Despite the disruption of the past two years, the Norwest mentoring program continues to foster a culture of collaboration, innovation, and lifelong learning at Norwest.

Now in its third year, the Mulpha-initiated program matches students, graduates, employees, and entrepreneurs, with experienced professionals to meet regularly and discuss their career and personal development, business experience and potential ideas and opportunities.

Mentee Irene Mafara is a Chartered Accountant who works in the education sector. She was teamed up with mentor Greg Robinson, whose expertise is in information technology. Greg’s background includes service delivery, strategic selling and organisational transformation for government, utilities, and education.

Irene’s aspirations were to continue her career in finance, but at the same time launch a start-up business that would foster financial literacy in her extended community.

“My mentoring experience has been amazing. Greg has been a great anchor for me as I have mapped out my future career. I have moved to a new job that aligns with my values, beliefs and vision for the next generation and Greg was instrumental in that process.

“In August I ran a five-week online financial literacy course for teenagers which reached kids from all over the world including Zimbabwe, Britain, Mozambique and South Africa. In the first week I asked them to share their gifts and talents and who they think they will be one day. They had so much passion and courage I thought it would be great to have a mentorship program as part of the work I am doing in the financial literacy space.

“My organisation is Financial Legacy Evolve and its aim is to partner kids with a mentor in the same field or career which they plan to pursue so the kids can actually know it’s possible and work on goals and objectives to inspire and motivate them.”

Greg Robinson became involved in the mentoring program after attending a Mulpha sponsored community meeting regarding Smart City Business and Innovation Hub.

“The best business leaders provide encouragement, guidance and direction to colleagues including staff, customers and other stakeholders. This is mentoring. These same leaders have mentors. Understanding mentoring and adopting this approach in the workplace and at home has a positive influence and achieves better results,” said Greg.

“Irene is very personable, easy to work with and reliable. Most importantly, she has a positive attitude. She also has a clear vision of the business that she is now working to establish (the what), which meant we could focus on the planning (the how) and doing (the when).

Every meeting Irene was prepared and progressed the actions we had previously discussed. During the program, Irene has created marketing material, educational content, a web presence and has established herself as presenter on financial literacy.

“The advantage of an organised program is structure. The Norwest Mentoring program provides support including a mentoring guide. It makes you realise the positive influence you are having and the positive impact the mentee is having on you. I learned something new in each meeting and I’m sure Irene did as well.”

To be involved in 2022’s Norwest Learn Mentoring Program, visit