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The bell is being rung, indicating 10 minutes are up at a speed mentoring event. Senior bank officials from CIBC met with foreign-born professionals seeking employment and advice.

Ashley Hutcheson

On March 27 and 28, a group of experts and 100 young people convened at Toronto's Metro Hall for a two-day conference hosted by Young Social Entrepreneurs of Canada (YSEC), in partnership with social innovation advisory service MaRS, "to equip a diverse core of leaders with the skills, resources and community essential for creating projects with lasting impact."

The goal of the re:Vision conference was to leave participants with "practical know-how, new lenses for project design, and a wealth of earned knowledge that can be applied to their initiatives."

Cheryl May, advisor and practice lead of social innovation at MaRS, describes re:Vision as "a tremendous force because it brings youth into the realm of social entrepreneurship, and when I see the enormous movement of people who are embracing social entrepreneurship, I am buoyed by the knowledge that the future is in good hands."

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A number of mentors were in attendance, and The Globe and Mail's Your Business asked three of them to write opinion pieces on mentoring. They were tasked with the following: Why is mentoring important, and how did you first get involved in it? Here are links to their essays:

Mentoring adds value for both parties, by Mark Simpson, the founder and co-ordinator of The Institute of Entrepreneurship and Community Innovation.

New model of mentorship is networked, by Tonya Surman, a co-founder and executive director of the Centre for Social Innovation, whose mission is to catalyze, inform and support social mission projects that use collaborative and entrepreneurial strategies to advance our social and environmental wellbeing.

'I don't believe in mentorship,' by Nathaniel Whittemore, the founder of Assetmap, a platform for sharing and leveraging the social capital that exists within every community.

YSEC is a registered non-profit. For additional information, visit or email

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