Empowered Women Launches Artist Entrepreneurs and Creates Jobs in Montgomery County, MD

14 Jun

Originally Posted on March 9th, 2011

Handpainted Silk Scarf by Rabia Naeem Pervez

Empowered Women International is recruiting 12-15 immigrant, refugee and low-income women artists, artisans and social entrepreneurs for its mentoring and business start-up training: Entrepreneur Training for Success (ETS). ETS is an award-winning program of Empowered Women International, and it’s offered for the first time in Montgomery County, MD. The program runs for three months April 11-July 23, 2011, every Monday from 6pm-9pm at Pyramid Atlantic located at 8230 Georgia Avenue, Silver Spring, MD 20910. Interested applicants can contact Shannon at shannon@ewint.org or call EWI at 571-366-7724. Apply here.

The program offers women entrepreneurship training, workforce readiness and leadership skills to launch and sustain careers and micro-businesses in the arts and cultural industry. EWI is accepting applications until March 31st at 5pm. All applicants must go through a face-to-face interview with an EWI staff member before the course’s start date. The tuition cost of the course is $250 per student. Scholarships are available for those who demonstrate need.

“Since starting the Entrepreneur Training for Success program in 2005, Empowered Women Intentional graduated and launched more than 100 foreign-born and low-income women entrepreneurs, said President and Founder, Marga Fripp.

Artist Rabia Naeem Pervez at an Artists' Market with Empowered Women International

The intimate class size of the training provides women with more individualized attention, coaching and a network of support while learning about building a product and business portfolio, pricing, sales and marketing, brand and social media, budgeting and tax preparation, accessing micro-loans, and legal issues of running a business. Additionally, women in training are paired with mentors and visit a thriving business, explore collaboration, and receive guidance from established entrepreneurs and artists. ETS students graduate with an effective marketing plan, a roadmap to running a business, a budget, and a professional portfolio.

ETS graduate, Rabia Naeem Pevez immigrated to the United States from Pakistan with her husband in 2002.  In search of a viable way of selling the art and clothing she made in Pakistan, she discovered EWI’s Entrepreneur Training for Success. Through the three-month training, Rabia built her portfolio, refined her art and expanded the market for her hand-painted silk scarves. Today, Rabia is a successful business owner where she sells on her website, Silk N’ Paint and has branched out to making jewelry and embroidered bags. “EWI took me to a new level.  ETS helped me move from being a vendor to a true artist”, said Rabia.

This year, for the first time EWI is adding a Business Plan Pitch at the end of the training. Graduates will present their business plan to a visiting panel of professionals and one or more promising entrepreneurs will be selected by a panel of business professionals as Entrepreneurs in Residence with EWI. The Entrepreneur in Residence will receive 20-25 hours/year of free business coaching and support, networking opportunities and marketing services to accelerate the opportunities to grow their businesses.

Empowered Women International helps low-income immigrant and refugee women living in the Greater DC Metro area integrate, participate as new citizens and become self-sufficient by employing their creativity, skills, and entrepreneurial spirit to develop new career paths and start up businesses. Entrepreneur Training for Success was made possible in part through a grant from the Giving Circle of Hope, Reston and Washington Forrest, and through support from its generous partner organizations Pyramid Atlantic and Takoma Park Arts and Humanities.


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