Vital Voices Launches the GROW Fellowship, an Innovative Year-Long Program for Women Business Owners

– The GROW Fellowship Will Harness the Potential of Women-Owned Small and Medium Sized Enterprises to Unlock the Economy in the Middle East and North Africa

AMMAN, Jordan, Nov. 4, 2013 / PRNewswire – Last week in Jordan, Vital Voices launched the GROW Fellowship, a one year comprehensive program for women business owners. The GROW Fellowship, which is supported by the ExxonMobil Foundation, will help women small- and medium-sized enterprise (SMEs) owners grow their businesses by combining online learning, in-person training, tailored technical assistance, and follow-on services. The Fellowship’s five modules include business-planning, networking for business professionals, understanding key markets, executive financial management, and leadership and business ethics.

Vital%20Voices%20GROW%20Fellowship%20participants%20in%20Amman%2C%20Jordan%20  %20October%202013. Vital Voices Launches the GROW Fellowship, an Innovative Year Long Program for Women Business Owners

Vital Voices GROW Fellowship participants in Amman, Jordan — October 2013.

(Photo:  http://photos.prnewswire.com/prnh/20131104/NY08607)

This initiative builds on a longstanding partnership between Vital Voices and the ExxonMobil Foundation to support the strategic development of businesswomen’s networks in three regions throughout the world. These growing networks in Africa, the Middle East and Latin America aim to increase the number of women succeeding as entrepreneurs and business leaders and currently reach over 5,000 women.

Vital Voices has been building the capacity of women business leaders for more than 10 years. By helping to strengthen their decision-making power, grow their businesses, and improve their enabling environment Vital Voices has supported thousands of women entrepreneurs all over the world.

Despite the proven benefits of women’s economic engagement in creating more prosperous and secure communities, women business owners face disproportionate barriers in growing their businesses. They have difficulty accessing valuable business networks, technology, training, credit, markets, and equal protection under the law.

There is, however, an opportunity to address these barriers through targeted interventions that are aimed at building the skills of women business owners. These interventions include helping women develop business plans to grow their businesses, connecting them to fellow businesswomen and organizations, and opening up new markets and opportunities to achieve personal and business growth.

Vital Voices President and CEO Alyse Nelson said that the GROW Fellowship will “tap in to the vast potential of these women-owned businesses by providing current, innovative, localized, and practical training and connections to women business owners to grow their businesses and contribute to the economic growth of local, national and regional economies.”

“This experience with the Vital Voices GROW Fellowship has helped me to develop a structured plan for the future growth of my business, while also building my skills and my network. It has put so much about my business and myself into perspective. I know that with the plan, guidance and support of this program, I will continue to grow—in a planned and purposeful way,” said Basma Abdallah Uraiqat of Jordan, a GROW Fellow.

To learn more about the GROW Fellowship and next year’s application cycle please visit vitalvoices.org/GROWFellowship.

About Vital Voices Global Partnership

Vital Voices Global Partnership is a leading non-governmental organization that identifies, invests in and brings visibility to extraordinary women around the world by unleashing their leadership potential to transform lives and accelerate peace and prosperity in their communities. Founded by former U.S. Secretary of State Hillary Clinton in 1997, the organization trains and mentors women leaders as agents of transformative change in economic development, human rights and political participation. The Vital Voices Global Leadership Network includes more than 14,000 leaders representing 144 countries who have trained and mentored 500,000 additional women and girls in their communities.  Visit http://www.vitalvoices.org to learn more.

About the ExxonMobil Foundation

The ExxonMobil Foundation is the primary philanthropic arm of Exxon Mobil Corporation (NYSE:XOM) in the United States. Globally, ExxonMobil and the ExxonMobil Foundation provide funding to improve basic education, promote women as catalysts for development, and combat malaria and other infectious diseases in developing countries. In 2012, together with its employees and retirees, Exxon Mobil Corporation (NYSE:XOM), its divisions and affiliates, and the ExxonMobil Foundation provided $256 million in contributions worldwide.Additional information on ExxonMobil’s community partnerships and contribution programs is available at www.exxonmobil.com/community.

For media enquiries relating to the GROW Fellowship please contact Margaux Bergen at: margauxbergen@vitalvoices.org or +1-202-333-1928.

 

 

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