WE CAN has been offering our GROW Program for women entrepreneurs for the past six years. At the program's core are the women business owners who form a strong cohort and share information and ideas with one another. GROW participants also benefit from a mentor who facilitates each meeting and provides additional insight and instructions from her own business expertise. This model empowers women with the support and tools they need to be successful in growing their business as a pathway to self-sufficiency.
GROW groups, which meet over six sessions, are facilitated by one of three accomplished professionals: Jean Mojo, Virginia Auciello Sullivan, or Katie Townsend. Jean has extensive experience in marketing, having owned a marketing services company in New York and also worked in product management and advertising for Fortune 500 companies. Virginia has devoted her career to fostering individual growth and development, and has a wealth of experience in consulting, facilitation, training, instructional design and problem solving. Katie is co-founder of Brand Accomplished in Hyannis, a marketing agency that helps with creative digital marketing campaigns, social media management, website design and copywriting. This year, Virginia invited Acqua Hildebrand to co-facilitate a group. Acqua has been a professional artist and jewelry designer for three decades and is a GROW graduate herself, having gone through the program in 2017.
We'd like to share what GROW participants have said about this program and how it has impacted them. If you are interested in participating in a future GROW offering for your business, please contact Mairead O'Callghan.
Artist and educator Laura Shabott has participated in GROW three times. "I took my first GROW course in March of 2020 just before the stay-at-home directive and finished my third in February of 2022. During this time, I learned how to manage cash flow, teach art via ZOOM, and make informed business decisions. By doing so, I doubled my income. Expert guidance from the facilitators created an opening for the unexpected: I am a mentor to a tech-savvy recent art school graduate. Helping a talented young woman just starting out was made possible through the generosity bestowed to me at WE CAN."
Lori Botolino, owner of Success Cape Cod, told us, "I am so grateful for the honor and privilege of participating in the GROW program. Each component of the program, from participant selection to curriculum, to building camaraderie, was done with loving intention, confidence and expertise. GROW teaches and fosters good business practice by drawing on the strengths of each member and facilitator. Participants quickly become contributors and ultimately friends."
Meg Willis, owner of Good + Simple Wellness, said, "We were all so very different coming into GROW, with different life and work experiences and at different points in our businesses. Each and every one of us needed the support and life experience of the whole group, and we came out on the other side of GROW changed. I loved being educated and held accountable for each week’s homework - especially the scariest of them all... the financials. The expertise of the mentors made one the of the most stressful parts of being a new business owner much less daunting. I feel so lucky to have been a part of this group of exceptional women."
Angie O'Donoghue, of Angie’s Garden Care and Design, another recent GROW graduate told us, "I had reservations about committing to six sessions of three hours each plus homework. But I'm blown away at how much I learned and I enjoyed the whole program! There was so much packed into each lesson, homework, and chat time. Thank you for making this program possible."
Jewelry Designer Acqua Hildebrand has a unique perspective on the GROW program. She took the program as a participant to grow her business, Acqua Devine Jewelry, and this year she was invited to co-facilitate a group along with Virginia Auciello Sullivan. Acqua says, "This program changes women's lives from the inside out, giving them the courage, inspiration, and wisdom to follow their dreams and achieve success. The small groups are both intimate and supportive, providing a safe container in which to be oneself and be witnessed and encouraged by peers. The program is uplifting, elevating, and empowering."
Uplifting, elevating, and empowering - we couldn't have said it better ourselves! We hope you will consider supporting local, women owned businesses. Check out the list at the bottom of this page to see the amazing businesses that have participated in GROW over the last six years.