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Leadership for positive impact

Women Innovators in Sustainable Enterprise (WISE)

Tue 1st May 2018 - Mon 31st December 2018


WISE Global is a pioneering, ‘beyond start- up’, 8 months duration, blended learning programme for skills development, sense-making and crucial networking for people setting up or progressing a sustainable enterprise. 90% of the learning experience is online with support from an interactive learning community and 1:1 business growth mentoring sessions.

The core WISE programme consists of:

  • 4 online learning modules that have been developed with an effective blend of high calibre academic research and pedagogical rigour combined with practical business application.
  • 1 international group webinar.
  • 2 days immersive learning retreat at ESA with participants, teachers and mentors.
  • 2 mentoring 1:1 sessions, focussed on you and your enterprise, during the core programme.
  • 2 business growth strategy coaching sessions to support you after the formal programme. 
  • An optional WISE Graduation and Gala event held in September each year at ESA.
  • All WISE Alumni automatically become members of the WISE Global community of support so they need never feel alone in their sustainable enterprise challenges.


Sharon Jackson, founder of ESA and Ramona da Gama, Business Growth Strategist in London, are excited to invite you to join WISE Global.

About WISE

Women Innovators in Sustainable Enterprise (WISE) GLOBAL is a blended learning (part online) global programme for women setting up and running their businesses. WISE is a peer group learning community with business growth coaches and high quality, tested, learning modules.

WISE aims to guide you to be ‘investor ready’ for the next step of your sustainable enterprise path.

Sustainable Enterprise creates a better future
The Triple Bottom Line (TBL) accountability model for sustainable business has had many re-names and re-branding since John Elkington coined the term in 1994. However, the three pillars of Social, Environmental and Economic accountability (also known as People, Planet, Profit) consistently remain as the fundamental elements of sustainable enterprise and sustainable living.

TBL business responsibility and accountability have recently been expanded to the UN Sustainable Development Goals which businesses of all sizes across the planet are aspiring to integrate into their day to day business processes. Leading sustainable enterprise has been built in as the ‘golden thread’ of learning throughout the WISE Global programme. You will learn new skills how to effortlessly convert your sustainability intentions and aspirations into to meaningful action for added value creation and longevity.

WISE Global has been primarily designed for female entrepreneurs in business and builds on the original WISE Women in Social Enterprise EU, Lifelong Learning Programme, pilot project involving 60 women in Greece, Spain and Croatia. This pilot programme was developed by ESA in partnership with ESADE University Spain, St. Gallen University Switzerland, HUB Zagreb and DESA in Croatia. Although updated and advanced to meet the contemporary world of enterprise, WISE Global retains the underpinning research and rigorous pedagogical design of the pilot.

WISE Global has been updated and enhanced from the original pilot and blended with elements from the Growth Through Sustainability (GTS)programme designed at Cranfield School of Management for SMEs with a clear purpose towards a profitable sustainable enterprise. Also the ‘sustainable self’, health and wellbeing theme of WISE has been enhanced with proven and tested elements from the Gateway Programme (confidence building) designed for Cambridge University (Murray Edwards College).

ESA has celebrated empowered women in enterprise since 2013 with an annual Women Empowerment (WE) Global Summit and WE awards gala. Every year women tell us how ‘feeling alone’ and struggling to  ‘be seen and heard’ can be very challenging. WISE captures the essence of all that has emerged through the WE events over 5 years, to ensure that you are the best that you can be. In the chaotic and noisy world that we live in we need to find effective and elegant ways to get noticed and to attract the best co-creators and partners by developing our own light to shine brightly. Sustainable- self means making space for balance and harmony in your life to nurture yourself as your enterprise grows.

Previous events

View Women Innovators in Social Enterprise Programme (2013 – 2016)
View WISE Face to Face Workshop

WISE Global Learning Content

The blended learning format of WISE means that you can work on the learning modules and arrange your online mentoring sessions to fit with your own schedule and preferred rhythms of learning. Blended learning means a tailored programme of virtual, online learning with some face to face interventions. This powerful combination has been proven to ensure that new skills and new knowledge can be applied to your own practical reality and at the same time enhanced by different and diverse influences.

Your learning support team includes a highly successful international business growth coach assigned to you for 2 one on one, online mentoring sessions during the programme and 2 more after the programme ends.

A Learning Community Manager will support you in using the online learning environment and module teachers will guide you through the learning content.

Mandatory Module 1. guides you to explore your own intentions and bring more clarity about your sustainable enterprise ‘purpose’. To help select the 3 further learning modules that suit you best, Module 1 Is combined with:
• A passion map
• Personal Learning Plan
• 1:1 mentoring session

3 Optional Learning Modules include:
• Creating your MVP and profile clarity
• Accounting for sustainability
• Practical stakeholder identification and engagement
• Capacity building for success
• Shining confidence through sense making and sense giving
• Becoming online savvy and using the internet to grow your business
• The skills and techniques for highly effective video communications.

The immersive learning retreat weekend includes:
The secrets of resilience, tricks and techniques to face and embrace fears and failure.

Closing mentoring session includes: Creating your practical plan for the next steps for your sustainable enterprise.

Golden threads of shared wisdom throughout the programme include:
• Honing your light to shine as a brilliant leader
• Directing your own sustainable-self plan
• Your personal branding and congruence

WISE Global Faculty: Highly experienced sustainable enterprise teachers, business growth coaches, MBA programme designers/lecturers, entrepreneur mentors will guide and support you through your WISE journey. Expert speakers will share their stories of resilience, adaptation and their success in setting up and leading their sustainable enterprise.

Outputs: At the end of the programme you will have new skills, a strong network and a practical set of tools to help you take the next important steps on your sustainable enterprise journey including:
• A sharply honed business value proposition
• Profit clarity with tested and challenged financial predictions
• Business growth coaching recommendations with potential investor or partner suggestion

Your mentors and coaches will guide you to sharpening your ‘sense-making radars’ to notice new empowering and energising signals that you have previously ignored or not noticed. At the end of the WISE process you will be different and your approach to your enterprise will be different. You will be wiser!

Application time to join WISE is open between 8th March – 30th April. Contact Us

Interviews and the WISE participant selection process is concluded by 31st May.

WISE Programme Timeline.

If you are a successful WISE Global applicant you will be sent a detailed itinerary and personal log- in details for you to join the WISE Global online learning platform and WISE community.

WELCOME to WISE! Group webinar and WISE learning platform officially opens 15th and 16th June (exact date TBC).

MODULE 1: your personal learning plan and bespoke mentoring session will take place throughout June and July.

During July and August you will do practical preparation for the learning retreat.

WISE learning retreat at ESA Crete takes place over the weekend of 22 – 23 September.

MODULES 2 to 7: OPEN. You will select 3 online learning modules with guidance from your mentor. Each module is 30 hours of work each month of October, November, December.

EVALUATION and results, January 2019.

Beyond start-up business growth coaching takes place in February 2019.
WISE gala graduation, pitching and network introduction / matching, optional event at ESA-Crete, September 2019.

Beyond start-up business growth, second coaching session either online or face to face at the WISE graduation event. September 2019.

Application process

You will be asked to complete a questionnaire about you and your sustainable business or business idea and send it to us with a 2 minute video about what you would like from the WISE learning programme.

Who should apply: WISE is for you if you have a business idea that has been developed to a minimum viable product/ service, or if you already have an existing enterprise that is ready to grow through sustainability.

Participants must have:

• Good English reading and writing skills
• Access to a laptop or desktop computer (Microsoft Windows preferred) for up to 50 hours each month.
• Time availability of 30 hours per month for the learning modules completion.
• Able to attend the learning retreat in Crete, Greece during September (mandatory part of the programme).

Innovators in Sustainable Enterprise is an inclusive programme and we are pleased to invite men to apply for WISE/MISE. Questions and challenges will be adapted accordingly, if necessary.

Cost: 1500 euros (or currency equivalent) plus VAT/ΦΠΑ.
This cost covers all teaching content over 8 months including 2 days learning retreat in Crete, accommodation, catering and special activities. Travel to Crete must arranged by the participant.

A monthly payment arrangement can be agreed. Scholarships are available. For information about WISE Global payment arrangements Contact Us
Because of the original EU, WISE Consortium Agreement, some country restrictions apply.

Join our WISE Global Community at Women Innovators in Sustainable Enterprise FB page.
If you have any questions please Contact Us

Host your event at ESA     

Powered only by Cretan sunshine, ESA is a beautiful building rooted in the earth amongst ancient rocks and olive trees, surrounded by nature. Its construction is a leading example of sustainability in practice. ESA is an experiential and creative place where people feel enlivened, uplifted and creative. Great living and great learning happen at ESA. A perfect setting for:

Leading sustainable enterprise

Our passion is contributing towards co-created sustainable enterprise for positive impact on communities and the natural environment on a global scale. Leadership and entrepreneur issues of adaptation, resilience, authenticity, sustainable-self, values connected sense-making and the continued emancipation of women (WISE) to take up more leadership roles in the world are at the core of the ESA sustainability experience.

Make sense of sustainability

Crete is the sustainable destination of the past and of the future.

Home of the Minoans, one of the earliest civilisations on earth, nestled between Europe, Africa and the Middle East, Crete is rich with mythology, gastronomy, music, art and agriculture. You can have your own authentic experience of a sustainable lifestyle and feel first-hand the strong connection between nature and community.