"...there is no effective development strategy in which women do not play a central role."

— Kofi Annan

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Phase 3: Seed Funding, Award Disbursement, and Construction (1-4 Months)

Global Grassroots offers seed funding grants only to teams that have graduated from our Conscious Social Change training program. We have learned how essential our training and capacity building work is to the sustainability and eventual success of our ventures — especially given we are working with the most vulnerable populations of women, most of whom have no more than a third grade education and must handle multiple challenges, including poverty, health issues, and discrimination.

We are not a microfinance entity. We do not provide loans, only grants for the start-up costs of our chosen ventures so that they may begin their change work without the burden of debt. These locally-designed social ventures are not small businesses; they are small non-profits or business hybrids driven by a social purpose to address a priority issue facing women, such as domestic violence, water access or illiteracy. Seed grants average $3,000, though some projects involving construction may need closer to $5,000.

New ventures are evaluated for funding based on defined criteria. Most important, Global Grassroots seeks ideas with measurable impact significantly greater than that of traditional solutions. Priority is also given to ideas that can rely on a local base of support and/or generate self-sustaining sources of revenue. Following are our specific investment criteria for seed funding:

  • The team leader, and two additional team members, must have graduated from Global Grassroots' Academy for Conscious Change

  • The venture must be designed by the team itself

  • The idea must have a clearly stated mission, vision, and theory of change aiming to address a core, systematic social issue impacting women (note: Global Grassroots does not support small businesses or craft-based income generating projects)

  • The venture must have clearly defined goals, a sensible short and long-term operations plan, and a detailed budget outlining resources needed

  • The venture must seek locally-based support through broad-based strategic partnerships and employ creative strategies to ensure all resource needs are met and longer-term sustainability is probable

  • The idea should be able to clearly measure its social impact and have a clear process for reporting progress using specific benchmarks and metrics of success

  • The venture must have the commitment of the team leader and involve either an implementation team and/or a board of directors individually and collectively responsible for the project's social purpose

  • The team must adopt a code of conduct concerning bribery and corruption

  • The team must adhere to an outline of the venture's proposed goals for social impact and to our 12 months of reporting requirements

> Read about our Advisory Support program


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Global Grassroots
1950 Lafayette Road, Suite 200, Box 1  |  Portsmouth, NH 03801 USA
Tel (+1) 603.643.0400  |  info@globalgrassroots.org

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