European Council for Small Business and Entrepreneurship
Engaged entrepreneurship research in Europe

ECSB Career Mentoring

ECSB Career Mentoring is aimed at early and mid-career researchers.

Academic careers are becoming increasingly complex, dynamic, and international. Demands on academics for publishing, raising funding and providing high quality teaching are increasing, and academics need to adjust by carefully contemplating and planning their careers, activities, and work-life balance.

In the ECSB Career Mentoring Programme, we help researchers navigate their career challenges by having experienced researchers and professors advise you on your personal career development for six months. A mentor supports you by listening to you, discussing your personal goals with you, providing encouragement, information, and contacts. Mentoring can assist you with assessing your experiences and achievements and considering your future options and choices.

 See the ECSB Career Mentoring eFlyer (pdf)


Why should I participate? Mentoring can assist you with assessing your experiences and achievements and considering your future options and choices. The key goal of mentoring is to support, guide and influence the professional development and direction of the mentee. Mentors are experienced people who go out of their way to assist you in clarifying your vision and personal goals.

How does ECSB Career Mentoring work? Based on your expectations and interests, ECSB will assign a mentor to you. The programme officially starts on 1 January, for a duration of six months. It is your responsibility, as a mentee, to initiate and maintain the mentoring assignment. That means that you and your mentor will agree on individual goals for the mentoring process as well as the frequency of (virtual, phone or face-to-face) meetings. Both mentees and mentors participate on a voluntary basis in this programme.

Am I eligible? To be eligible, you need to be an ECSB member – in case you are not a member you can apply for membership HERE. You will also have

  1. (preferably) finished your doctoral thesis within the 8 years preceding the application deadline for early career mentoring or
  2. (preferably) have finalized your doctoral studies 8 years or more prior to the application deadline and have been employed in an academic institution for more than 6 years for mid-career mentoring.

Where can I apply? Complete the application HERE  and send a short CV to the ECSB Secretariat ( Once your assignment is finished, ECSB may ask you for some feedback, so that we can learn from your experiences. The annual application deadline is November 30, 2023.

Questions? Send an email to Steffen Korsgaard ( for queries related to the early career mentoring and to Silke Tegtmeier ( for queries related to the mid-career mentoring.


Why should I become a mentor? You will receive personal satisfaction from contributing to the development of the mentee, and also be able to share your own experiences and knowledge. Additionally, you have a possibility to learn from your mentee and acquire new perspectives.

What are my responsibilities? You will be assigned a mentee for six months. You will agree with your mentee on the frequency of meetings which can take place face-to-face or in a virtual environment. Your responsibility is to listen to mentee issues, problems, and challenges, be open to offer advice and share your successes and failures, your own solutions to your challenges, but let them make their own decisions. After the assignment, ECSB may ask for some feedback, so that we can learn from your mentoring experiences.

Where can I sign up? Please send an e-mail to Steffen Korsgaard ( or Silke Tegtmeier (, stating in which areas you could offer advice. ECSB will maintain your profile and will be responsible for your assignment to a mentee. No obligation will be put onto you to take on a mentee if you feel you will not be able to provide the professional development, they seek advice on.

“Acting as a mentor for the ECSB mentor programme is a wonderful opportunity to get to know and support colleagues in our field. It is a supportive and engaging process underpinned by mutual respect and learning.  The process unveils collaborative opportunities, new research themes and approaches as well as expanding and deepening our network of wonderful researchers in entrepreneurship.” – Mentor 2023

“I found the mid-career mentoring to be extraordinarily beneficial. I was so grateful to have a fantastic mentor who was always available for advice and suggestions and had a vast knowledge of the academic environment. She was incredibly helpful, and her guidance gave me the confidence to face the next challenges in my career.” – Mentee 2023

“Being a mentor in the ECSB Career Mentoring Program has been an enriching experience. Guiding a promising researcher’s professional journey with insights drawn from my own path has been truly rewarding. The program’s emphasis on holistic development and the exchange of perspectives with mentees has also impacted my personal growth. If you are contemplating mentorship, I encourage you to explore the ECSB Career Mentoring Program. It is a fantastic opportunity to guide the next generation of researchers, share your wisdom, and cultivate a community of growth and support in a meaningful way.” – Mentor 2023

“I had the privilege of being part of the ECSB mentorship program, and I can confidently say that the guidance and support have been instrumental in shaping my academic career as a working mom. Through the mentorship sessions, I got invaluable insights and strategies for balancing the demands of academia and motherhood. Her deep understanding of the challenges faced by working moms allowed her to offer tailored advice and practical solutions that empowered me to navigate complex situations. Thanks to my mentor, I have gained the confidence, skills, and perspective needed to excel both professionally and personally as a working mom in academia.” – Mentee 2023

“I’m very grateful for being accepted to this program. My mentor made an absolutely fantastic job in helping me outline goals for the next stage of my career and a detailed plan how to achieve those goals. His advice was very helpful and concrete. Our conversations were a great source of inspiration for me. I didn’t know it was possible to accomplish so much within six months.” – Mentee 2017

“People ask why do I give my time to Mentoring. The answer is very simple – it is because I receive so much in return for my contribution. I receive satisfaction in helping people at different stages of their career, I receive knowledge in terms of their research activity, I receive new network contacts that are beneficial to my work and I receive opportunities for collaboration. Given that I receive more than I give, why would I not do it?” – Mentor 2017

“The ECSB Career Mentoring gave me the chance, to discuss my further career strategy with an experienced (and amazing!) researcher in my field of interest. We are still in contact and think about possible collaborations. I would recommend the Career Mentoring as a way to build one’s professional network and broaden one’s mind.” – Mentee 2016

“A wonderful opportunity to get to know the “next generation” in entrepreneurship research and to create new research collaborations” – Mentor 2011