– VV GROW Harnesses the Potential of Women-Owned Small and Medium-Sized Enterprises to Unlock the Economy in the Middle East and North Africa
AMMAN, Jordan, Oct. 22, 2014 / PRNewswire — Last week, Vital Voices brought together 23 women from across the Middle East and North Africa to participate in business skills training in Jordan, 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 women who run small and medium-sized enterprises in industries including IT, manufacturing and communications with training tailored to their specific needs, helping 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 12-15, participants travelled to Jordan for four days of 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-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.”
Oriana Nasser, a VV GROW Fellow from Palestine said her experience with the program, “has been eye-opening. The program has helped me step back from the details of my business to focus on developing a strategic plan for the future growth of my business. I am better equipped as a leader to streamline my business functions to strategically meet my goals. I have also gained a network of women business owners across the region, who share both similar challenges and a resolve to support one another moving forward.”
Following the in-person training concluding this 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 23 women in the Middle East and North Africa are part of a network of 65 women participating globally this year.
VV GROW provides this customized support through partnerships with experts in its network and partner organizations. To learn more about the 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.