This past week, I was a panelist at the Exploring Corporate Social Responsibility event sponsored Dr. Jo-Ann Rolle, Dean of Business, at Medgar Evers College, of the City University of New York. The conference provided an overview of how entrepreneurs and companies are having a share in developing and executing strategies around corporate social responsibility. Although many corporations include social responsibility as part of their strategy, solo entrepreneurs are not exempt from helping others, which is the core of corporate social responsibility.
My panel was entitled Corporate Social Responsibility with the Global Community: Models for New Entrepreneurs. I was on the panel along with Professor Bernardo Javalquinto of ENS Global and Michael Short, Global Enterprise Institute. The theme focused on how entrepreneurs in both word and deed demonstrate the importance of social responsibility.
In my discussion I emphasized that entrepreneurs have an opportunity to provide mentorship to those starting out in the industry. In my opinion, entrepreneurs face real challenges, which includes, developing new products, maintaining cash flow, building a sales pipeline and obtaining new customers to keep their heads “above water”. However, in view of all this, mentorship is still important to help those who are entering the entrepreneur market for the first time.
I reflected on the challenges I faced early in my career. For example, starting my first job on Wall Street as an auditor for a large global bank was an overwhelming experience. I did not have a network of colleagues to prepare me for the banking industry. I made mistakes due to lack of experience and changed jobs frequently, which I may have avoided if someone would have mentored me. However, later in my career I found a mentor who provided me both guidance and support.
In the several decades of working in corporate America, I’ve mentored scores of people from helping them navigate through corporate life, preparing for their next career change or how to deal with the challenges within their current job. I am very pleased in helping others learn from my mistakes, benefit from my strategies and make a difference in their respective careers. Some of the people I have mentored have landed senior positions in banking and financial services and I am proud to have made a difference in their lives. When asked, what they can do for me in return, my response is to help someone else who comes to you for help.
When I started The Walker Group eight years ago, I continued to provide mentorship to others. In fact, in the last eight years I helped fifty three people land jobs. In addition, to my role as a FinTech entrepreneur helping new entrepreneurs or colleagues develop is one of my company priorities. Some of those I have mentored have landed jobs at key global institutions. The benefit of mentorship remains to helping others to reach their goals and potential. Some who landed key roles have in turn have identified opportunities for The Walker Group, but this has never been a requirement. The life of an entrepreneur is a busy but I equate farming as an analogy. The farmer plants seeds through a designated plot of land and anticipates a bountiful crop. At times growth can come from areas outside the boundaries, perhaps some seed has blown away.
As entrepreneurs we plant opportunities and at times there may be no immediate result, but opportunities come from various sources. Patience and persistence are necessary for growth and development. For the last few months I have been a mentor at Startupbootcamp New York. This has been a great opportunity to provide startups advice and leadership. This month I am conducting a workshop entitled Marketing Strategies to the FinTech Startup. This workshop with provide a case study of the marketing support we provided to one FinTech startup several years ago.
Wayne Brown focuses as the bridge between FinTech and financial institutions, working with FinTech companies and banks to find and create mutually profitable opportunities. Our varied market segments enable us to identify synergies and opportunities to stimulate growth as we partner with our clients to accelerate their business. For more information please contact me at email@example.com.