Vital Voices GROW Fellowship 2016 Application

Why did Vital Voices create the VV GROW Fellowship?

There are an estimated 12 million women owned small-and medium-businesses around the world, 7 million of which are located in developing countries. These businesses and the women who lead them have the potential to be a powerful force for building prosperity through GDP growth and job creation. While the potential for economic contributions are significant, women business owners face challenges in accessing the support services they need to grow, such as access to networks, training, financing and markets. With generous support from the ExxonMobil Foundation, Vital Voices created the VV GROW Fellowship, the only accelerator of its kind to partner with women business leaders to address their key obstacles to growth and to enhance their leadership impact.
What is the VV GROW Fellowship?

The Vital Voices GROW Fellowship is a highly competitive one-year accelerator program for women owners of small- and medium-sized businesses. The program includes customized business skills training, technical assistance, leadership development, and access to networks to grow their business and increase their leadership impact. Through global and regional online and in-person interventions, fellows focus on strategy and long-term business value paired with action-oriented plans. They amplify their role as leaders in their businesses and their communities to ultimately create jobs, stimulate long-term economic growth and produce wider social benefits.
Who participates in the VV GROW Fellowship?

The VV GROW Fellowship works with women that have owned and operated their businesses for at least three years, employ a minimum of three full-time employees, generate an annual revenue of no less than $40,000, have demonstrated leadership within their community and have authority to make critical decisions within their businesses. Fellows are driven to build skills and make changes to grow their businesses. They are also committed to “paying forward” the investment Vital Voices makes in them through a variety of means, such as through taking their knowledge, skills and expertise and sharing it with others, increasing the number and influence of women role models in their businesses and communities.

What results has Vital Voices seen so far?
65% of fellows experienced positive growth in yearly sales during the fellowship period. Fellows also saw a 9% growth in the number of full time and part time employees.
97% of fellows made connections they believed were going to be useful in growing their business, including with business owners and technical experts, demonstrating the value of business networks in achieving growth goals
Through pay it forward activities, fellows trained 965 people and mentored 718 people, taking the investment made in them and multiplying it across their communities, further increasing their leadership impact.
99% of the fellows made changes to improve productivity in their business, such as creating or implementing a strategic growth plan, developing or modifying a product, improving financial record keeping, marketing and communications, and improving costing or pricing processes.
Who are the partners for the VV GROW Fellowship?

The VV GROW Fellowship would not be possible without the generous support of our global, regional and local partners. For the past 10 years Vital Voices has been supporting the growth and leadership development of women business owners throughout Latin America and the Caribbean, the Middle East and North Africa and sub-Saharan Africa in partnership with the founding global partner of the VV GROW Fellowship, the ExxonMobil Foundation. JW Marriott Hotels & Resorts generously serves as the global hotel partner for the VV GROW Fellowship, expanding upon a history of strong support for women’s economic empowerment and leadership.

The application deadline for each region is as follows:
Latin America and the Caribbean: January 31, 2016
Middle East and North Africa: January 31, 2016
Sub-Saharan Africa: January 31, 2016

This application should take between 45 minutes to one hour to complete; however, you will be able to save your answers and return to the application at any time. To do this just click the “Save and continue survey later” message that appears at the top of the application and provide your email address. You will then receive an email with a personal link which you should use to return to your application.

Your personal and business information will remain confidential. Individual responses are only seen by Vital Voices staff and VV GROW trainers and they are used solely for program participant selection, program design, and monitoring and evaluation.

If selected, please note that interview slots and program acceptance is NON-TRANSFERABLE. The applicant may not transfer or share interview or program participation with another owner or employee of the business.


If you encounter questions or problems with the survey, please send an email to bergermarguerite(at) with the subject line: VV GROW Fellowship Application

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This material is cross-posted from the Peace and Collaborative Development Network, and appears to be an interesting opportunity for the Humphrey community.   This is meant for information sharing purposes only. 
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