Application Deadline:September 27, 2021.

The Vital Voices GROW Fellowship is a leading global accelerator program for women owners of small and medium-sized businesses that are making a social impact. Going into the 8th year, this program aims to elevate women business leaders as drivers for economic growth and social change in their communities, countries and the world by helping them grow their businesses and expand their social impact.

Today, there are an estimated 12 million women-owned small and-medium sized businesses around the world, and 7 million of those businesses are in developing countries. Globally, small and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs) represent 45% of full time employment and more than 70% job creation in low- and middle-income countries. But women business owners face disproportionate challenges in accessing the services and support needed to grow their businesses, including financial services, business training, networks and access to markets.

At Vital Voices, we believe that women-owned businesses are a powerful force for inclusive growth and prosperity. By supporting women at the helm of SMEs and businesses, the VV GROW Fellowship helps women create jobs, catalyze economic growth and drive social change around the world.

VV GROW offers customized business skills training, leadership development, technical assistance, and access to networks. Through online trainings, fellows focus on strategy and long-term business value, and put those concepts to work by building action-oriented strategic plans to grow their businesses.

With VV GROW, Fellows gain knowledge and skills in strategic planning, financial management, marketing, sales, strategic networking, leadership, human resources and communications. Fellows receive valuable technical assistance and become part of a supportive global network of women leaders across the Vital Voices global network.

The one-year fellowship includes:   

  1. Virtual Learning: Through a series of webinars, assignments, one-on-one and small group calls, fellows learn about core topics and assess their businesses in order to develop and implement a strategic plan for growth. Throughout the 12 months of virtual learning, fellows gain skills and knowledge to strengthen business operations, identify and prepare for opportunities for growth and successfully achieve long-term sustainable growth.  
  2. Virtual Convening: Fellows participate in online sessions focused on select topics including leadership and personal development. Through dynamic interactive sessions, fellows connect virtually with each other, program partners, guest speakers, Vital Voices trainers and staff, thereby also strengthening their Vital Voices global network. 
  3. Growth Services and Support: During the year, fellows learn about various topics and resources that are critical to achieving their business growth goals. They are connected to opportunities and individualized growth services and support provided by Vital Voices and our partners.  

Requirements

Women entrepreneurs or social entrepreneurs who:  

  • Own a qualifying business that…   
  • Have been operating this business for at least 3 years 
  • Employs at least 1 full-time staff (this can include the applicant) 
  • Generates at least US $40,000 in annual sales 
  • Are proficient in spoken and written English 
  • Have demonstrated leadership and key decision-making authority within their business, and manage the business on an ongoing basis 
  • Have a commitment towards making a positive social impact  
  • If you are involved in more than one business, the above business criteria must apply to the business that you would like to focus on during the fellowship  

Interested applicants:   

  • Are enthusiastic about participating in a one-year business accelerator program  
  • Are motivated to learn new skills and make changes to grow their business 
  • Have the authority to make critical decisions in their business  
  • Are willing to commit to working with Vital Voices to track their business growth during the program  and for up to 3 years afterwards by being responsive and participating in data collection activities including online surveys and phone calls 
  • Are interested in collaborating with and supporting the other women in their cohort   

Benefits

The VV GROW Fellowship is a highly competitive program that provides customized business skills training and support valued at over US $20,000 per participant. Through the fellowship, participants will:  

  • Increase their knowledge, skills, and confidence in strategic planning, financial management, marketing & sales, strategic networking, leadership, human resources, communications and other business related topics 
  • Receive guidance, training and support from global expert business trainers and coaches  
  • Develop valuable relationships with a group of women business leaders from around the world (VV GROW Cohort 9) 
  • Receive referral(s) to business support services and other growth opportunities 
  • Receive a certificate of program completion 
  • Become a member of the Vital Voices Global Leadership Network upon graduation 

Application Procedure

  • Applications are considered until September 27, 2021.
  • Applicants may be asked to participate in a 1-hour Skype interview.
  • All applicants will be notified about final decisions by December 31, 2021.
  • Early applications are strongly encouraged. 

For More Information:

Visit the Official Webpage of the Vital Voices (VV) GROW Fellowship 2022

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