Spotlight: Celebrating 5 Years | 3 Stories of Impact

Vital Voices Global Partnership and Bank of America are recognizing the five-year anniversary of the Global Ambassadors Program (#GlobalAmbassadors), an initiative that advances women’s economic empowerment through mentoring, by convening the program in the U.S. for the first time. The Global Ambassadors Program kicks off the week of May 8 in Charlotte, NC, with additional programs to be held this fall in Chicago and Los Angeles. 

The Global Ambassadors Program connects a group of extraordinary women business owners, social entrepreneurs and nonprofit leaders to a unique mentorship and skills-building opportunity – pairing them one-on-one with accomplished women executives from a range of sectors and organizations, including Bank of America – to enhance their organizational leadership and business acumen at a pivotal point in their careers. Since 2012, the Global Ambassadors Program has been held in 13 locations around the world – including Haiti, South Africa, India, and Brazil, reaching more than 100 women leaders from more than 60 countries. Since 2013, more than 67 percent of mentees have reported an increase in sales and revenue growth following the program.

Global Ambassadors Program Stories of Impact:

Dalia Saafan of Egypt and Lauren Anderson, a former FBI executive, developed a lasting connection when they met in Qatar in 2013. Dalia was looking to scale her executive coaching business, Edge, and needed guidance on network expansion. They worked out a plan together in Doha and stayed in touch beyond the GAP week. When Lauren visited Dalia in Cairo several months later, she was pleased to see significant progress at Edge and new clients on board. Inspired by the power of mentoring through GAP, Lauren now serves as an informal mentor to several GAP alumnae and remains committed to serving women and youth around the world.

Xiomara Diaz followed a dream to build a social impact business in Nicaragua. She had opened The Garden Café in Granada to rave reviews but she had struggled with low profit margins and time management. Her Bank of America mentor, Karen Fang, worked with her during the GAP Mexico trip in 2014, and they quickly identified pain points and a prescription for increasing the bottom line while delegating more responsibilities to staff. As a result, café revenue grew by 40 percent and today Xiomara finds time to support vulnerable women and girls in her community through a new NGO she established, UPNicaragua.

Serial entrepreneur Katerina Cronstedt traveled from her home in Moscow to the program in Warsaw, Poland in 2014, looking for ways to grow her dinner kit delivery business. Armed with new social media skills and a focused operational plan with guidance from her mentor, Beata Pawlowska, Katerina returned home with an expanded circle of influencers, including two-time Global Ambassador Galina Melnikova of Russia. Since GAP Poland, Katerina has launched a number of successful start-ups in the catering, hospitality and lifestyle industries in Russia, Sweden and the U.S.    

Follow #GlobalAmbassadors and check out the video playlist to learn more.