Emerging Leaders in Microbusiness (ELM²)
Multiplying and strengthening tomorrow’s leaders


The ELM² Fellowship—offered by FIELD in partnership with the Capital One Foundation—supports the development of emerging leaders in the microbusiness development field. Called “Emerging Leaders in Microbusiness, squared” to represent the program’s multiplier effect in developing new leaders, it targets high-potential staff in mature microenterprise organizations and young executive directors of new organizations and supports them in a process aimed at building their strategic and organizational skills, preparing them to lead within their own organizations and the broader field, and creating a peer network for learning and shared work.

Why a fellowship program?

As the microbusiness field enters its third decade in the United States, a number of its leading organizations are achieving a scale that requires a deeper management and leadership team. At the same time, the field is attracting young talent who are creating new organizations and bringing new ideas and energy to its work. By identifying these emerging leaders, offering them skills to build their effectiveness, and connecting them with senior leaders in the field and peers navigating the same challenges and issues, ELM² works to attract and build high-quality human capital to support the continued growth and vitality of the microbusiness field in the U.S.

ELM² Activities

FIELD selected and worked with three classes of fellows from 2012 through 2015. In 2016, with continuing support from the Capital One Foundation, FIELD will build an alumni component to ELM², designed to continue our work with the 35 fellows from our first three classes. The alumni program will include a three-day in-person convening in spring 2016, two shorter regional meetings, and several webinars and other virtual convenings.