GROW Volunteers Make All the Difference in the World

Are you ready for some fun facts?

  • There are over 1 million women-owned businesses in the United States.
  • These businesses generate over $1.4 trillion in revenues and employing nearly 7.9 million people.
  • In 2017 alone, GROW helped start 68 new businesses locally, created 251 new jobs, delivered 1,377 hours of business training to over 700 participants, and provided 806 hours of one-on-one business mentorship!

Those are some impressive numbers – right? We are incredibly proud of the amazing impact GROW is able to make within our local community and beyond, but none of it would be possible without the help and passion we find in our volunteers.

Volunteers and mentors are the backbones of GROW’s programming.

We can’t imagine where we’d be without them. Joanna Corrigan, Director of CATKAM Media/GreenCup Design explains: “I volunteer with GROW as a Young Ambassador and a mentor as a way to give back to the wonderful community of entrepreneurs and small business owners. I have benefitted from GROW’s offerings as a business owner and I want to help others understand what a wonderful organization we have here in Grand Rapids. I enjoy sharing the lessons I have learned as a business owner with others to help them succeed in their own ventures.” From providing general office assistance to facilitating workshops and mentoring business owners, and even serving on GROWs board of directors, every hour counts!

Think back to your time in high school or college. You learned valuable skills and knowledge from your teachers and professors, but maybe some of the most memorable experiences involved guest speakers or mentors – those who were able to speak from real experience. Foundational knowledge can only go so far, and when our volunteers choose to step up and share their experiences and expertise with our classes of budding entrepreneurs, the growth that stems from that interaction is astounding.

Volunteer Recognition

Every year, during our Seeds of GROWth Award Ceremony, the LeeAnn Moss Service Award goes to a GROW volunteer whose dedication to our mission went above and beyond expectations. In 2017, we recognized Julie Lankes, owner of BOXBOOM Creative, for the countless hours spent supporting GROW clients and women business owners in developing their marketing strategies and their brands. She serves as a wonderful example of what can happen when you lead with your head and your heart.

No matter what skill sets you bring to the table, be it finance, marketing, business strategy, or the simple fact that you’ve run a successful business for a number of years, you are valuable and have something to teach others with entrepreneurial aspirations.

Upcoming Volunteer Opportunities

If you’re looking for a volunteer opportunity, consider this:

  1. Miditarod in Grand Rapids on August 4th.GROW is a charity partner for the 2018 Miditarod. We’re looking for 3 to 4 volunteer bartenders for the event. Shifts will take place from 10:45am-2pm and 2pm-5:30pm.
  • Additionally, volunteers are needed to handle cart valet, timing in teams, and playing Minute to Win It games! We’ll need 6 volunteers total, and each will be assigned a designated spot in Heartside Park from 11:45am-3:15pm.

If you’re interested in either of these opportunities, please email

Learn More About Volunteering with GROW

Learn about more of GROW’s volunteer opportunities online and fill out the form to get started with us. Join the movement by passing on the lessons you’ve learned over the years with others who aspire to be something great! Help women and men alike take that next step towards business ownership – give back to the community in a meaningful way with GROW.