Mission: EWI channels the entrepreneurial spirit, the arts and creative talents of immigrant, refugee and low-income women into small businesses that create jobs and a new generation of American leaders and entrepreneurs.
History: In 2002, Marga Fripp an award-winning journalist and a native of Romania created Empowered Women International (EWI) to give voice to immigrant and refugee women, and marshal their cultural and artistic assets, skills and heritage to generate jobs, entrepreneurial opportunities and help them attain full civic participation in the United States.
Program: EWI accomplishes this by providing mentoring and education that teaches practical workforce readiness skills for the American business culture in the arts and the creative industries. The organization offers a comprehensive model of empowerment, workforce development and self-sufficiency that includes:
- A three-month intensive entrepreneurial training, Entrepreneur Training for Success (ETS) along with ongoing personalized coaching, mentoring, networking and support services;
- A micro-enterprise program that allow ETS graduates and supporting artists to generate income and build a market for their products by selling their work through EWI’s marketplace and partner organizations;
- A multicultural outreach program that presents visual and performing arts events and workshops across the Washington DC area to further provide opportunities for our beneficiaries to connect with, participate, and give back to their communities.
Impact: In 2010, 308 immigrant, refugee and low-income women benefited from our comprehensive training, mentoring and support services. We tripled revenue from $55,000 to $158,000, and partnered with AmeriCorps to bring a full-time staff member in our team. EWI presented six visual and performing art programs and 36 artists markets across the Greater Washington DC area, which earned money for over 50 women artists and creative entrepreneurs, and benefited an audience of approximately 4,000 participants.
Since 2002 over 2,500 immigrant, refugee and low-income women benefited from EWI’s services. Upon graduation from ETS women launch small businesses that create jobs and benefit the community.
- 80% report they increased their income, changed jobs for better positions and/or enrolled in college and other educational programs.
- 70% report they taught art in schools, volunteered in educational and community organizations, or partnered with EWI to mentor and teach women and youth.
Got passion to get involved? Email Marga Fripp at firstname.lastname@example.org