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GAP NYC 2020 Call for Mentee Applications


The Global Ambassadors Program (GAP) is designed for women entrepreneurs and social entrepreneurs – providing mentorship, training and a network of support to help grow your business/organization and your personal development.  The program includes one-on-one mentoring sessions and strategic workshops focused on building organizational management, financial acumen and leadership skills.

The program is a partnership between Vital Voices, a leading NGO in women’s leadership and development and Bank of America, based on a shared belief in the need to invest in women who are creating economic and social progress around the world.

The New York City 2020 Global Ambassadors Program will take place from 4th to 8th May 2020 and will focus on women who are providing solutions to climate change and environmental sustainability such as renewable energy, the reduction of greenhouse gases, zero-waste products, climate-resilient food production etc.
For reference, some examples of women within the Vital Voices network who are engaged in this area include :

  • Brianne West, a New Zealand entrepreneur and founder of Ethique, the world's first zero-waste beauty brand. By using 100% naturally-derived biodegradable ingredients and compostable packaging, Ethique estimates that they have saved over 6 million plastic bottles from winding up in a landfill to date.
  • Leah Lizarondo, co-founder of 412 Food Rescue in the US, partnering with food retailers and other suppliers to pick up their healthy surplus food and deliver it to community nonprofit organizations. Food waste and organic matter in landfills produces 18% of U.S. methane emissions, a potent greenhouse gas. Greenhouse gas emissions from food loss and waste is second only to road transport in its impact.
  • Habiba Ali, founder, managing director and CEO of Sosai Renewable Energies, an innovative company that brings reliable and affordable renewable energy products such as solar lamps, solar home systems and water filters to those in Nigeria who need it most.
  • Dr Shimrit Perkol-Finkel, an Israeli marine biologist created ECOncrete with Dr. Ido Sella to protect and rejuvenate coastlines and marine life. The low-carbon, bio-enhanced concrete is custom-made for urban waterfronts, port redevelopment projects, and offshore energy platforms.

  • Applications will be accepted through Sunday 8th March 2020

What you will receive:
  • One week in-person training program in New York City, including:
    • Strategic Planning for Business Growth
    • Financial Management
    • Human Resource Management
    • Communications workshops including Branding, Social & Digital Media, Public Speaking and Executive Presence
    • Participation in Bank of America’s Center for Women Entrepreneurs LIVE event
  • A 1:1 mentoring relationship with an established woman executive.  Previous mentors include: Donna Langley, Chairman, Universal Filmed Entertainment Group; Ibukun Awosika, Chairman, Board of Directors, First Bank of Nigeria Ltd.; Dr. Sachiko Kuno, President and CEO, S&R Foundation; Luz Maria de la Mora, Undersecretary for Foreign Trade, Mexico’s Secretariat of Economy; Manal Zraiq, General Director, Massar International; Ana Birchall, Deputy Prime Minister of Romania; Norah Casey, Broadcaster, Author, Publisher.
  • Inclusion in the Vital Voices network of more than 16,000 women from 181 countries and territories around the world.
  • Opportunity for cross-cultural exchange with women from around the globe.
  • Opportunities for your business/organization to be profiled via digital channels, social media and in earned media coverage.
  • On-going support and mentorship, specific to your needs,  through the Global Ambassadors Program for 1+ year

Applicant Criteria:
  • A woman entrepreneur or social entrepreneur who owns a majority stake in a qualifying business / organization, is the key decision maker in the business / organization and manages it on a day-to-day basis 
  • The applicant must have a minimum of 10 years of experience in a professional setting
  • The applicant must have worked in her existing business / organization for a minimum of 5 years
  • Proficient in English
  • Demonstrate a commitment to the core principles of the “Vital Voices’ Leadership Model” -   Innovative, collaborative, and driven by a clear sense of mission; engaged in their communities and are committed to advancing the status of women and girls. 
  • Demonstrate high-potential for leadership and a desire to take on leadership roles both within and outside of their business / organization
Please note, very important - if you are involved in more than one business / organization, the above criteria must apply to the business / organization that you would like to focus on during this mentorship opportunity

Entry Criteria:
  • For profit or social entrepreneur of a legally registered business / organization+ (for this program, a social enterprise is a business / organization with a social mission and an earned revenue stream) that is engaged in providing solutions to climate change and environmental sustainability.
  • Should have a minimum annual revenue of at least US$ 150,000 and a maximum annual revenue of US$ 10 million
Not eligible for this program:
  • Non-profit or Non-Governmental organization (NGO’s)
  • Start-up or early stage businesses

  • 10 applicants will be chosen to participate and notified by mid to late March 2020
  • Applications will be assessed to determine participants based on a variety of factors, including the following considerations:
    • Ability to commit to the entire week of in-person program,  training, mentorship  and pre-event webinars – no exceptions
    • Submitted Business / Strategic Plan and identified needs for development
    • Alignment with the Vital Voices Leadership model
    • Willingness to accept feedback and coaching from mentors
    • Ability to implement change within her business/organization
    • Anticipated impact on business or organization based on application
    • Willingness to help shape the community dialogue about women’s advancement in their region, and wield the influence necessary to do so.

Applicants are required to:
  • Complete and submit this online Application Questionnaire
  • Submit a two-minute video  (described in the last section of this application)

All travel, meals and accommodation costs for mentees participating in this program are covered in full by the Global Ambassadors Program

This online application process may take up to 1 hour to complete. Applications should be submitted by Sunday 8th March, 2020. Any incomplete applications, or any applications received after Sunday 8th March, 2020, may not be considered. Applications submitted without the 2 minute video will not be considered.

If you need to exit the survey before finishing it, please click "save and continue later" at the top of the page. This will allow you to enter an email address to receive a link to your partially completed application.

Thank you

To learn more about the Global Ambassadors Program visit:

Program Participation Commitment:

Please indicate below your willingness to commit to program requirements.

VERY IMPORTANT *** PLEASE NOTE : if you have more than one business / organization, please complete the information below regarding the business/organization THAT YOU WOULD LIKE TO FOCUS ON during this mentorship opportunity if you are selected to participate in the program. 

1. Successful applicants (mentees) who are accepted to participate in this program will be expected to make a full commitment to the following: *This question is required.
A. Complete a baseline survey which goes into more detail about your professional experience, organizational goals, your work-related skills, mentorship experience and community engagement. This survey will be completed and submitted to Vital Voices before Monday 23rd March 2020 *This question is required.
B. Participate in approximately 5 to 6 Program Orientation / Preparation online webinars between the months of March and April 2020 (a webinar is an online event that will be hosted by Vital Voices and broadcast to the select group of participating mentees through their computers via the Internet) *This question is required.
C. Submit this organization’s completed business plan to Vital Voices before Monday 20th April 2020 *This question is required.
D. Submit all required documentation that may be requested, in English, e.g. business plan, financial reports etc.
Documentation will treated with the utmost confidentiality and will include :
  • Completed business plan, to be submitted by Monday 20th April 2020
  • Supporting financial documents, such as most recent Financial Audit, Profit & Loss sheets, 2 year Cash Flow projections (allows for your mentor to better understand your organization)
  • Your organization / company logo (may be used in the training session on Branding & Marketing)
*This question is required.
E. Participate in the Global Ambassadors Program’s full week of events and activities taking place in New York City, USA. Participants will be expected to arrive before 3pm on Sunday, 3rd May 2020 and will depart on the morning of Saturday, 9th May 2020. *This question is required.
F. Work with Vital Voices to track the growth of this organization through methods such as Monitoring & Evaluation (M&E) surveys, phone and/or Skype calls etc for two full years after participating in the program in New York City (the M&E surveys will be required at 6 months, 12 months and 24 months)
Your individual and business information will remain confidential. *This question is required.
G. Remain in contact with Vital Voices after participation in the program in order to share success stories etc *This question is required.
2. Are you the key decision-maker in this business / organization ? i.e. the Managing Director / Executive Director / Chief Executive Officer / Proprietor / Founder etc. (this means that the next level that you might be reporting to would be outside of the daily management of this organization, for example, a Board of Directors) *This question is required.
3. Is the revenue of this business / organization above US$ 150,000 and below US$10 million per year ? *This question is required.
4. Is this business / organization / social enterprise legally registered, with an earned revenue stream ?

  *This question is required.
5. Do you currently have at least 10 years of experience in a professional setting ? *This question is required.
6. Have you worked in this business / organization for at least 5 years ? *This question is required.
7. If I am selected to participate as a mentee in this Global Ambassadors Program, I give my consent to Vital Voices to conduct a routine background check and I understand that it may contain information about my employment and educational background, character and personal reputation.   *This question is required.