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

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

  PR Newswire

  ACCRA, Ghana, Nov. 14, 2013

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

ACCRA, Ghana, Nov. 14, 2013 /PRNewswire/ -- This week in Ghana, 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.

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

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."

"The VV GROW training program was one of a kind and allowed us to better
understand our business practices. The program helped us discover our
strengths, potential, and areas for improvement, and it empowered us to become
leaders in our communities," said GROW fellow Eunice Winyi, of Divine Touch
Confectionery and Bakery based in Kampala, Uganda.

To learn more about the GROW Fellowship and next year's application cycle
please visit

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 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 .

See full press release with photo here .

For media enquiries relating to the GROW Fellowship please contact Margaux
Bergen at: or 202 333 1928.

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