The VV Accelerator for Women Entrepreneurs is a highly competitive one-year accelerator program for women owners of small and medium businesses in Latin America and the Caribbean, the Middle East and North Africa, and sub-Saharan Africa.
The program includes customized business skills training, technical assistance, leadership development, and access to networks to grow their businesses 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 create jobs, stimulate long-term economic growth and produce wider social benefits.
The one-year program includes:
- Global Virtual Learning: Over 4 months, fellows complete a series of weekly webinars, assignments, online courses, assessments, and one-on-one calls with peers, Vital Voices staff, and trainers. Fellows begin to build their knowledge about marketing, networking, business planning, financial management and leadership, the core topics of the program. Fellows assess the current state of their business and leadership in order to determine where they are; analyze their business to identify opportunities for growth; and define specific business growth goals to identify where they want to go.
- Regional In-Person Training: Each year, fellows from each region gather in one country in their region to participate in a four-day, in-person training workshop that will guide them in creating an action plan outlining how they will accomplish their business growth goals. Fellows also get the opportunity to meet, network with, and learn from other fellows from their region, Vital Voices staff and trainers.
- Growth Services and Support: Following the in-person training, fellows carry out their action plans, revise them, and evaluate their progress towards their growth goals. Throughout the last 6 months of the fellowship, Vital Voices staff connects fellows to individualized growth services and support based on the goals and action items in their action plan
Who can apply?
Women business owners in Latin America and the Caribbean, the Middle East and North Africa, and Sub-Saharan Africa, who:
- Own a business that has been in operation for at least 3 years,
- Employ at least 3 full time staff, and
- Generate at least USD $40,000 in annual sales
- Reside in the same country as your business for at least 7 months out of the year
- Are proficient in spoken and written English
- As an interested applicant, you:
- Are motivated to build the skills and make the changes needed to grow your business
- Have the authority to make critical decisions within your business
- Have demonstrated leadership within your community
- Are enthusiastic about participating in a one-year business accelerator program
- Are willing to have Vital Voices track your business growth for 1 year during the Fellowship, and up to 5 years afterwards and are committed to participate in data collection methods including online surveys and phone calls
- What will You receive through the program?
- Strengthened knowledge, skills, and confidence in 5 core areas: business planning, leadership, financial management, networking, and marketing
- Access to highly qualified staff and business consultants
- Access to 12 online business management and leadership courses through Harvard Business School Publishing’s online platform, Harvard Manage Mentor (HMM) for one year
- Interactive webinars led by expert trainers from across the globe
- A 4-day in-person, regional training workshop
- Joining a network of women business leaders from across the globe
- Referral(s) to business support services tailored to your needs
- A certificate of program completion
- Entry into the Vital Voices Global Leadership Network upon graduation
- What do I commit to as a fellow?
- Active participation throughout the program
- 4-7 hours per week dedicated to webinars, assignments and calls during the global virtual learning stage (January-May 2018)
- Attending the entirety of the 4-day regional in person training workshop in May-June 2018
- 2-3 hours per week during the growth services and support stage of the program (June-December 2018)
- Collaborating with Vital Voices on tracking your business growth during the fellowship and for up to five years afterwards via completion of brief, periodic online surveys, and phone calls To apply, please visit the application portal and fill out the required information.To learn more, please visit the website of the VV Accelerator for Women Entrepreneurs.
- Good luck as you apply!
- Deadline for all Applications: August 31, 2017
- What happens after I apply? Applicants selected for an interview will be contacted for a 1-hour Skype interview. All applicants, whether or not selected for an interview, will be notified about final decision by December 15, 2017.