Boasting about his relationship with YBTT  which began about three to four years ago as a Mentor, Marlon Espinoza reminisces on his long, yet historic and fulfilling  experience in  nurturing and motivating young entrepreneurs. “YBTT developed an ideal model of promoting mentorship which is customer-friendly and timely” said Marlon; he firmly believes that mentorship is about giving back and not a job.

“YBTT developed an ideal model of promoting mentorship which is customer-friendly and timely” said Marlon; he firmly believes that mentorship is about giving back and not a job.

According to Marlon “YBTT knows exactly what it’s doing as putting humans with humans creates an opportunity to spark unique synergies which are the underlying pillar of successful mentorship relationships.” He lauds YBTT as a small organization creating a huge national impact especially in the area of mentorship.  Marlon is particularly heartened by the organization’s response to the young entrepreneurial community in light of the Covid-19 pandemic, that was offered through a group mentorship initiative which he affirms resonates strongly with the people component of entrepreneurship.

Describing the Covid-19 crisis as hard-hitting for young entrepreneurs …”entrepreneurship may have been their only choice at the time; however, youths do not have the level of maturity and resilience like older individuals and therein lies the challenge which was softened by this group mentorship initiative” said Marlon.

Shaking Up the Ecosystem

Based on his analysis of the current market environment, Marlon laments that Covid-19 has certainly pushed the re-set button in the entrepreneurial ecosystem forcing players to re-examine conventional business models adding “business processes are becoming more efficient as many transactions are being done virtually; young entrepreneurs would be more inclined to adapt easily to do business in this new dispensation.”

What’s in the Entrepreneurial Charisma?

Alongside the forthrightness that is built within Marlon’s character,  young entrepreneurs are usually attracted by the special kind of charisma that he exudes when connecting with them Why? “I usually share real stories with young entrepreneurs because I’ve also led a very interesting life and so, I try as much as possible to avoid the use of text book language and instead keep conversations real, believable and most importantly honest.” 

Mentorship equates Passion!

“If money is your goal then mentorship is not for you” – a firm belief shared by Marlon as he describes the characteristics of mentors. They must possess high levels of generosity and passion if they’re serious about helping young entrepreneurs along their journey of success. He is also convinced that mentors must know the difference between sympathy and empathy. According to Marlon “mentorship is a 24/7 task and he does not want to corrupt his attitude and approach by accepting payment.” He adds that the combination of mentorship skills and entrepreneurship is very rare, and therefore, one must have a certain level of empathy before becoming an effective mentor. Marlon’s love for mentorship has evolved into supporting YBTT’s efforts in further enhancing the program to assist mentees to develop a franchising model that would result in a multitude of opportunities; creation of a mentee directory with contact details and photos and support from exporTT in sponsoring trade missions.