Topic 2

How can Mentoring Support Women’s Development in Agritourism?

Mentoring has been defined as “a formal learning relationship” where “mentors support and challenge the mentees to recognise their career potential”, with the result that “both parties perceive they are learning and gaining from the relationship”.

Source: istock
  • Develop Essential Business Skills

Participants gain vital business skills necessary for the successful implementation of modern agricultural practices within their enterprises. This includes understanding the nuances of contemporary agricultural activities and applying them effectively to their businesses.

  • Enhance Access to Funding Sources

Women entrepreneurs learn strategies for accessing various funding sources. This encompasses understanding methods for raising capital as well as preparing and presenting well-structured business plans, enhancing their chances of securing financial support.

  • Cultivate Digital Literacy

The program focuses on honing digital skills crucial for promoting their agricultural ventures in the digital landscape. This knowledge equips them to navigate the online sphere, reaching a wider audience and enhancing their market presence.

  • Knowledge Empowerment through Mentorship

Mentorship provides women with valuable knowledge and insights. It guides them through critical stages of their entrepreneurial journey, ensuring knowledge acquisition when it’s needed the most.

  • Establish Supportive Networks

Women agri-preneurs engage in networking activities to establish supportive networks. These connections provide continuous support, assisting women at every step of their entrepreneurial endeavors.

  • Holistic Skill Development

The program offers assessments to develop essential skills: critical thinking, creativity, and problem-solving. These skills are crucial in shaping well-rounded entrepreneurs who can effectively address challenges.

Real-life Scenario: EQUAL PROGRAMME (Greece)

As part of the EQUALL program, Piraeus Bank designed the actions Women Founders and Makers, Women Back to Work, Women in Agriculture and Profession has no Gender, in collaboration with 100 mentors and The Tipping Point. Their purpose is to help women claim the position that corresponds to their value and capabilities, supporting their equal access to employment, business activity, elements necessary for their autonomy and development.

Piraeus Bank is extending its EQUALL program into the realms of Agri-Food and Agritourism with the introduction of the Women in Agriculture initiative. In collaboration with esteemed institutions like the American Farm School and the Alba Graduate Business School, The American College of Greece, the bank is committed to advancing the training of women in these sectors. The inaugural Women in Agriculture cycle coincides with International Women’s Day, a globally recognized event established by the UN General Assembly on December 18, 2007, and celebrated annually on October 15. Acknowledging the vital role women play in agricultural production and rural communities, Piraeus Bank strives to assist them in attaining equal opportunities in employment and agricultural business activities. The Women in Agriculture program offers comprehensive training, experiential learning, and networking opportunities. It caters to women over 18 years old who are either currently working or aspiring to work in the fields of agri-food and agri-tourism, and is provided free of charge.

Women in Agriculture lasts three months and covers two strands:

1.Training Sessions: The programe includes a comprehensive training component developed by professors from the American Agricultural School and the Alba Graduate Business School, The American College of Greece. This training, lasting 16-18 hours, covers essential topics such as the digital transformation of the agricultural sector, entrepreneurship, and the shift towards sustainable agriculture. Additionally, tailored sector-specific training will be provided, addressing the specific interests and activities of the participants.

2.Experiential Learning and Networking: The program offers experiential learning and networking opportunities, incorporating mentoring and interactive sessions. Participants will engage in discussions with professors and experienced professionals via the 100 mentors application, receiving personalized guidance and honing their skills. Moreover, live sessions featuring successful farmers, in collaboration with the American College of Agriculture, will provide practical insights and best practices. These interactive elements aim to enrich the learning experience, fostering valuable connections within the agricultural community.