Mentorship and community are core components of S’well’s DNA. Founder & CEO Sarah Kauss speaks adamantly about the invaluable benefit of having a mentor throughout your professional development. Sarah and S’well were fortunate enough to participate in the 2017 Fortune Most Powerful Women Program, an opportunity to maintain the importance of mentorship and support fellow businesswomen.
Each year, Fortune gathers female entrepreneurs from all corners of the globe to network, connect and participate in a once in a lifetime mentorship program. These extraordinary global business leaders are paired with American business women mentors to get a look inside corporate america, discuss successes and struggles they face, and find camaraderie as they broaden their professional networks.
Sarah was paired to mentor Khulan Davaadorj, a fellow female entrepreneur, who founded LHAMOUR, Mongolia’s first-ever organic skincare line. Both Khulan and Sarah had the opportunity to spend one week exchanging stories of successes and hardships, anecdotes and advice, with each other as well as fellow mentors and mentees.
Below, Sarah Kauss speaks up on the importance of seeking mentorship and some highlights of participating in this year’s program.
Fortune: What have you enjoyed the most about having your mentee at your company?
Sarah Kauss: The synergy has been phenomenal. S’well has answered many of the questions that Khulan currently faces as she scale her business, making it easier to provide tools, information and connections that will hopefully have real impact for LHAMOUR. Plus, it is incredibly rewarding partnering with an entrepreneur that has a shared commitment to positively impacting the world.
F: As an American businesswoman, in your eyes, why is it important to have programs like the Fortune’s MPW/Department of State Global Women’s Mentoring Partnership? How do you make a difference, as a mentor?
SK: It’s all about opportunity. Entrepreneurship is celebrated in America and we all want the start-up owner to win. Not everyone is so lucky. So it is important that we play a role in paying it forward.
For me, this means having a team and network willing to share their wisdom or contacts to offer meaningful opportunities to learn. I’m only one person. But I have at least 99 other amazing team members willing to share their knowledge and get involved.
F: Was there a moment from this mentorship experience that really made an impact on you?
SK: I had the pleasure of introducing Khulan to my dear friend Liz Neumark of Great Performances to discuss something important to her business — organic farming. We were able to have a three-hour, in-depth conversation about all that it entails.
F: Any final thoughts?
SK: Mentorship has been important to my success and it is important to the S’well team. Being able to work with a mentee, as ambitious and authentically committed to her mission as Khulan, has been a wonderful experience.