About the program
In response to the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic situation, the US State Department announced a Global Level 3 Health Advisory, and considering the latest travel guides and travel restrictions, the Bureau of Educational and Cultural Affairs of the United States Department of State effectively paused all in-person programs around the world. Many US State Department-funded programs have shifted to virtual and alternative programing modalities, includuing the Russian Business Leaders (RBL) program. In 2021, the RBL is becoming an RBL Virtual Program and is a program for young Russian business persons and entrepreneurs with at least two years of demonstrated leadership experience in the fields of business, entrepreneurship, innovation, social entrepreneurship, regional economic development and technology.
The Russian Business Leaders Virtual Fellowship program is designed to provide Russian entrepreneurs ages 22-35 years old with the following:
• 12 week-long comprehensive entrepreneurship community learning course provided by United States experts (90-minutes sessions once per week, evening time in Moscow)
• Four consecutive -week virtual fellowship with a U.S. mentor and company which aligns with the fellows` professional experience and business interests.
• Opportunity to implement entrepreneurship focused projects locally or virtually with support from American Councils.
• Opportunity to participate in a video pitch based on the results of the course and virtual fellowship, and to gain an in-person opportunity focused on entrepreneurship and innovation. In-person program will include site visits to successful business ventures, learning opportunities and interaction with various business industry experts. Location and time for in person programming will be determined at a later time and will be contingent on global travel safety policies.
RBL Virtual will provide participants with an array of modern business tools, concepts, and principles that will strengthen their leadership and technical abilities through community learning, interaction with U.S. business experts and practitioners, the RBL Virtual program will support building enduring professional relationships between Americans and Russians who share an interest in driving economic development forward. The program will include a 12 week long virtual entrepreneurship curricula provided by U.S. experts which is carefully designed and aligned with participants levels, a consecutive four week long professional fellowship with a U.S. mentor and relevant online enhancement activities. Virtual component of the program is tentatively scheduled to take place from the beginning of September to the end of November 2021. Time commitment for the whole program is approximately 40 hours.
Based on the results of the virtual entrepreneurship course and professional fellowship, participants will take part in a video pitch competition. The winners of the competition – 10 participants (or approximately 25% of the fellows) will be considered for an in-person programing opportunity in 2022 focused on entrepreneurship and innovation (location and time will be determined at a later time and will be contingent on global travel safety policies).
Finalists are selected through an open, merit-based competition. More information can be found on the US Embassy website here.