The BALLE Local Economy Fellowship is the nation’s only fellowship focused on the development of a new economy that is healthy and equitable. Each Local Economy Fellow is selected based on their vision, their leadership, and their role as strategic connectors of community entrepreneurs. Whether leading local social enterprise incubators, community business networks, or regional food labs, they are all pioneering champions for a new economic vision.

The immersive program equips Localist Leaders with the most cutting-edge leadership and capacity-building skills that will advance their work, connect them with their peers across North America, and provide a national platform to share their models so that other regions can learn from them. Through the Local Economy Fellowship and its other communities of practice, BALLE plans to connect and support 250 communities across North America that bolster their local economies from within – investing in the people and businesses rooted right where they are over the next decade.

About Our Fellows

BALLE Local Economy Fellows.

BALLE Local Economy Fellows.

BALLE Fellows are natural leaders. They come from all walks of life, are natural conveners, and have tremendous pride in their place. They seek to accelerate their local and collective impact and to help make the key elements of a local economy more mainstream and actionable. To accomplish these goals, they realize that transformational leadership is required…this is where BALLE comes in.

Prior to joining the program, BALLE Local Economy Fellows were leaders in their own right, but together they were able to harness the collective strength of their combined talents and ideas, and multiply their impact.  Upon completion, leaders emerge stronger, more supported, and more impactful than ever before.

Collective Reach

As of the launch of our fourth cohort of Fellows in May, 2016, 76 total BALLE Fellows (2011-2016) represent communities in 34 states and provinces (including Washington, D.C.) and directly serve 87,500 small businesses. We estimate that they impact an additional 1.5 million small businesses through related work in policy and that in total they reach more than two million people through their communications channels.

Given what we know about the power of small businesses in North America – they are proven to increase local civic engagement, create 60-90 percent of net new jobs in the U.S. and Canada, and represent about half of U.S. and Canadian GDP (about $9.5 trillion) – it is no exaggeration to say that these leaders are transforming the bedrock of our economy.

“We need to fundamentally rethink our economic system. That’s why our partnership with BALLE to identify, connect, nourish, and illuminate today’s top local economy leaders is a key part of our strategy.”
—Jennifer Buffett, NoVo Foundation

Interested in the BALLE Local Economy Fellowship?

Learn more about how to apply for our next cohort and get some answers to frequently asked questions.

“The value the BALLE Fellowship brings is immeasurable.” – James Johnson-Piett, BALLE Fellow