Skip to main content Skip to accessibility controls

Apply to Become a WFMN Innovator

Interested in becoming a WFMN Innovator?! Learn how to apply for the Innovators program by watching this virtual information session and viewing the accompanying slides hosted by WFMN Community Impact staff.

March 2022 Update: Applications are now closed.

What is the WFMN Innovators program? WFMN believes in the leadership and ideas of young women in our state. Through the Young Women’s Initiative of Minnesota, the WFMN Innovators program provides microgrants of $2,500 directly to young women and gender-expansive people (ages 16-24) to fuel their ideas and support their development as leaders with microgrants, cohort-based learning, and individual leadership coaching.

Grants through the WFMN Innovators program fund projects that advance gender and racial equity by visionary young women who are leading within their communities from the intersections of their identities and experiences.

WFMN Innovators will receive a $2,500 grant to support innovative problem-solving grounded in the Blueprint for Action, the series of recommendations created in partnership with young women from eight communities across the state and informed by WFMN Listening Sessions. Proposals will identify applicants’ innovative problem-solving aligned with moving forward the Young Women’s Initiative goals and Blueprint recommendations. Released in 2017 with the Governor’s Office of the State of Minnesota, the Blueprint for Action comprises 20 recommendations for achieving equity in outcomes, access to equal opportunities, and safe, prosperous lives for all young women in Minnesota.

2022-2023 WFMN Innovator Program Year Focus

Your project should further one of the key goals of the Young Women’s Initiative, and one or more Blueprint recommendations that apply:

  • GOAL 1: Build Pathways to Economic Opportunity.
  • GOAL 2: Improve Safety and Well-being.
  • GOAL 3: Promote Young Women’s Leadership.

What do I need to apply?

Through an online grant application, WFMN Innovators will be selected based on ability to identify their voice, share their lived experiences, and demonstrate commitment to community-building and leadership. The Women’s Foundation of Minnesota will engage a review panel of young women and YWI MN partners. The panel will review the grant proposals and recommend awards for the applications that best represent the mission, goals, and values of the Young Women’s Initiative of Minnesota. The application period remains open until all spots are filled.

Interested in applying?

See the Guidelines & Application Preview Worksheet to learn more and apply for the grant beginning November 11.

View the webinar recording & read the slideshow to learn more from WFMN staff and past and current Innovators

Who can apply?

The Women’s Foundation of Minnesota will accept applications from eligible applicants in the state of Minnesota which include the following:

  • Identify as a young woman or gender-expansive person between the ages of 16 years old to 24 years old.
  • Our definition of young woman is anyone who identifies as a woman and is inclusive of cisgender, transgender, gender non-conforming, and gender non-binary people.
  • Residence and impact in the state of Minnesota for the entire grant period.
  • Priority given to young women identifying with one or more of the following communities: Black/African American, African Immigrant, American Indian, Hispanic/Latina, Asian/Pacific Islander, LGBTQ+, Disabilities, Greater/Rural Minnesota.
  • Citizenship is not required.

Application includes:

  • Project outline & narrative submitted in two ways: (1) Video or (2) Essay.
  • Project budget
  • Optional: resume and photos

How can the WFMN Innovators grant award be used?

Think creatively! How can this microgrant uniquely help move your leadership and ideas forward? How can it help you be more effective in the impact you want to make?

WFMN encourages you to think creatively: How can this microgrant uniquely help move your leadership and ideas forward? How can it help you be more effective in the impact you want to make? Examples of projects could be executed in the following ways:

  • Start or continue a social change initiative
  • Design and pursue a personal learning plan
  • Attend a conference and share learnings with community for impact
  • Organize an event for impact
  • Supply resources to organize people for advocacy
  • Research
  • Travel as part of greater learning and share learnings in Minnesota for impact

Questions & Assistance

If you have application questions or concerns with accessibility, please contact Program Manager, Erika Idrovo-Cuesta at or 612-236-1814, as soon as possible. We will work with you to find a solution!

Explore Related Posts

Sign up for our newsletter!

Sign up and stay informed as our key partner to ensure safety, economic justice, well-being, and leadership for all women, girls, and gender-expansive people in Minnesota.