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Nest prepares for fellowship growth with a new grant from Oak Foundation

In the handworker economy, resources for robust staffing and third party consulting are often limited, putting constraints on knowledge and skills development among artisan entrepreneurs, staff, and craftspeople. The Nest Professional Fellowship Program bridges the skills and education gap between global entrepreneurs seeking to grow their small businesses with seasoned industry professionals who have deep expertise in core business areas that present challenges to scale for artisan businesses. The program helps link artisan businesses with a consolidated, vetted, reliable group of highly skilled professionals who provide targeted business development support on specific projects with a clear starting point and finish line. Since the program’s launch in 2013, it has brought more than $1 million in pro bono consulting to over 70 artisan businesses, generating over 13,000 hours of highly sophisticated consulting work.

At the close of 2018, Oak Foundation granted Nest $700,000 over three years to scale the Professional Fellowship Program’s activities, giving more artisan entrepreneurs, staff, and craftspeople the opportunity to learn directly from industry professionals. This additional support will open up new opportunities for Nest to grow onsite training and education by 30% year over year, with the goal of achieving a 10% increase in the number of Fellowships we place over the course of 2019. We are already off to a bright and exciting start with fellowships in motion both at home and afar.