A female-led initiative is launching an online platform called 'Meet Your Maven,' to hire out their expertise for mentorship opportunities to women around the world
- A group of Australian female entrepreneurs are launching a web platform to make female-led mentorship opportunities available to women around the world, from the comfort of their own homes.
- The platform, called "Meet Your Maven," connects women with other global industry leaders and allows them to "hire out" their expertise in 45-minute blocks via in-person meetings or video calls.
- Launched by Melbourne-based collective The League of Extraordinary Women on August 31, the platform hopes to enable an unlimited number of global connections between women, whether they be self-employed or climbing the corporate ladder.
MELBOURNE - A group of Australian female entrepreneurs want to make women-led mentorship opportunities available to women around the world, from the comfort of their own homes.
The League of Extraordinary Women, a collective of female business leaders from across Australia that began in 2011, are launching a female-focused mentor platform on August 31. The platform, titled "Meet Your Maven," will provide women with the opportunity to "hire" out their expertise in 45 minutes blocks, inspiring global connections between female executives and aspiring leaders alike.
Sheryl Thai, the founder and former director of Cupcake Central, who left her business this April to focus full-time on building the tech platform with the League of Extraordinary Women, said she was inspired to create the platform after having countless conversations with other female friends who lamented about a lack of mentorship opportunities available to women around the world.
"Every idea that's evolved out of the League has come from just listening to what women want and bringing women together," Thai told Business Insider.
She explained that while talking to a fellow female entrepreneur in Hobart, Tasmania, she realized there was a gap in opportunities available for women to connect with other women in business and approach them for advice on how to avoid common mishaps or navigate hurdles.
"We just looked back on the last four or five years and saw how far we've come, and we just thought 'man, wouldn't it be awesome if we had that ability to connect with women that have been where we want to go?'" she said.
Thai and her fellow female executives would frequently get approached by women asking to meet up for coffee to exchange knowledge or ask for advice, and she realized there was a need for an online community.
"We've now found ourselves in the position where women are emailing us asking to meet up for coffee, can we catch up for lunch. As much as we want to do it and love to do it, we can't do it all the time," she said.
"I found myself thinking: 'I wish there was some sort of platform that connects us together, but in a way that we could also get paid because our time is valuable.'"
The world's first female-focused tech mentorship platform
In doing market research, Thai found that a platform exclusively for female mentorship opportunities did not yet exist. She said that her experiences with the League of Extraordinary Women helped her realize that so many purpose-driven women are eager to reach out to successful female leaders but often do not have the opportunities to engage with them directly.
"During my own journey, I experienced a desire to learn from other women who had skills and expertise I wanted to tap into but I didn't have a genuine way to connect with them. This platform offers both parties a way to engage for mutual benefit," Thai said.
She said the name "Meet Your Maven" expressed a way of endowing knowledge and expertise onto others that is unique to women.
"I do think women teach and pass on knowledge differently to others," she told Business Insider.
Currently, the program has six Australia-based mentors, including Amanda Leigh Walker, the founder of Australia's multi-million dollar vegan international fast-food franchise Lord of the Fries, available for 45-minute mentoring sessions in-person or by video or voice call. The cost of the meeting will vary depending on their level of expertise and demand, making it a potentially lucrative business opportunity for women who are willing to share their skill-set with others.
Other leading female entrepreneurs on the platform include Sarah Riegelhuth, the founder of Wealth Enhancers and Grow My Team, Mia Klitsas, the co-founder of Moxie and The Brand Maketh, and Liz Volpe, the founder of Zest Possibilities, Project Gen Z and Ambisie.
Thai said the platform could be utilized by anyone from anywhere in the world, whether they're emerging female business owners who want advice on an upcoming proposal, or leaders in their field who take maternity leave and can offer up mentor opportunities from the comfort of their own home.
"Because it's online, people can do it from anywhere in the world," she said, on her plans for expanding globally. "It's really limitless."