To have such a great impact on young leaders and their communities, the Alumni Ventures Fund requires great effort, commitment, and passion. The team of MCW Global is committed to providing as many opportunities for its alumni network as possible.
In this piece, Leon Gojani, Young Leaders Program Director, exclusively shares not only how the Alumni Ventures Fund supported young promising leaders to this day but also how it is growing and it will reach more and more youth and communities in need in the future.
Keeping in mind that currently, the Alumni Ventures Fund has supported alumni with more than $76,000, let’s continue and dig together on its meaningful role and how it provides a rather unique opportunity to all graduates of the Young Leaders Programs (Young Leaders Fellowship and/or Young Leaders Conference).
Alumni Ventures Fund, Helping the Alumni in Different Sectors
Since its establishment, this fund has supported MCW Global’s Alumni with grants and mentorship, allowing them to enhance their roles as young leaders in their local communities in different sectors.
Leon shares how the Alumni Ventures Fund serves as a unique opportunity for alumni to improve their skills, help their local communities and stay connected with the MCW Global circle.
“After a participant graduates from the Fellowship or the Conference, they put their ideas into a concrete plan. The Alumni Ventures Fund is an opportunity for them to take these ideas to a next level — which is to receive funding and mentorship, in this form helping them to accelerate these ideas and this plan into concrete action.”
The Alumni Ventures Fund helps the alumni to develop their skills in project management, grant writing, reporting, and generally in the management cycle of a project.
The other important component is mentorship.
“The alumni beneficiary has a professional mentor — who is usually someone who has a background in the field that the project is about. The goal is that apart from helping the alumni in the project management cycle, we also give them further knowledge of the sector, and also widen their networking opportunities.”
This is a wonderful chance for the alumni to become part of the MCW Global family, Leon believes.
“That is because if they have shown success in implementing complex projects and ideas in their communities, they received the funding-which is quite competitive, and at the same time this opportunity allows them to stay with us for a longer time because the project is minimum one-year long and it changes the relationship between the MCW Global and the alumni-it becomes more professional and more advanced”.
A Rewarding Moment: From the Very Beginning to Creating Something New
During our interviews, every reader could closely see how the Alumni Ventures Fund’s support changed youth’s lives for the better.
When asked to single out any moment of this whole process as the most rewarding one, Leon lets us know that for the MCW-Global team, there are plenty of moments worth highlighting.
“In a lot of cases, what the Alumni Ventures Fund did for the alumni is help them with their idea and establish something more concretely. This is the most rewarding thing when you see an alumnus who took part in the program pave a path from the very beginning to creating something new.”
“They utilize the grants in a way that enhances their work and establishes something new.“
Kiko Muuo from Kenya and Anmol Zehra from Pakistan are two of many successful examples of how the Alumni Ventures Fund equips young people with a clear understanding of social entrepreneurship and civic education through awareness-raising and financial support too.
The Bright Promising Future of the Alumni Ventures Fund
The Alumni Ventures Fund remains a crucial program for MCW Global and everyone following its work is witnessing the growth of the Fund.
The Alumni Ventures Fund is a story of success of how it gradually and positively impacted many people. This year, we will support more projects than we did in the past. Previously, we supported two people per year, whereas, as of this year, the Alumni Ventures Fund is adding another ten alumni who will receive financial support, Leon added.
There will be two mid-size grants and mentorships, and ten small-size grants that exclude mentorship, but importantly, they still have the financial and project management cycle support.
“Key success of the Alumni Ventures Fund is our ability to use our resources as an organization, including financial, the people and the networks that we have, into supporting an alumnus who has an idea and the will to work in the community.”
Cherishing the achievements of the Alumni Ventures Fund, Leon genuinely believes it is important to keep investing in the program because it serves as a way for the MCW-Global to support communities around the world by first supporting the alumni.
Thanks to this support, the alumni become change-makers in their own communities; he draws to our attention.
“The ownership that the Alumni Ventures Fund gives to the alumni is so unique. It empowers them to become young successful leaders. It is a way for us collectively to support them and also let them run their idea, their plan, and their teams. To me, that is something that I would like to see more programs do.“
Since the Alumni Ventures Fund’s founding in 2009, it has helped young leaders achieve their personal goals of being change-makers in their communities, and this seems to be the next stage of this wonderful journey.
You can find HERE some of their astonishing stories.