The Women's Leadership Fund began when two women, meeting for the first time, realized they had the same vision: To create a foundation of support and community for women leaders in Central Minnesota.
Although women make up a sizable portion of business owners and organizational leaders in the region, few opportunities exist for these women to participate in a peer-to-peer development group to strengthen their leadership skills. This is especially true for women who live in rural communities outside of the St. Cloud metropolitan area, where, due to distance between communities, an under-representation of women in leadership roles, and lack of peer networks, women are missing essential opportunities to strengthen their leadership skills and make deeper connections with supportive peers in surrounding areas.
This problem slows the progressive development of women’s personal and professional growth, as well as hinders the growth of her organization and the economy of the entire community.
Through WELead events and more, the Women's Leadership Fund enables sparks of ideas for women leaders and women in business. Through our peer-to-peer cohorts, women can explore and learn about new organizational strategies, approaches or solutions to business or community challenges. Addressing these challenges impacts the entire culture of an organization and the economic vitality of the region because of stronger leadership resources.
The Women's Leadership Fund was organized in 2018, so this is just the beginning! The members of the advisory board are committed to growing the Women's Leadership Fund and reaching women of all ages and careers, and supporting their transformation into leaders and change-makers. That's why your support is so important!
Values are our fundamental beliefs or principles that are never compromised. They align our mission, leadership and supporters, and are the basis from which our decisions are evaluated.
Optimistic and Inspired Leaders: We are servant leaders who inspire and empower others to achieve their potential and approach the future with confidence.
Unity, Equality, and Justice: To achieve our mission and vision, we view our work through the lens of unity, equality and justice. Our partnerships and work build and champion a more just and equitable rural Minnesota.
Bold Growth: We are willing to take risks and we have the courage to fail. Our growth is driven by testing new approaches to serve women and challenging the status quo.
Collaborative Community: Our success is strengthened by partnerships that bring diverse perspectives and approaches to support a shared vision.
Purposeful Commitment: We make commitments that truly support our mission and that honor the trust of our partners and donors.
A Partner Fund of the Initiative Foundation
The Women's Leadership Fund is a partner fund of the Initiative Foundation. Created in 1986, the Initiative Foundation is empowering the people of Central Minnesota to build and sustain thriving communities. The Foundation serves the 14 counties of Central Minnesota, providing nonprofit grants, business loans, leadership training and an array of donor services. The Foundation believes that local people have the greatest sum of initiative, knowledge and relationships to achieve a brighter future.
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