3.2 Mentors

Mentorship has long been considered a critical part of YEO programming for adolescent girls and young women. Mentors help to enrich girls’ social networks, model positive behavior, expand girls’ understanding of possible life trajectories, and provide girls with access to supportive adults outside their families. Recent evaluations suggest that the positive interactions impact economic outcomes for young people. A recent evaluation of the HP LIFE program found that of several benefits from program participation, mentoring was most likely to correlate with income increase for women. The same was not true for male participants, who seemed to benefit equally or to a greater degree from other interventions 1.

In practical terms, many YEO stakeholders struggle to find the right blend of support and capacity building to ensure mentorship achieves stated goals. In many places, significant operational challenges exist to supporting mentorship components of programs. These may be further complicated in areas where different organizations take different approaches to mentoring. Technology also offers new possibilities for mentorship and connecting AGYW with businesswomen from other countries.

Benefit Correlation with income increase for women Correlation with income increase for men
Encouragement NS p=.370*
Mentoring p=.275** p=.331***
Interaction with others trainees NS p=.353***
New business ideas NS p=.194*


  • 1. HP Life Program