Starting next week, women entrepreneurs and business owners around the globe will leave their families and work obligations behind for week-long trainings in Tanzania, Argentina and Jordan. As the new director of Economic Empowerment at Vital Voices, this is my first experience working with VV GROW fellows to scale their enterprises. I’m looking forward to meeting the real-life women behind the business models and financials, and I’m sure I’ll be inspired by their response to the challenges they face.
The 65 women participating in the training were carefully selected for their leadership qualities and demonstrated commitment to grow their small- and medium-size enterprises (SMEs). Our program defines SMEs as companies at least three years in operation, employing at least three people, and generating at least $40,000 in sales the year prior to application.
The excitement is palpable among the VV GROW team – we are finally going to meet the fellows in person after 15 weeks of virtual interaction. They have completed online courses in business planning, marketing, leadership, networking and financial management.
Now, they’re ready for the in-person trainings to acquire new business skills, make strong connections with other women business owners in their region, and return home with concise action plans that will help them move their companies to the next level.
VV GROW MENA
The VVGROW MENA in-person training in Amman, Jordan last year.
The Vital Voices Middle East North Africa (MENA) team will return to Amman, Jordan for their in-person regional training. The training will bring together 23 women from 10 different countries in the region. The women represent the diversity of the entrepreneurial landscape in MENA. Businesses at the training will include manufacturing, marketing and advertising, fashion design and retail, and education.
VV GROW AFRICA
Last years VV GROW Africa training in Accra, Ghana.
The Vital Voices Africa team heads to Dar es Salaam, Tanzania for their in-person regional training. Nine countries will be represented by 21 businesswomen in Africa. The diversity of businesses is impressive, and includes agriculture, interior design, IT, fashion, real estate and human rights.
VV GROW LAC
VV GROW LAC in-person training in Nicaragua last year.
The Vital Voices Latin America and the Caribbean team is off to Buenos Aires, Argentina for their in-person regional training. Twelve countries will be represented by 21 businesswomen from the LAC region. Among others, we’ll work with women such as Darril Saunders from Trinidad and Tobago, who hopes to continue expanding her chocolate business; and with Ariela Suster from El Salvador, who will learn new skills for building her jewelry design business.
My hope for this class of fellows is that they learn to recognize and nurture their leadership, which will have a positive impact on their business and their community; and to continue to be actively engaged in our Global Leadership Network for years to come.