If you’re a young woman or gender expansive leader in Minnesota: how can $2,500 launch your leadership? Tell us how you are advancing your vision for justice to create solutions for a state where young women, their families, and their communities can thrive. 

The Women’s Foundation of Minnesota (WFMN) believes in the vision and leadership of young women and gender expansive people leading today! Through the WFMN Innovators’ program, we are investing directly in your solutions to inequities. 

The WFMN Innovators program resources young women’s creative, visionary solutions to communities’ most pressing problems while developing leadership, advocacy, and community building skills through a cohort model to maximize impact. Young women of color, American Indian young women, young women from Greater Minnesota, LGBTQ+ youth, and young women with disabilities between the ages 16-24, are invited to apply. WFMN defines a young woman as anyone who identifies as a woman. The program is inclusive of transgender, gender nonconforming, gender nonbinary, and all gender-expansive people who experience gender-based structural harm.

Applications are due February 8, 2021, by 11:59 p.m. Click here to access the web portal and begin your application.  

Watch the virtual information session hosted by WFMN Community Impact staff to learn more information here.

Innovators receive:  

  • Monetary Investment—$2,500: Microgrants fund the leadership, ideas, and initiatives of young women to bring ideas aligned with the Blueprint for Action to life or continue work in the areas of economic opportunity, safety, and leadership. This grant is paid directly to young women to support innovative problem-solving grounded in the Blueprint for Action, the series of recommendations based on research and listening with more than 800 young women and community leaders across Minnesota. WFMN encourages young women to think creatively: How can this microgrant uniquely help move your leadership and ideas forward? How can it help you be more effective in creating systems change that shift polices, institutions, community behavior, reframe issues, or contribute to movement building? 
  • Leadership Convenings & CoachingWFMN engages young women in online and in-person convenings for leadership development, advocacy, and building community. The convenings offer young women an opportunity to support, develop, and scale their leadership and ideas. Leadership development includes direct professional coaching to support Innovators in grant-funded projects and deepen their leadership for the long term. 

Who is eligible?  

Eligible candidates: 

  • Identify as a young woman and/or gender expansive youth between the ages of 16-24. Our definition of young woman is anyone who identifies as a woman. The program is inclusive of transgender, gender nonconforming, gender nonbinary, and all gender-expansive people who experience gender-based structural harm. 
  • Reside and create impact in the state of Minnesota for 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. 

What is the WFMN Innovators Program? 

Through the Young Women’s Initiative of Minnesota’s WFMN Innovators program, the Women’s Foundation of Minnesota provides microgrants of $2,500 directly to young women (ages 16-24) to support their leadership and fuel their ideas and solutions that advance key recommendations in the Young Women’s Initiative of Minnesota (YWI MN) Blueprint for Action. Last year, WFMN awarded microgrants to 23 WFMN Innovators, representing a total investment of $57,500. In total, the Women’s Foundation has granted more than $2 million through the Young Women’s Initiative since 2016.  


If you have questions or accessibility or privacy concerns for creating an application video and participating in the WFMN Innovators program, please contact WFMN’s Community Impact Program Manager as soon as possible and we will work with you to find a solution. Don’t let this deter you from applying! 

For more details, review the Request for Proposals and register for the virtual information session.    

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