Date of Conferral



Doctor of Business Administration (D.B.A.)




Anne Davis


Successful small businesses are critical to the success of the global economy, but they continue to fail at high rates. Mentoring is a technique proven to improve the performance of new entrepreneurs and their businesses. Building on the conceptual framework of adult learning theory, the purpose of this multiple case study was to explore how millennial generation small business owners participating in the Futurpreneur mentoring program used mentors to improve the performance of their small businesses. Data included semistructured interviews with 6 successful participants of the mentoring program, experience profiles of these participants, and public information about Futurpreneur. The intent was to examine the phenomenon from a Canadian perspective, drawing from unique perspectives of program participants previously identified as success stories. Manual coding, cross case comparison, and thematic analysis revealed a variety of salient themes. Themes supported the tenets of adult learning theory and existing literature on mentoring. The primary themes that emerged were (a) Futurepreneur mentors played common roles in successful mentoring relationships and (b) there are common conditions for building healthy mentoring relationships within the Futurepreneur program. Implications for positive social change include improving how entrepreneurs select and learn from mentors, how mentors approach mentoring relationships, and how mentoring organizations design mentoring programs for millennial generation entrepreneurs.