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Truist Foundation Fellowship

Equipping Georgia-based entrepreneurs, small business owners, and nonprofit founders with the skills and network to scale their impact.

Applications for the program are now closed.

Meet the 2024 Truist Foundation Fellows

Christele Parham, 2023 Truist Foundation Fellow

The Truist Foundation Fellowship, powered by the Watson Institute, is a fully-funded venture and leadership program designed for early-stage entrepreneurs, business owners, and nonprofit founders in Georgia. Fellows receive technical training, enhance their business acumen, and gain financial literacy knowledge, all tailored to amplify their impact within the communities they serve. This Fellowship is specifically intended for entrepreneurs dedicated to serving emerging markets across rural and urban Georgia through job creation and economic development initiatives.

This is a fully-funded program thanks to the support of the Truist Foundation.

Dates & Details

  • Dates: 16-week program with weekly programming.
  • Format: Weekly virtual workshops with localized gatherings and events when possible (6-8 hours per week time commitment).
  • In-Person Immersive: The program begins with an 1-day in-person immersive experience in Atlanta, Georgia.
  • Training: Fellows will engage in weekly expert-led modules covering subjects including Financial Literacy Skills, Foundations, Data & Metrics, Go-To-Market, Funding, Team Management, and Pitch.
  • In-Person Components: Fellows will have the option to participate in in-person programming in Atlanta.
  • Impact Series: Renowned leaders, entrepreneurs, and practitioners join the fellowships we empower to share their entrepreneurial journey and experience, as well as mentor the Fellows. See previous Impact Series Speakers here.
  • Basecamp:A 1 to 2-day workshop designed and led by Fellows for their own stakeholders and communities.
  • Summit: This is the culminating in-person community event where Fellows pitch to local leaders, funders, and entrepreneurs.
  • Venture Development Stipend: Fellows can earn a  venture development stipends based on the completion of Basecamp and their progress and impact throughout the Fellowship.

Who You Are & What You Do:

  • You are an entrepreneur, small business owner, or nonprofit leader deeply committed to creating sustainable and scalable impact through job creation and economic development initiatives.
  • You are at the helm of a social impact venture or community endeavor with 1-5 years of traction, demonstrating a history of making a difference. Ideally, your venture operates in the realm of economic development in underserved and underbanked communities.
  • You are located in or creating impact in markets across rural and urban Georgia, United States.

Sign up for Updates Here

 

Program Elements

The Truist Foundation Fellowship offers award-winning training, dedicated mentorship, and a dynamic peer community. We are here to to equip you with the skills and insights necessary to supercharge your venture and make a lasting impact. The workshops, speakers, mentors, and community support for this fellowship will be adapted and customized to serve those leading job creation, financial inclusion, and workforce development initiatives in Georgia.

Pay the Impact Forward: Empower Your Communities through Basecamps

 

Grow your leadership skills, build local partnerships, and expand your impact by facilitating a Watson Institute Basecamp in your community.

Every Fellow receives training, a playbook, and a financial stipend to facilitate a Basecamp—a one to three day intensive workshop—in their community, empowering them to drive positive change locally. As a key deliverable of the Truist Foundation Fellowship, all Fellows will facilitate a Basecamp event during their time in the program. Fellows are empowered through their training to tailor the Basecamp structure and outcomes to their desired participant community.

Fellowships are designed to educate, empower, and drive impact, with each element of the program contributing towards the long-term impact of the Truist Foundation Fellows and their communities. Basecamps stand as a pillar of this journey. Fellows who have lead successful Basecamps have unlocked opportunities to new partnerships, additional funding avenues, media exposure, and have created a ripple effect of deeper impact within their communities.

Learn More

In 2023, Truist Foundation Fellows had a direct impact on over 600 individuals through their Basecamps.

Basecamps were held across Georgia including Atlanta, Duluth, Kennesaw, Douglasville, Macon, and Clarkston.

“The most impactful moment in the Basecamp was to see youth and adults feel comfortable with sharing, asking questions, and engaging panelists on relevant topics that affect them and their families. We created a safe space for us to listen, learn, share, and grow together using a 2GEN Approach.”

– Dr. Chuck Barlow, TFF ’23.

Truist Foundation Fellows are Making an Impact

17 Fellows and alumni from Georgia have created impact for over 600 entrepreneurs, through the Basecamps they run and initiatives they help lead.

 

Higher Education

Patrick Rodriguez ’23 | Georgia Coalition for Higher Education in Prison

The Georgia Coalition for Higher Education in Prison builds high-quality educational pathways from pre-college coursework to accredited degree completion. They support previously incarcerated people through their journey home and families that have a loved one impacted by the criminal legal system in navigating resources and receiving wraparound services. The venture aims to service over 325 people affected by the criminal legal system this year alone.

Construction

Jessica Lewis’23 | MOBU Enterprises

MOBU Enterprises is a green construction company that builds residential and commercial structures out of shipping containers in vulnerable communities to provide healthier, more affordable, and innovative alternatives to traditionally built housing. The venture positively impacts disenfranchised inner-city communities and constituents, has created 200+ jobs, and proudly hires from immigrant, previously incarcerated, and veteran communities.

 

Staffing Services

Dickey Comeaux ’23 | The B Suite

The B Suite supports organizations in efficiently meeting their hiring and diversity goals through interim staffing services. Their mission is to connect the world’s most historically oppressed talent with flexible career opportunities to reduce power and wealth disparities, build financial and professional independence, and increase diversity across the c-suite and senior leadership. To date, the B Suite has served over 355 talent professionals.

Alumni Panel

Learn what our Alumni and Fellows have to say about Watson Institute.

Truist Foundation is committed to Truist’s purpose to inspire and build better lives and communities. The Foundation, an endowed private foundation established in 2020 whose operating budget is independent of Truist Financial Corporation, makes strategic investments in a wide variety of nonprofit organizations centered around two focus areas: building career pathways to economic mobility and strengthening small businesses to ensure all people and communities have an equal opportunity to thrive. For more information about Truist Foundation, visit Truist.com/Foundation.