This year, Futurpreneur Canada celebrates their 20th Anniversary, and to celebrate, we chatted with one of our longest standing mentors to see why she became a mentor with us and what it’s been like mentoring the next generation of entrepreneurs.
In the 80’s, Fi Dastoor, now Futurpreneur Canada mentor, found herself volunteering at the Canadian Executive Service Organization (CESO) providing her expertise as a computer professional. Eventually the organizations gave up business mentoring in Canada and she was then asked to join the, Canadian Youth Business Foundation (CYBF), which is now Futurpreneur Canada. Fi noticed she derived a lot of satisfaction from watching young entrepreneurs become successful in their field, and combined with their enthusiasm and excitement, which she found invigorating and exciting, mentoring seemed to be a great way to stay involved in the business world as a retiree.
With a background in the IT industry, working as a computer programmer, analyst and eventually working in senior management in the industry, Fi brings her years of business expertise to the table and has mentored approximately five young entrepreneurs over the years. Some of her protégés include the entrepreneurs behind Gumdrops Wet Weather Boutique, POM International Exhibition Services, and today she is mentoring Lions Gate International, a business advisory firm.
Her experience mentoring Shanda Jarrett of Gumdrops Wet Weather Boutique led her to winning the Futurpreneur Canada (then CYBF) Mentor of the Year which landed her in front of Prince Charles where she had the opportunity to present his royal highness with Gumdrops rain apparel.
Fi has felt mentoring has been a great way for her to give back to the business community which she has grown to be an integral part of. “I enjoy being a business professional,” she shared. “It has provided me with a good life for which I am eternally grateful, and to show my gratitude I feel I should give something of value back to the industry.” She explained that being a mentor helps ensure that enthusiastic young business people stay within the industry to help continue to strengthen it.
But mentoring for Fi hasn’t been all about just giving to others, it has also benefited her as well. She shared that mentoring helped her be more patient and more accepting of failure and errors. “It showed me ways to be creative when advising about differences of opinion,” Fi said. Having the opportunity to work with various different entrepreneurs in different industries, and seeing how other business ventures operate has been eye-opening to Fi and she mentioned that it has allowed her to benefit from the experiences of others.
After years of experience inspiring and advising the next generation of entrepreneurs, Fi leaves other mentors with the following tip: “Developing a keen interest in the mentee’s business and getting to know what makes this young entrepreneur tick is important. Plus, finding out the interest and joining in with the goals and ambition of the mentee will not only enhance a mentor’s satisfaction but also derive great satisfaction in a job well done.”
To become a mentor with Futurpreneur Canada like Fi, click here.
Written By: Lauren Marinigh, Social Media & Content Creation Coordinator, Futurpreneur Canada