmness and confidence in her own decisions. Beside 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.

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 advises: 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. 

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.

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, 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.

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 a 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.

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.

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 - financial organization to achieve a major business development and financial development. Specific objectives: 1.  to improve the relationship with the staff and to manage the team work, to delegate various tasks like training schedules, presence of the players during trainings, 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 the 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.

Mentee: Carmen Reisenbauer (Managing Partner at TonusApp)

Mentor: Alexandra Sutru (Project Manager at Genpact)

TonusApp is a fitness and nutrition App launched 2 years ago, already present on the Appstore, google play and web. The project is at the start-up level. For development it needs financing and partnerships. When the mentee applied for mentorship, she lacked direction and didn't know how to further develop the business, she needed validation, a development strategy, she wasn't aware of what she was missing in the process. She worked alone on the project and was blocked. During the first conversation, they pointed out the issues on the financial side and the need for personal support were discussed. They followed some directions: clarification of strategy, identification of weaknesses, worked in the area of ​​legal, partnerships, platform development. They solved the legal part, on the development side made the platform update. The App can impact the entire category of 25-45 year old women from Romania and then internationally who are interested in a healthy lifestyle. The application offers an understandic of basic contact with the sport and transformation through fitness programs coupled with the food plan. It helps to form a healthy lifestyle base. Mentorship brings clarity, structure, validation, opening in directions, deadlines, mobilization and motivation, concrete actions.

Mentee: Corina Closcaru (Administrator at Brimket SRL - Joviv.ro)

Mentor: Adelina Rosca (Managing Partner at Rosman Talent Solutions)

Joviv.ro brand is a jewelry brand and wants to develop a platform for the BWFR community and other business women to access life beauty programs and educational courses with quality content. The objective of the mentoring was to identify the best method of implementation so they decided to create a guide that outlines the platform, visually and what the info are. They completed this part. They will present it to the BWFR at the end of the week seeking for feedback and data collection. 

Mentee: Diana Zanfir (President at Evolution Center)

Mentor: Marta Popa (Attorney at law/ Senior Partner at Voicu & Filipescu SCA)

Evolution Center is an NGO that offers socializing workshops for children with autism and free courses for teachers to help children integrate into normal education. These workshops and courses are held locally and nationally. Free courses for the teacher are held in Bucharest 1 time a month and nationally once a month in different cities (Ploiesti, Galati, Giurgiu, Craiova) - each time there are new people. In Bucharest, the courses are held for 20 people and outside for 100/150 people. Before the mentorship, the NGO was funded only by donating 2% of the income. Mentorship objectives: find more partners and write a financing project to companies. Through the mentorship the mentee discovered that there is still a need for networking and group integration activities to get in touch with more partners who know the NGO services, increase the response rate, help finance it. This work has been done, the mentee has integrated into a networkig group. The application was made at MORE Networking, and currently the mentee has received promises for the Christmas campaign for children with product sponsorship. Mentorship brings a different mindset, meeting the mentor was a valuable addition that pushed the mentee to socialize more and get in touch with people.

Mentee: Ruxandra Strugaru (Owner at Sunrise kindergarden)

Mentor: Iuliana Pirvu (Partner, Auditor and Chartered Accountant at Sagitarius Consulting SRL)

The project consists in opening a Montessori kindergarten in Pitesti. When the mentorship started, there was already a business plan. They set the following goals for the mentorship program: to open the kindergarten, enroll at least 20 children, create an NGO to access funds, to promote it. Two of these objectives have been already achieved: the kindergarten is open and working with 28 children and 5 educators. By March 2020, also the NGO will be open and the kindergarden will be fully developed. The project will impact on the lives of 60 children, 120 parents and 10 employees as well as the Pitesti community. The first meeting between mentor and mentee happened in August and the opening of the kindergarten took place in early September. The mentorship program brought order, prioritization skills and know-how to the mentee and the possibility of working on the opening of a kindergarten to the mentor.

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