A woman’s best friend: a guide to mentorship while navigating international trade.

A woman’s best friend: a guide to mentorship while navigating international trade.

The magical, yet easy or difficult support, that you can get for yourself. 

Specifically, if you are a businesswoman, who wants to accelerate its business. 

Let’s start with the basics.

What is Mentorship? We mention it, we talk about it, but sometimes it is not so clear, what mentorship entails. 

Mentorship is: 

Yes, all the above.


Mentoring is essentially about helping people to develop more effectively. It is a relationship designed to build confidence and support the mentee, so they can take control of their own development and work. The mentoring relationship is a collaborative partnership between a mentor, who is seen to have greater knowledge, skills and experience, and a mentee who is seeking to increase one or all these areas. It is an equal relationship of trust, guidance, and support.

Understanding the different impact that mentoring can have on your own growth and the growth on your business, having a mentor should and needs to be an integral part of your business plan. 

How and where to find your mentor? Specifically, if you are in International Trade.

Firstly, analyse your own inner circle. Who might be a good fit to get more knowledge on export/import matters, shipping or packaging? Or maybe around creating a business plan, testing your prototype of goods, and getting feed forward for a better service. 

Surround yourself with people who went through a similar journey. Ask humans for help, for support, ask them to be your mentor. 

And you a have more than one. Why? Because not everyone would have all the expertise or knowledge you are looking for. 

Create your own board of directors. You are the CEO of your company and a CEO does not work alone. 

As a women business owner we always make the same mistake. We think we need to do all ourselves. No there are so many people out there who would like to help you, see you grow.

A mentor relationship is a two-way communication. You have as well something to offer. 

Helping and learning from each other, sharing, and supporting each other. 

Navigating in the minefield of International Trade is not easy and can be tricky from time to time. Hence several mentors can be your safeguard and showing you, your blind spots.

At same time look out for NGO’s who are supporting women in the field of Trade. Like Organization for Women International Trade, who has got many chapters all around the world and its members are Trade Lawyers, active in the field of Trade, have already established International relations and capacity building initiatives in place.

Being with like minded women and sharing your struggles is vital for your mental health, for you to perform and succeed. 

I had many mentors in my professional life, who helped me to take that step forward. To move abroad with my family, to take on projects that I had no cloy about and now being courageous enough to be a business owner. However, I don’t work alone. I have got a wonderful volunteer team and mentors who help me to become better with marketing, with my website, with my offerings and many more. 

Your mentors can reach from close friends and relatives to former colleagues and peers and managers and people who are in International Trade. 

Mentoring is part of your journey to success.

Author: Hulya Kurt, Executive Vice President, OWIT International

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