The Wild Gift Program
The Wild Gift fellowship is a 15 week program designed to drive your environmental start up to the next phase of growth. The first 10 weeks involve virtual programming that focuses on critical business topics, builds connections to your fellow entrepreneurs, and brings you into the Wild Gift community. The fellowship cohort then embarks on a 20 day wilderness trek. The expedition challenges each Fellow physically and emotionally and connects them to the natural world on a very personal level. Fellows are able to unplug, incubate ideas, and envision the true scope of their work and lives while building lifelong bonds. The final 2 weeks of the program are designed to reconnect to the modern world, focus on your next steps, and join the Wild Gift community in a virtual pitch celebration of your project.
In the field of environmental innovation, the road to success is often long and lonely… brutal hours, stress, and personal sacrifice. Research on social entrepreneurs and our own experience of supporting 65 Fellows reveal that the ability to persevere is as important to eventual success as a good business plan.
We know it isn’t easy to change the world, but we have over a decade of success at finding those who want to… and do. We know it takes more than money to get a great idea off the ground. It takes persistence, ingenuity, and courage. Being an entrepreneur means believing in YES, even when you mostly hear NO. It means clearly seeing your goal, while flexibly charting an unknown path to get there. It means consistently having the courage to follow your convictions in the face of many obstacles – expected and unexpected.
Our unique Wild Gift leadership development experience affirms the “wildness” of spirit needed to change the world and instills in each Fellow a lasting belief in the importance of courage, teamwork, integrity, resilience, and audacity. Our experience and track record prove that coupling unique personal growth support with professional technical assistance makes all the difference in lifting these ventures off the ground and successfully retaining these individuals as change agents.
3 week trek
A guided three-week deep wilderness trek in the Idaho or Utah backcountry
10 weeks of business development programming aimed at building your venture
Virtual pitch celebration with Wild Gift’s Board of Directors, Alumni, and an investment panel at the close of your Fellowship
Travel & Gear Stipend
Allowance for travel and gear
Access to entrepreneurship mentor(s) who can work with you throughout the course of your Fellowship
The opportunity to participate in Wild Gift alumni retreats and trips
A lifetime membership in the vibrant Wild Gift Network that includes alumni, mentors, and supporters.
Supporting environmental & social entrepreneurs
Since its founding in 2002, Wild Gift has supported more than 65 environmental and social entrepreneurs working around the world in education, sustainable agriculture, affordable housing, energy efficiency and innovation, community development, public policy, wetland conservation, and stewardship. Wild Gift ventures currently enhance local economies as well as the natural environment in 8 countries on 4 continents (including Haiti, Canada, Nigeria, Kenya, Chile, India, Samoa, Nepal) and across the United States. Many of our Fellows go on to receive national and international recognition for their innovative ideas and work and many return to Wild Gift as mentors, board members, and supporters.
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