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The 8 Best Fellowships For Entrepreneurs

A fellowship program is a great way to get hands-on experience, grow your network, and develop professional initiatives. It helps expose you to much more resources than what was previously available to you.

Getting a fellowship could prove to be a fresh page in your entrepreneurial book.

Also, it is not just restricted to those already in the field, as you’ll see. There are lots of options available for those planning to take the entrepreneurial road early on.

Here are the 8 best entrepreneurship fellowships to help you get the on-ground experience you need.

The Rundown

1. For The Social Entrepreneurs: Ashoka Fellowship Program, “A lifelong fellowship which makes you a member of the largest global network of leading social entrepreneurs.”

2. For The Early Birds: Thiel Fellowship, “Provides a no-strings-attached grant of $100,000 to skip college and get ready for their entrepreneurial debut right out of school.”

3. For The Civic-Minded (U.S Only): Presidential Innovation Fellows, “A 12 month entrepreneurial tour-of-duty fellowship, that helps you collaborate and work with the Government in close quarters.”

4. For Those Looking To Scale-Up: GSBI Accelerator Programs, “A global fellowship program offering 10 month, 3 part course on developing your business model.”

5. For Canadian Undergraduates (Canada Only): Cansbridge Fellowship, “Perfect for those in their college and want to get a headstart on their entrepreneurial career. Applicable for undergraduates in Canada.”

6. Immediate Financial Backing (U.S Only): Cordes Fellowships, “A U.S residence only fellowship for social entrepreneurs that also takes care of your housing and food needs.”

7. For The Women Entrepreneurs (U.S Only): Tory Burch Foundation Fellowship Program, “Designed for women entrepreneurs based in the USA to provide them with monetary support for their startups.”

8. For The Startups And Investors: Kauffman Fellowship, “A one of a kind Fellowship, founded by pharmaceutical entrepreneur, Ewing Marion Kauffman. It offers you getting experience while working at a venture capital firm.”

Recommended Fellowships For Entrepreneurs

Ashoka Fellowship Program

 For The Social Entrepreneurs:

Ashoka Fellowship Program

If social entrepreneurship with a global impact is your passion, the Ashoka Fellowship may be the program for you. Ashoka Fellows work in over 70 countries around the globe in every area of human need. The focus of the fellowship is to champion new ideas that transform society’s systems and provide benefits for everyone and improve the lives of millions.

This three-year social entrepreneurship fellowship also includes a living stipend to cover all expenses.

Thiel Fellowship

For The Early Birds:

Thiel Fellowship

If you are really keen on bringing about a change with your ambitious ideas right after you finish your schooling, Thiel Fellowship could be perfect for you.

The Fellowship helps bring together some of the world’s most creative and motivated young entrepreneurs (under age 20), and helps in bringing your ambitious ideas and projects to life. Thiel Fellows are given a no-strings-attached grant of $100,000 to skip college and focus on their work, their research, and their self-education.

You also get to be mentored by their network of visionary thinkers, investors, scientists, and entrepreneurs, who provide guidance and business connections that can’t be replicated in any classroom.

Presidential Innovation Fellows

For The Civic-Minded (U.S Only):

Presidential Innovation Fellows Program

Founded by President Barack Obama, this fellowship is designed for talented and creative civic-minded developers and designers.

If you aim to make the government more user-friendly and save taxpayers dollars with your innovations, they offer you the chance to do so with an one-year entrepreneurial tour-of-duty if you join the Federal Government.

If you're selected, you'll collaborate and work with change agents inside government for 12 months on high-impact initiatives aimed at saving lives and fueling our economy.

GSBI Accelerator Programs

For Those Looking To Scale-Up:

GSBI Accelerator Programs

A global fellowship that offers a 10-month, mentored program for established social entrepreneurs who are looking to scale their businesses.

If your business is operational and focused on serving people living below the poverty line, you can apply for GSBI accelerator program where you'll be assigned a mentor to help you in your entrepreneurial journey.

They help in coaching, educating and preparing you to better articulate your business plans, raise funding, and grow. 

GSBI offers fellowships that consist of 3 parts: online mentorship, in-residence mentorship and implementation - costs for which are covered by them.

Cansbridge Fellowship

For Canadian Undergraduates (Canada Only):

Cansbridge Fellowship

Perfect for Canadian entrepreneurs who think outside the box and who have a past as risk-takers. Cansbridge Fellowship focuses on building rare skills, experiences and network needed to build and innovate on a global scale.

It includes a global network of fellows to help you learn and grow on a global scale. Besides this, Cansbridge Fellowship also offers a $6000 scholarship to help you get international work experience in Asia.

Note: This fellowship is available only for those enrolled as undergraduates in Canadian college or university and pursuing a degree in business, science, design or technology.

Cordes Fellowships

Immediate Financial Backing (U.S Only):

Cordes Fellowship

For those social entrepreneurs and nonprofit leaders involved in poverty alleviation and economic justice in need of financial backing, the Cordes Fellowship might be the ideal option for you. 

They offer an all-inclusive Fellowship which includes all on-site costs for housing and meals. They offer delegates to take part in the Opportunity Collaboration, a four-day problem-solving and strategic annual gathering in Mexico.

This meetup help you network with social entrepreneurs, innovative nonprofit executives, grantmakers, impact investors, corporate and academic field-leaders, and aligned media from around the world.

Tory Burch Foundation Fellowship Program

For The Women Entrepreneurs (U.S Only):

Tory Burch Foundation Fellowship Program

If you're a women entrepreneur based in the United States, this is a perfect fellowship program for you.

If selected, you'll receive a three-day workshop at Tory Burch headquarters, one-year long support from the Tory Burch Foundation, a $10,000 grant to advance your business education, and a chance to win a $100,000 grant investment from Tory and a panel of industry leaders.

Kauffman Fellowship

For The Startups And Investors:

Kauffman Fellowship

Led by the world’s top 1% investors, educators, and innovation leaders, Kauffman Fellowship is a unique 2-year venture capital fellowship where you work full time at a venture capital firm. Besides this, you also get to witness and be part of industry events, summits, and a venture capital fund.

This unique fellowship involves you working with some of the most brilliant minds in the world. 

The framework focuses on 4 aspects:

1. Radical Self-Belief, Conviction, and Zone of Genius

2. Contrarian Investment Thesis

3. Personal Brand

4. Human Dynamics and Behavioral Fitness

Whether you are new to the entrepreneurial world or an experienced startup owner, Kauffman Fellowship is worth trying for.

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