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VV GROW Fellowship 2022 Application

About the VV GROW Fellowship

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. The program provides customized business skills training, leadership development, technical assistance, and access to networks and connections. Going into its 9th 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. Through online trainings, fellows focus on long-term business strategy paired with action-oriented strategic plans to grow their businesses. They amplify their roles as leaders in their businesses and their communities creating jobs, stimulating economic growth and producing wider social benefits. 
 
Through the program, participants gain knowledge and skills in strategic planning, financial management, marketing & sales, strategic networking, leadership, human resources and communications. They receive valuable technical assistance and support, and become members of a valuable global network of women business owners and the broader Vital Voices network of more than 18,000 of women leaders around the world. 
 
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.  


Who can apply? 
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   

What will you receive from the program? 
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 

To learn more about the VV GROW Fellowship’s unique value and impact, learn about the journey of five VV GROW fellows and their experiences with the program here
 
Also, learn about other VV GROW fellows from Nigeria and the US in California and Baltimore
 
What are the program expectations and what do fellows commit to as part of their participation?  

  • Dedicate 2-7 hours per week (January - December 2022) for webinars, homework assignments and phone calls 
  • Attend the entire 3-day virtual convening in summer 2022 (date TBD)  
  • Submit surveys and participate in phone calls with Vital Voices  

What are the participation costs?  
If accepted into the program, there is a participation fee between US $1,500 to $5,000, based on the size and revenue of your primary business.  Payment plans and some need-based scholarships will be available. 
 

Scholarships  
A limited number of scholarships will be available. If you are interested in being considered for a scholarship, please select “Apply for a scholarship” and answer the corresponding questions. Successful applicants will be informed of the result of their scholarship application upon notification of program acceptance. 

Additional information about the participation fee will be provided upon the completion of your application.  
 
What happens after I apply? 
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. 

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