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Gifts & Giving for a Cause at the Holiday Gift Marketplace

20 Nov

Look who will be at EWI’s 1st Annual Holiday Gift Marketplace!

The marketplace is a unique shopping experience for holiday gifts and  a crowd-sourcing platform for engaging customers in providing ideas, connections and services that support local businesses.

Sunday, November 24th
11am-5pm
The Whittemore House
1526 New Hampshire Avenue, NW
Washington DC 20036
(near Dupont Circle)

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Ansen & Elsa
Elsen Oils

With modern products full of damaging chemicals that affect hair and skin, Elsa and Ansen longed to find safe products for their children. While researching products and ways to protect their children from these products, they discovered the many health benefits of oils in their natural form. Their love for their children inspired themto search for healthier options and their love for people inspired them to turn their new passion into a business.

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As Elsen Oils grows larger, Ansen & Elsa are looking to meet some of their needs. Do you know any retail buyersor chains? Can you or someone you know provide training and advice for contacts retailers? Come to EWI’s 1st Annual Holiday Gift Market and buy some all-natural oils while also helping to continue the empowerment.

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Clementine Simmons:
Clems Floral Design Gallery, LLC

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While Clem was growing up, she remembers her mother holding a very special love for flowers. Her mother always had flowers around and outside their home. The love for flowers held a special bond between her mother and her. Clem never realized how deep her passions for flowers went until she helped a friend create a floral arrangement. After realizing the true strength of her passion, her dream became to launch her own business. As Clem grows her business she is searching for connections and partners to take her company to the next level. Do you have a referral for someone in the hotel industry that can help Clem’s business get hired? Do you know a manufacturer who can help mass produce Clem’s gift cards and wall art to include in her packaging? Can you assist Clem in getting her Maryland Department of Transportation (MDOT) certificate? Come to the EWI Holiday Gift Market and meet with Clem while picking up a beautiful bouquet.

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Cleopatra Magwaro:
A Season’s Assemblage

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While growing up in Zimbabwe, Cleo constantly listened to stories told by her father and grandfather. While listening to these stories, Cleo was captivated and was left with a deep passion for literature. Her desire to recapture glimpses of her childhood and bring to life images and human connections led her to write her own anthology, A Season’s Assemblage.  Her goal is to educate people of the African experience. She is inspired by the people around her and hopes to reach as many people as possible through her stories. Want to help Cleo achieve her goal? Do you know and agent or a publisher who could help Cleo? Know anyone who could provide a grant to a way Cleo could gain funds to scan her books to publish onAmazon? Know potential clients interested in the African market? Do you know any other networks or NGO’s with an African focus? Come to EWI’s 1st Annual Holiday Marketplace and learn about another culture while making a change.

Rabia

Rabia Pervez:

Silk’ n Paint

Rabia Pervez

Rabia Pervez

Growing up, Rabia recalls her constant fascination with colors and fabrics. While at home, she decided to start experimenting with various dyes and silk.This experimentation led her to creating an elegant yet striking garment that led her to learn and experiment with her art even more. Since this break through, Rabia has created a line of products ranging for cosmetic bags to pillowcases to jewelry leading to the creation of her line Silk’n paint. As Silk’ n Paint grows, Rabia has needsthat need to be met. Do you know somewhere or someone who can help Rabia sell her products in gift shops, gift galleries, corporate gift shows, and boutiques? Come to EWI’s 1st Holiday Gift Place and give the gift of empowerment this holiday season.

Free Admission

Let us know you’ll be there and RSVP NOW!

Written by Ciara Salg, Marketing & Communications Intern

Your Skills + Their Dreams = EMPOWERMENT!

18 Nov

Look who will be at EWI’s 1st Annual Holiday Gift Marketplace!

The marketplace is a unique shopping experience for holiday gifts and  a crowd-sourcing platform for engaging customers in providing ideas, connections and services that support local businesses.

Sunday, November 24th
11am-5pm
The Whittemore House
1526 New Hampshire Avenue, NW
Washington DC 20036
(near Dupont Circle)

Angela copyAngela Sargent
AIA Designs

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Not one to sit around waiting for opportunities, Angela Sargent creates her own! From writing to knitting, she puts her talents to good use.  The knitting skills learned from her grandmother were put to good use in 2007 after she lost her job. Realizing that her crafts should be shared with others, she started AIA Designs and set up shop on Etsy.  Angela could use some help with business financing and social media branding. Is this the type of expertise you have?  If so, come out to EWI’s 1st Annual Holiday Gift Marketplace to let Angela know how you can help her move AIA Designs to its next phase!

Kamila

Kamila Barbour
Barbour House Publications

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The frustrations that Kamila Barbour experienced when she picked up Islamic books and saw the poorly done illustrations led her to create Barbour House Publications. She knew that her design talents could provide better illustrations, as well as offer an encouraging outlet for Islamic writers, artists and designers to promote their own work. Barbour House could benefit greatly from a partnership with a business savvy and passionate individual. Financing is very important to the beginning stages of a business. Can you help? If these resources are something that you could help Kamila with, then EWI’s 1st Annual Holiday Gift Marketplace is a great place to start sharing your resources with Barbour House!

Mariana

Mariana Alvarado
LunaMar Jewelry Collection
Mariana and Sergio Alvarado

Mariana’s father Sergio started crafting jewelry, sculptures, and other objects by hand in Mexico City more than 30 years ago. This jewelry making venture is a family affair, as she and her father work to create one of a kind pieces. Mariana would love to turn her passion for creativity and jewelry into a viable business and you can help her do it!  The 1st Annual EWI Holiday Gift Marketplace is the perfect place for small business experts to share their knowledge while shopping for the holidays. From basic start up advice to the best way to partner with galleries, Mariana could really use your help!

Sharmilla

Sharmila Karamchandani
Artist, Designer & Art Educator

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Meet Sharmila, a creative force who hopes to use her artistry to open an art school one day.  Sharmila uses her creativity to practice henna painting at art festivals, designs jewelry and creates graphic art.  As a graduate of EWI’s Entrepreneur Training for Success program, Sharmila possesses a solid foundation to turn her dream of art school into a reality. However she could use the expertise of a business professional to help her solidify it.  Do you have contracting skills? What about an overflow of graphic design projects? Even better, are you good with numbers?  Any of these skills and resources could help Sharmila be well on her way, come shop for a cause at EWI’s 1st Annual Holiday Gift Marketplace and get to know Sharmila and how you could fuel her dreams!

Free Admission

Let us know you’ll be there and RSVP NOW!

Written by Veronica Hughes, a freelance writer with a passion for global women’s issues and social justice. You can learn more about her over at her blog, Lifestyle and Thoughts

Marga’s First Day in Papua New Guinea

5 Nov

 “It’s a privilege to be here in the making of this historic event and work with these women to fully empower them to pursue their highest vision, aspirations and ideals,” says Marga Fripp on her first day in Papua New Guinea after meeting with the most vibrant and determined women of PNG.

Marga will have the opportunity to witness the launching of the Papua New Guinea Women’s Chamber of Commerce and Industry (PNGWCCI) on Wednesday, Nov 6th.  The First Lady of PNG, a businesswoman herself, and the most influential change maker women of the country will attend the event, and Marga will be the keynote speaker. It’s an exciting time to be there for Marga as the event symbolizes the fruition of a women-led social movement after year’s worth of struggle to achieve empowerment, political representation, financial and economic independence and much more. The organization will create an opportunity for women to voice their concerns, to engage policy makers in addressing the most volatile social and economic issues that are preventing women from achieving success and empowerment.

All women in the middle are the founders of Papua New Guinea Women’s Chamber of Commerce and Industry. Left to right Natalia (US Embassy), Theresa, Linda, Avia, Amanda, Janet, Susan (US Embassy).

Marga’s role in PNG, besides coaching and mentoring entrepreneurial skills, is to inspire and encourage women to speak up about their concerns, obstacles, drawbacks and doubts that are hindering them from achieving their goals in life. It’s conventional wisdom that change can only come when we identify our stumbling blocks and when we make the effort to address it to whoever is willing to listen, and with 20 plus years of experience under her belt Marga knows that the most important step in achieving change is to listen first. These are extraordinary women with extraordinary stories to tell and they represent not just women in PNG but women globally.

This is how Marga felt on her first few day in PNG.

“I met some of the strongest and most determined global women. I had dinner last night with the founders of the first women’s chamber of commerce in PNG. Much like at EWI we shared our stories, and how we have been helping immigrant, refugee and low-income women become self-determined and empowered entrepreneurs through our rigorous 3-month ETS programs.

The women I met are determined to change the status quo, they are women of change, they know where they came from, they sacrificed a lot to become who they are and they are now paving the way for other women and generations to come.

It’s a privilege to be here in the making of this historic event and work with these women to fully empower them to pursue their highest vision, aspirations and ideals. I am confident that their vision, courage and determination will transform both the policy agenda for women’s economic empowerment and the role and condition of women in PNG and globally.”

Written by Hanna Yamir, Program Associate

Coach’s Corner: Putting the Mouse Down for a Change

17 Oct 9908083384_c5585fc8a5_c

This week, I’d like to stress what is actually a very traditional, seemingly unsophisticated aspect of marketing: the importance of making direct, personal contact with prospective customers.

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Velma Crawford & Lyzbeth Monard practicing the art of networking

Much of the material available on marketing these days emphasizes new, innovative e-marketing techniques. Now, there is no doubt that this approach should certainly be part of your overall strategy. However, call me old-school, but I am a firm believer in the necessity of getting up from the computer and venturing out into the real, rather than virtual world, because that is how the long-term customer relationships that will eventually form 80% of your business must be cemented.

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Kate Campbell Stevenson connecting

As we have discussed previously, as a beginning, independent entrepreneur, what you are really selling is yourself, at least as much as your product or service. Your goal is to make prospective customers feel comfortable with and trust you. This will take a little time, but it will result in the bonds of loyalty that are absolutely essential for your ultimate success. You may prove me wrong, and if so, more power to you — but I don’t think this can be accomplished purely through the click of a mouse.At this point, I can envision those of you who know me thinking: “Sure Howie, your computer skills are in the lowest 1% percentile of western civilization, so of course you think this way.” And you’d be absolutely right! But I’m not advising you to forgo e-marketing, just to supplement it with a healthy dose of shoe leather. I don’t particularly like to discuss my own marketing and networking efforts at this blog, but in this case, I think a few specific examples will help clarify my point:

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Morella Ewell networking at an outreach event

1. About two months ago, I read briefly from my upcoming civil rights memoir at an open reading at the Writer’s Center in Bethesda. The center’s assistant director, who was running the session, asked me afterward to keep in touch with him. I did, and now I will be invited to present my book to the Writer’s Circle community when it is published.

2. Two weeks ago, I discussed my memoir and displayed civil rights memorabilia at an open house at Studio Pause in Alexandria, hosted by E.W.I.s own Sush Mazumdar. Less than a week later, I was offered several paid writing assignments by a photographer who discussed her work at the same open house.

3. Last weekend, I took a marketing and blogging workshop at the Writer’s Center, where I chatted and exchanged business cards with several other writers taking the class. A few days afterward, one of those students, an administrator at the Baltimore Museum of African-American History, invited me to read from and promote my book there when it is released.

Could I have secured these invaluable marketing and promotional opportunities by e-mail? I don’t think so. Was I just lucky? Perhaps, as I’ve certainly undertaken similar networking efforts which did not yield results. But get out there enough, and good things will come your way. They may not be the ones you most expected, but new horizons will open to you.

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Aida Mady networking at a benefit event

I’m no expert at literary marketing — in fact, I’ve just recently started down that path. I’m used to music marketing, which is a whole other world. Accordingly, I try to target events and venues where I figure to enjoy myself and feel comfortable. I’m not likely to attend a convention of science fiction or children’s book authors, because I won’t fit in, which will be obvious to prospective customers. I travel light — just a business card is really all you need to make your first connection. Later on, you can follow-up with more information on yourself and your business, and send out a sample of your work.You may not see yourself as a natural marketer or salesperson — I know I’m certainly not. So, as Jerry “Iceman” Butler used to sing, “Make it easy on yourself.” Bring along a friend for company and moral support, particularly if you tend to be shy among new people. Better yet: let your comrades in the EWI community know when and where you will be reading, exhibiting, cooking, dancing — whatever. We will be there to support you, so keep us informed of your appearances (by now, you may have noticed that I’m not exactly reluctant to let you know of my music and reading schedule!).

Remember: it’s Empowered Women – not Woman — International. We’re all in this together!

Take care,
Howie

By Howard Feinstein, Empowered Women International Board Member

Coach’s Corner is a bi-weekly blog for the EWI community, passing along news, events, articles of interest, and tips on growing your business.  We are all on this journey together, and no one — certainly not yours truly — has all the answers.  Accordingly, I hope you will contribute your ideas and experiences to this forum as well, c/o khfeinstein@verizon.net.

 

Marga Fripp Among Those Honored at Walker’s Legacy

25 Sep

In the early 1900s, Madam C. J. Walker carved a path for both women and African Americans with her philanthropy and relentless ambition in her entrepreneurial ability, becoming the first female self-made millionaire in the United States.

A century later, on September 18th, Walker’s Legacy hosted the first Business & Civic Leadership Awards designed to honor and recognize outstanding professional women who have demonstrated achievement in business and civic engagement.

The honoree panel (from left to right): Tecoya Gordon, Marie Johns, A' Lelia Bundles, Natalie Maderia Cofield, Maria Cardona, Marga Fripp, Ricki Fairley.

The honoree panel (from left to right): Tecoya Gordon, Marie Johns, A’ Lelia Bundles, Natalie Maderia Cofield, Maria Cardona, Marga Fripp, Ricki Fairley.

EWI’s Founder & President, Marga Fripp was one of the chosen speakers and honorees for the event. She was featured on a panel where she shared ideas, provided advice to young entrepreneurs, and further connected and promoted women in business, along with other distinguished women for their business endeavors.

The Walker Legacy honoree panelists included moderator Shelia Stewart, an award-winning journalist and host on Radio One. Others were Marie Johns, president of L&L Consulting and Maria Cardona, political strategist, CNN Contributor, and Principal at the Dewey Square Group.

At one point, Stewart asked the panel how they maintained their balance as women in modern day business. “While juggling family, responsibilities, and growing an organization,” Fripp replied, “I believe that I am a global women, and because of that, I have a responsibility to be level headed and act as one. Finding your center—whether mental, body, spirit, or business center—in every single circumstance is extremely important.”

EWI Board Melissa Reitkopp and Dianne Lorenz, with Marga Fripp

EWI Board Member Melissa Reitkopp and Board Chair Dianne Lorenz, and Marga Fripp with Bruno Mazali of Zoe Ventures, LLC

EWI would like to thank Walker’s Legacy for organizing such a special event and honoring exemplary women. EWI hopes to continue the connections made and share the wisdom presented to better empower women around the world.

Written by Ciara Salg, Marketing & Communications Intern

Flowers of Clementine

17 Sep

Mother, grandmother, and 2012 Entrepreneur Training for Success (ETS) graduate Clementine Simmons spent numerous years dedicating her IT services to the federal government. During this time, she also began to dedicate some time in fashioning floral designs and realized she was astoundingly gifted in it!

She took her talents to market, selling her works at craft shows and churches and to private individuals. With her success, she enrolled in the ETS program where, with the help of mentors and staff, she steadily improved her business structure and focused on reconstructing her brand.

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Clementine stands near floral arrangement

Through the recommendation of a close friend, Clementine sought out EWI for support and motivation. Clementine knew that this would be a great opportunity to become more business savvy and give her old business a fresh start, especially with a gang of EWI cheerleaders rooting for her every step of the way. She needed help developing a business plan and determining her target market, and EWI had the tools for her to do just that.

Clementine knows from experience that sometimes the most difficult aspect of building your own business is that inner voice of doubt. She stressed that regardless of any shortcomings or challenges faced during your journey, people in her shoes must not give up on themselves. She even stated that, “You should continue to press forward and improve on yourself as well as the product you are selling. Believe that as you press on and the right doors will open for you.”

Beautiful addition to the entryway!

Clementine delivers one her custom floral designs to Deborah Blank.

This epiphany is ultimately the reason she enrolled in the Grow My Business program. Clementine saw this course as another stepping-stone to success. In this program, she is placed in the position to challenge herself to expand her networks and forge partnerships with fellow business owners. She is also able to get advice and expertise from like-minded individuals.

Interested to find out how you can turn your talents into a business?

Applications for Fall 2013 ETS term are being accepted now! Classes are held in Alexandria, Virginia and Wheaton, Maryland starting October 21.  Openings still available for our Alexandria class. Scholarships are also available for qualified low-income applicants. For more information, click here to find out more and apply. You can also contact our office at 571-312-4781 and speak with Alexia Muchisu Wendel, Entrepreneurship Program Manager, or email her at alexia@ewint.org.

Written by LaNesha Kearse, Social Media Writer

Apply Now for EWI’s Business Training Course!

20 Aug
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Tenisha Campbell and Jane Mwinuku, Spring 2013 ETS graduates.

Have a business concept that you need help getting off the ground? Want to channel  and transform your talents into a sustainable, income-generating business? Don’t have the tools or know where to start?

Empowered Women International (EWI), an organization that channels the entrepreneurial drive and creative talents of immigrant, refugee, and low-income women, may have just what you need! Join the long-standing legacy of women who have enrolled in EWI’s Entrepreneur Training For Success (ETS) course.

ETS is an intensive three-month business start-up training program that helps prepare women like you to launch and grow their own micro businesses, through entrepreneurship training, mentorship, and business support services. Here, women receive individualized support from successful mentors and experts in their respective fields. They also have the opportunity to build life-long relationships and strong friendships with women with similar backgrounds while sharing their unique stories in a positive and encouraging atmosphere.

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ETS students discuss their businesses

Applications for Fall 2013 ETS term are being accepted now! Classes are held in Alexandria, Virginia and Wheaton, Maryland starting in mid October.  Scholarships are also available for qualified low-income applicants. For more information, click here to find out more and apply. You can also contact our office at 571-312-4781 and speak with Alexia Muchisu Wendel, Entrepreneurship Program Manager, or email her at alexia@ewint.org.

We look forward to hearing from you!

Written by LaNesha Kearse, Marketing & Communications Intern

Nishat Launches New Catering Website

14 Aug
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EWI Founder Marga and Nishat pose for photo

Meet Spring 2013 Entrepreneurship Training for Success (ETS) graduate Nishat Siddiqui. Nishat has turned her passion for cooking into a business. With thirty years of cooking experience under her belt, Nishat is sharing her family’s traditional and original Pakistani and Indian recipes. Nishat is really passionate about cooking and loves that the people she cooks for not only enjoy her food but also appreciate her hard work and effort. Prompted by her husband’s own health issues, she is now focusing her energies on using all natural ingredients in her scrumptious concoctions and providing services for her customers during the holiday seasons.

Even when faced with limited ingredients and strong dietary constraints Nishat still manages to create delectable recipes from scratch. Her private cooking lessons includes a three course meal with a dessert and wine. Coupled with a consultation, Nishat buys all of the groceries and brings them and instruction for families to enjoy.

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Nishat’s yummy Butter Prawns

Persuaded by the family-like nature of the program, Nishat dove head first into building her business plan to propel herself into the cooking industry and through the  ETS program. She was amazed by the dynamics of the program. Not only was the instruction extremely easy to follow, she felt very supported by readily available EWI staff, coaches, students, and mentors. “It’s kind of like being in a large family and I’m really happy and really thrilled that I joined EWI.”

She has recently enrolled in the Grow My Business (GMB) course seeing this new program as a great opportunity to continue networking with experts in her industry and receive stable support in the management of her business. She also mentioned how helpful her support has been from people, like Empowered Women International staff member Alexia Muchisu Wendel, who also have a background in the food industry in really helping her polish her brand.

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Nishat prepares a homemade dish

You can now learn more about her business by visiting her new website Nishat’s Kitchen or liking her Facebook page Nishat’s Kitchen Facebook Page. Have a special occasion or holiday gathering coming up? Not only can you see a preview of her delightful dishes you can also book her catering services and private cooking lessons!

Do you want to know more about our entrepreneurship programs? The Fall 2013 Entrepreneurship Training for Success (ETS) starts in mid October and we’re currently accepting applications. Click here to find out more and apply. You can also contact our office at 571-312-4781 and speak with Alexia Muchisu Wendel, Entrepreneurship Program Manager or email her at alexia@ewint.org.

We look forward to hearing from you!

Written by LaNesha Kearse, Marketing & Communications Intern

Paulette Mpouma, Following Her Passion

13 Aug

Meet Spring 2011 ETS alumni Paulette Mpouma. Paulette entered into the program with global ambitions following the invention of her African board game. Already successfully selling board games, Paulette needed organizational direction and the support of other exceptional women with similar hardships. She viewed ETS as an excellent opportunity for her to track her progress and meet influential and decisive people.

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Paulette and County Executive Ike Leggett pose for photo

Moved by her desire to educate people around the world, especially her children, about the marvels of Africa, she created a game to provide the safe space for individuals to engage in healthy dialogues about controversial topics such as race and world economies. But first and foremost, this board game was intended to help expel many of the misinformed and harmful stereotypes that so many in the Western world seem to have about Africa. Noticing that school curriculums in America were devoid of diverse perspectives and voices, Paulette created a game to make learning about Africa informative, empowering, and fun.

Paulette stumbled into EWI following her exhaustive search for a women’s support group. She craved an atmosphere that encouraged the building of strong relationships amongst like-minded women, emphasized the significance of cross-cultural competency, and understood the unique experiences of women living in a foreign culture.

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Paulette’s Afrique’enjeux board game

Now that she has successfully infiltrated international markets selling over 4000 board games worldwide, she is ready to take the next big step in her entrepreneurial career. Not only has she been working tirelessly to modify her existing products and introduce her new line of African inspired dolls to stores, she has enrolled in EWI’s new Grow My Business (GMB) course. She sees GMB as an opportunity to collaborate more effectively with experts who can help her focus her talents on the distribution, managing, and marketing aspects of her business. She is also extremely grateful to have a program that supports women beyond the developmental stages of their business; a program that will provide her with the knowledge on how to manage her time and resources more efficiently for her clients’ satisfaction.

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Paulette showcases her dolls

When asked what advice she would give to inspiring business owners like her, she stated “When you choose your product you have to have a passion for what you’re doing. You have to be convinced by your own product because then and only then can you fight for it.” She emphasized the need to create something fulfilling a personal passion and a societal need and discussed how ETS and GMB can help phenomenal women like herself do just that.

Support Paulette’s Test Your Africa IQ campaign! Help bring her learning tool to schools and global communities. A portion of the proceeds will go to funding the Children Diabetic Center in Yaounde, Cameroon! Visit Test Your Africa IQ Campaign now to learn more!

Want to know more about our entrepreneurship programs? The Fall 2013 Entrepreneurship Training for Success (ETS) starts in mid October and we’re currently accepting applications. Click here to find out more and apply. You can also contact our office at 571-312-4781 and speak with Alexia Muchisu Wendel, Entrepreneurship Program Manager or email her at alexia@ewint.org.

We look forward to hearing from you!

Written by LaNesha Kearse, Marketing & Communications Intern

EWI participates in Women and Wine

30 Jul

On Wednesday July 17th, EWI participated in the Women and Wine of Alexandria event in Alexandria, Virginia. Women and Wine is an organization that facilitates meetings with the larger community to discuss various contributions of local women to their communities over wine tasting. This event afforded EWI the opportunity to socialize, network with, and recruit like minded women to their Business Corps Volunteer Team.

Women from different arrays of businesses,  got together for a fun evening of networking amongst themselves as well as with a charity that serves the Alexandria area. EWI was the charity of their choice this month.  Recent alumna Charmelle Clark was able to showcase her work, network with potential clients and partners, and share her personal experience in the EWI program. For EWI’s Community Partnerships intern Virlen Reyes the experience was eye opening. “It really showed how versatile an individual becomes after putting our (EWI’s) skill set and life skills model into practice.”

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Charmelle showcases her work

EWI Staff member Alexia Muchisu Wendel expressed satisfaction in seeing how, empowered, confident and successful of one of the  Entrepreneurs for Success graduate, Charmelle was at networking, presenting her business and selling her products at this event.  EWI is extremely thankful for their alumni’s investment in the program even after graduation. Their testimonial truly highlights the powerful and positive ways in which EWI has impacted their lives and ours.

EWI had an amazing experience at Women and Wine of Alexandria event and looks forward to participating in future events hosted by this organization.

Thank you for supporting Empowered Women International.

By LaNesha Kearse, Marketing & Communications Intern

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