As a female founder, best-selling author, wife, and mom I’m busy. Busier than the average woman entrepreneur (and that’s saying something.) For me to add anything to my plate it has to be an exceptional opportunity. Something that will make a huge difference in my life, my family, my business, or the world of female founders.
When Empowered Women International approached me to become their first spokesperson I was flattered, and frightened. I have done many interesting things in my career, but I have never been a spokeswoman. What if I didn’t meet their expectations? What if I didn’t have enough time to do justice to the position? As these thoughts flitted through my brain I remembered a personal mantra, “Do the things that scare you.” I also realized how closely this nonprofit aligned with my goals to lower the boundaries to entry and success for female founders…so I said “yes.”
Empowered Women International is a local nonprofit that uses entrepreneurship training in a “teach a woman to fish” approach that makes a great deal of sense to me. Since 2002, they have provided business training, mentoring, and support in the Washington DC area to help immigrant, refugee and low-income women turn their creative or cultural assets, artistic abilities, and skills into successful businesses. For instance, some of these women are talented artists who can create unique corporate office wall art, home decor pieces, and other artifacts. The program would help these women turn their artistic abilities into a viable source of income.
Empowered Women International has served more than 4,000 women whose success radiates in a myriad of ways. Highlights from recent graduates include:
- 97% say they increased their social support network through EWI
- 70% consider themselves to be better role models for their children
- 71% experienced greater economic mobility through a new job, income growth, or further education
- 42% increased sales after program completion
Those are real results from real women in the Maryland and Northern Virginia areas. After meeting women currently enrolled in classes, seeing their business plans, and hearing their stories of overcoming tremendous hurdles, I am honored to represent these women entrepreneurs and make sure that the community knows about them, supports them and their businesses, and that other area entrepreneurs donate time, knowledge, and funds to help Empowered Women International reach their goals and broaden the range of aspiring female founders they help.