– VV GROW Harnesses the Potential of Women-Owned Small and Medium-Sized Enterprises to Unlock the Economy in Sub-Saharan Africa
DAR ES SALAAM, Tanzania, Oct. 16, 2014 / PRNewswire – Last week, Vital Voices brought together 20 women from across sub-Saharan Africa to participate in business skills training in Dar es Salaam as part of the second year of the VV GROW Fellowship. Launched last year in partnership with the ExxonMobil Foundation, the VV GROW Fellowship provides tailored training for women who run small and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs) in industries including IT, manufacturing and communications. This training helps them to gain technical and managerial skills, as well as access to networks necessary to grow their businesses.
Over the past 15 weeks, the VV GROW Fellowship has been providing women participants with virtual training in business planning, networking for business professionals, understanding key markets, executive financial management, and leadership. From October 6-9, participants convened in Tanzania for in-person training, during which fellows attended workshops and presented and received feedback on business pitches.
Vital Voices President and CEO Alyse Nelson said that the second year of VV GROW Fellowship builds upon last year’s program and further “enhances the potential of these women business owners to grow their businesses and contribute to the economic growth of local, national and regional economies.”
Christine Kawooya, an SME owner from Uganda, shared, “I have expanded my entrepreneurial network and I am very confident that I will apply the skills I have learned at VV GROW to expand my business and ‘pay it forward’ to others in my community.”
Following the training concluding last week, VV GROW will provide fellows with access to services such as mentoring, business plan reviews, and individualized technical assistance from business experts to help them reach their business goals. These 20 women in Africa are part of a network of 65 women participating in VV GROW globally this year. Last year in Africa, 26 women participated in the first fellowship program.
VV GROW provides this customized support through partnerships with experts in its network, and partner organizations. To learn more about the VV GROW Fellowship and next year’s application cycle please visit vitalvoices.org/VVGROWFellowship.
About Vital Voices Global Partnership
Vital Voices Global Partnership identifies, invests in and brings visibility to women around the world by unleashing their leadership potential to transform lives and accelerate peace and prosperity in their communities. 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. www.vitalvoices.org
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 in developing countries. In 2013, 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.