Western Union Foundation 2023 Fellowship Program

The Western Union Foundation is a charitable organization that operates independently from The Western Union Company. It is committed to creating positive social change by supporting initiatives and projects that aim to improve education, promote economic opportunity, and empower communities globally.


The foundation’s mission is to provide opportunities for individuals, families, and communities to thrive, particularly those facing economic hardships, marginalized populations, refugees, and forcibly displaced people. It seeks to make a meaningful impact by partnering with nonprofit organizations and community leaders to address critical social issues and create sustainable change.


Through its grant programs and partnerships, the Western Union Foundation supports various educational initiatives, workforce development projects, disaster relief efforts, and programs that enhance financial literacy and entrepreneurship. It aims to leverage the power of education, technology, and financial resources to build stronger and more resilient communities around the world.


The Western Union Foundation’s work aligns with its commitment to promoting inclusive growth and addressing social challenges faced by vulnerable populations. By investing in education, skill development, and community empowerment, the foundation endeavors to contribute to the well-being and economic advancement of individuals and communities globally.


The Western Union Foundation Scholarship serves as a venture and leadership accelerator program, targeting entrepreneurs and community leaders from extremely marginalized, refugee, and forcibly displaced populations around the world.


This global and virtual initiative aims to equip the next-generation of entrepreneurs and leaders with essential knowledge and expertise to enhance economic opportunity, establish valuable networks, access resources, and drive positive transformation in their communities.


Thanks to the support of the Western Union Foundation, this program is fully-funded. The Western Union Foundation operates as a separate charitable corporation, receiving support from The Western Union Company, its employees, agents, consumers, and business partners. It is governed by a Board of Directors, comprising senior Western Union executives from various regions, while its executive director and skilled team are based in Denver, Colorado.


For two decades, the Western Union Foundation has been committed to making positive changes in lives. Their Opportunity Beyond Borders pledge reflects their dedication to empowering forcibly displaced and marginalized youth with training and education, enabling them to thrive in today’s technology-driven global economy.


Role of the Western Union Foundation

The role of the Western Union Foundation is to create positive social impact by supporting programs and initiatives that focus on education, economic opportunity, and community empowerment. The foundation plays a vital role in addressing critical social issues and making a meaningful difference in the lives of individuals and communities, especially those facing economic hardships, marginalization, and displacement.


The main roles of the Western Union Foundation include:

  1. Philanthropic Giving: The foundation provides financial support and grants to nonprofit organizations and community leaders that are working to improve education, empower individuals, and foster economic development.
  2. Supporting Education: One of the key focuses of the foundation is to invest in educational programs that promote access to quality education, support skill development, and enhance digital literacy.
  3. Empowering Communities: The foundation works towards empowering communities by supporting initiatives that promote entrepreneurship, financial literacy, and job training, helping individuals and families achieve economic independence.
  4. Disaster Relief Efforts: The Western Union Foundation responds to humanitarian crises and natural disasters by providing aid and support to affected communities, helping them recover and rebuild.
  5. Partnering with Nonprofits: The foundation collaborates with nonprofit organizations, community leaders, and other stakeholders to identify and support initiatives that align with its mission and goals.
  6. Fostering Inclusivity: The Western Union Foundation is committed to promoting inclusivity and diversity, ensuring that its programs and initiatives reach marginalized populations, refugees, and forcibly displaced people.
  7. Leveraging Corporate Resources: As a separate charitable corporation from The Western Union Company, the foundation leverages the resources, expertise, and global presence of the company to maximize its social impact.


Overall, the Western Union Foundation plays a significant role in creating positive change and advancing social welfare through its philanthropic efforts, supporting education, empowering communities, and responding to humanitarian needs. By investing in projects that promote education and economic opportunity, the foundation contributes to building stronger and more resilient societies worldwide.


Benefits of the Western Union Foundation Fellowship Program:

  • Seed Funding: Fellows have the opportunity to receive up to $45,000 in seed funding based on their progress and impact during the Fellowship.


  • Support and Roadmap: With the guidance of the Watson Institute team, Fellows gain valuable insights on how to grow and scale their work and impact. They also facilitate an impact workshop and training (Basecamp) in their community and for stakeholders, backed by a stipend, playbook, and team support.


Participating in the Western Union Foundation offers several significant benefits to individuals and organizations, including:

  1. Access to Funding: Participants have the opportunity to receive funding and grants to support their social impact ventures, community initiatives, and educational projects, helping them scale their work and achieve greater impact.
  2. Mentorship and Support: The foundation provides mentorship and support from the Watson Institute team, offering guidance on how to grow and scale their initiatives, access resources, and create positive change in their communities.
  3. Networking Opportunities: Participants become part of a vast network of like-minded individuals, entrepreneurs, and community leaders, allowing them to connect, collaborate, and share experiences and best practices.
  4. Roadmap for Growth: The program equips participants with a roadmap for growth and development, offering expert-led entrepreneurial training that enhances their leadership skills and enables them to make a more significant impact.
  5. Global Exposure: Engaging with the Western Union Foundation offers global exposure, as the program targets entrepreneurs and leaders from marginalized, refugee, and forcibly displaced communities worldwide, providing an opportunity to showcase their work on an international platform.
  6. Recognition and Credibility: Participation in the foundation’s initiatives brings recognition and credibility to the work of individuals and organizations, enhancing their reputation and potential for future collaborations and partnerships.
  7. Skill Building: Through workshops, training sessions, and resources provided by the foundation, participants can enhance their skills in areas such as leadership, project management, entrepreneurship, and community engagement.
  8. Empowering Communities: By being part of the Western Union Foundation, participants contribute to empowering their communities and making a positive social impact, fostering sustainable change and development.
  9. Financial Support: The fully-funded program offers financial support, providing stipends and resources to facilitate impact workshops and training (Basecamps) in participants’ communities.
  10. Advancing Social Goals: Participating in the foundation’s programs allows individuals and organizations to align with the mission of improving education, promoting economic opportunity, and empowering communities, contributing to a better and more equitable society.


Overall, the Western Union Foundation offers a unique opportunity for participants to receive support, recognition, and resources to amplify their efforts in creating positive social change and transforming lives in their communities and beyond.


Qualification Requirements:

The Fellowship is open to entrepreneurs and community leaders working with highly marginalized, refugee, and forcibly displaced communities globally.


Applicants should lead early-stage social impact ventures or community initiatives with a proven track record of impact, entrepreneurship, and leadership. Priority will be given to applicants from or working in specific countries.


  • Access to Training and Mentorship: Fellows seek expert-led entrepreneurial training, funding opportunities, and a vast network of mentors to accelerate their leadership skills and venture impact.


How to Apply:


  • Interested applicants can visit the Western Union Foundation website at watson to apply for online application,
  • The online application includes four short essay questions and typically takes about 45 minutes to complete.
  • The final application deadline is August 18th, 2023.
  • Applications will be reviewed on a rolling basis starting from July 7th, 2023, with interviews conducted via Zoom from July 10th, 2023.
  • A committee will review the strongest applicant profiles for final acceptance and fellowship awards.
  • Final acceptances and fellowship awards will be communicated in mid-August.
  • To finalize enrollment, accepted candidates will review and sign Watson’s Memorandum of Understanding (MOU).


The Western Union Foundation Fellowship Program offers a unique opportunity for qualified entrepreneurs and community leaders to receive support, funding, and training to make a positive impact in their communities.


For More Information, visit Western Union Foundation website


Application Deadline 18th August, 2023

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