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I came across TERN in 2018 through my company at the time, who had partnered with TERN to create a volunteering opportunity. After meeting the team it was obvious immediately that I was working with a focused and ambitious organisation, aiming to further the entrepreneurial lives of refugees.

I thought it was a perfect environment to share knowledge and learn from others, so I applied to volunteer as a business mentor and work closely 1-1 with an entrepreneur for 12 weeks to support their journey.

From my first year volunteering in this creative environment I was meeting entrepreneurs with a huge range of business ideas, operating at a high intensity to use the time we had to really get ideas off the ground. The team put a lot of effort into matching mentors and entrepreneurs well, so it was always enjoyable, new and different, but also great to know that my specific skill set has been applicable to helping different entrepreneurs achieve their goals. UP Collective is an opportunity to meet like-minded people, learn new skills, be part of test events (where the entrepreneurs try out and scrutinise their business ideas for the first time), and really feel like a part of a dynamic exciting project with a launch, a middle, and a graduation from which even more great things will come.

This must have been almost addictive because I kept coming back, and would likely apply to return again as a mentor! The programme is incredibly organised, has developed and adapted efficiently in the four years I’ve known it, and is run by an amazingly supportive organisation, which at the real heart is all about care and learning. As a mentor, this is another reason that spending so much time volunteering with TERN is so rewarding and worthwhile.

Get involved:

Are you based in London? Do you have entrepreneurial and mentoring experience?

This summer, why not follow in Manou’s footsteps and join UP Collective and TERN as a volunteer mentor?

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