West Central Initiative is joining forces with the Initiative Foundation and Southwest Initiative Foundation to offer The Initiators Fellowship, a two-year program for social entrepreneurs, to the 41 counties in Greater Minnesota that the three foundations serve.

Applications for the 2020-21 cohort open May 15 and close July 15, 2019. Initiated in 2016 by the Initiative Foundation, the two-year fellowship will award a $30,000 annual stipend to up to seven early stage entrepreneurs who want to tackle a social challenge and pursue leadership growth. In addition to the annual stipend, fellows benefit from an executive-level mentor, deep programming, educational opportunities and support from dedicated staff members. A complete definition of social entrepreneurship and other details can be found at greaterminnesota.net/fellows in the resources section.

Eligible applicants must be 18 or older, can be a recent college graduate, a young professional, mid-career or in their encore career years. Additional requirements include living within one of the three participating Minnesota Initiative Foundation regions, or an adjacent tribal nation, for the two-year duration of the Fellowship term. Diversity is a core program value. Applicants with diverse backgrounds, experiences, ability, economic status and perspectives are encouraged to apply. Full eligibility details are outlined here.

"The Initiators Fellowship is a big, bold strategy that provides the next generation of regional leaders the opportunity to use their entrepreneurial spirit to address society's needs while building the business and leadership capacity of Greater Minnesota," said Chris Fastner, Initiators Fellowship program manager.

The expansion of the Initiators Fellowship is made possible by generous funders, including Granite Equity Partners, an original funding partner, along with the Bush Foundation, Sourcewell and CliftonLarsonAllen.

For more information or to apply, visit greaterminnesota.net/fellows.