Woman Entrepreneur Fellowship

With our focus on advancing the wellbeing of women, the Junior League of New Orleans believes that increasing women’s business opportunities improves the local economy. One way to cultivate entrepreneurial success is access to mentors and advisors. JLNO’s membership includes a diverse, professional cadre that can motivate and guide women wishing to scale their businesses. Combining our mission tenets of developing the potential of women and improving communities, JLNO has created the Woman Entrepreneur (WE) Fellowship. This yearlong program will support a female business owner with mentoring and in-kind services sourced through JLNO’s membership. Guidance will include

  • Legal / Human Resources
  • Accounting / Financial Analysis
  • Investor Development
  • Marketing / Communications
  • Management / Organizational Consulting

Collaboration with the WE Fellow will determine focused goals within these broad areas for a plan addressing her business’s specific needs. The WE Fellowship also provides a $7500 grant, access to work/meeting space, nonprofit board training, and marketing opportunities with JLNO’s membership.

The WE Fellowship is supported by generous donations from Fidelity Bank, Vinson Guard Service, Inc., and Trepwise.


Eligibility

  • The business-owner should be a woman who is
    • The majority stakeholder in the enterprise or 50/50 with a spouse and functions as its daily manager
    • Aged 21 years and older
    • A legal resident of the United States
  • The business can be in any industry and should
    • Have been formed under U.S. law and is currently operating within 40 miles of New Orleans, Louisiana
    • Have between 1 year minimum and 5 year maximum of continuous operations
    • Be generating annual revenues of less than $750,000
  • The following are not eligible:
    • Nonprofit organizations
    • Subsidiary or franchise businesses

The WE Fellow should represent the same personal and professional commitments as the Junior League, namely it embraces diversity and reaches out to all women who demonstrate an interest in improving their community.


Application Process & Timeline

The WE Fellow is selected via a multi-step process as indicated below.

Step 1 – Complete the WE Fellowship application.

If interested, female business owners must submit an application by January 14, 2019. Submitting an application is free, and applicants need not be JLNO members.

Click here to submit an application. Please note that you will not be able to save the application and come back to it.

Step 2 – Prepare for Pitches

The WE Fellowship Selection Committee will review the submitted applications and select women-owned businesses to give 10-minute presentations at an event during New Orleans Entrepreneur Week. Prior to the event, each finalist will meet with an expert who will help her craft her presentation.

Step 3 – Present during New Orleans Entrepreneur Week.

Each finalist will pitch her enterprise for an audience and judging panel. Votes from the public will award an audience prize, and a judging panel will award the fellowship.


Fellowship Components

  • Mentoring and support services from Junior League of New Orleans Members
  • Grant in the amount of $7500
  • Access to meeting space in Uptown New Orleans (not to be used as retail space; a value of $350)
  • Tuition to JLNO’s Get on Board nonprofit board training program (a $250 value)
  • Feature in Lagniappe, JLNO’s quarterly magazine to 5000 readers
  • Opportunities to market to JLNO members (a $175 value to have a table at a meeting marketplace)
  • One year of membership dues (a $220 value) should the WE Fellow meet eligibility criteria and elects to join JLNO; meeting the membership curriculum and subsequent membership renewals would be the fellow’s responsibility.