Oct 16 - Oct 24, 2015
Open Hands Fellowship for Young Women Entrepreneurs
Amman, Jordan


The Open Hands Initiative is committed to bringing people together from culturally distinct parts of the world, to find common ground, and build lasting relationships.  They are very aware of the economic power of women as a force of stability and growth in communities, and are eager to focus some of their resources on the development of women entrepreneurs as young leaders, through the development of lasting ties between people from culturally and geographically diverse regions. OHI has a track record of conducting similar program addressing different issues from journalism to dealing with physical challenges. For more information on the OHI, please see their website www.openhandsinitiative.org . The application to this first program for entrepreneurs is also located on their web site.

This Women’s Entrepreneurship Program will take place this October 16th  – 24th, in Amman, Jordan, as a focal point for the region, with 20 entrepreneurs (10 US and 10 Jordanian) invited to learn in fellowship with each other over seven days.  The opportunity is phenomenal for the selected entrepreneurs, with all expenses paid by the Open Hands Initiative, and four grants of $25,000 each awarded at the end of the program to four entrepreneurs (two American, two Jordanian) whose business plans stand to have the most positive opportunity and impact. The participants will also have unique personal experiences including time for cultural information exchanges, and even an excursion to Petra. 

I am reaching out to ask if you can send this invitation along to your member incubators and promote to early stage female entrepreneurs.  We are being flexible about the age criteria (ideally 20 to 30) as we are being approached by a number of good potential candidates in their early 30s.  In addition, while we are interested in companies which may have some business attribute relevant to the MENA region, this is not a requirement.  The program offers amazing training as well as unique and priceless cultural experience and exchange.  

We seek applicants who are beyond the idea stage, and bring at least 9 months of operating experience from their business.

The program will provide very practical hands on training, including the development of pitch packages, and all of the associated elements required in the thoughtful development of the business plan and model. Participants will learn more about the many roads ahead – from the mechanics of fund raising Series A and beyond, to social entrepreneurship options, to leadership and governance.  Most of the program will be taught by Angel Resource Institute lead instructors with dozens of years of experience in all matters related to company establishment and growth. The entire program will be in English. The difference is, it will be learning while also learning about another culture (from both sides), and about the market dynamics in these two different cultures. 

The ideal outcome will be the successful fostering of 20 young enterprises – with the audacious goal of finding an entrepreneur or two who could be a game changer for the region, in concert with fellow entrepreneurs in the US, both learning and mentoring new colleagues. 

Call to Action:  Please take a few moments to consider who you know, who would be a stellar applicant, and benefit greatly from this opportunity.  The deadline for submission is midnight, July 15, 2015 (though we may extend if necessary).

It’s an honor to be a participant as a program leader.  I will keep you posted on the applicants and the final outcome, and look forward to any input you may have in addition to your applicants.  Please direct applicants to http://openhandsinitiative.org/projectAreas/womensEntrepreneurship.html