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Marga Fripp Reflecting on Entrepreneur Graduates Class 2012

12 Jun

… At the heart of every desire is the desire to feel good. And so, the standard of success in life is not the things or the money, but the amount of joy you feel. – Esther and Jerry Hicks

The amount of joy I feel as our 20 micro-entrepreneur women completed their business incubator program and are ready to launch their businesses is immeasurable.

The process was complex and many students had to face their fears right in the eyes. Besides battling medical challenges, financial and emotional crisis, doubt was probably one of the most challenging of the fears.

Would they actually be able to turn something that for the most part of their life was “a hobby with passion” into a business? Would their dreams finally come true despite all realities of not having a steady income, or in some cases a place of their own? Would they have permission to continue to pursue their aspirations after the program?

Four months is not a long time, yet it is enough for women to learn, grow and blossom; forge new friendships, rebuild confidence and develop a renewed sense of possibility.

But then, will they find the right niche, the marketing pitch, and the clients who would love buying their products again and again?

Every step of the way, our trainers, mentors and staff – ensured our women kept on moving on, pursuing their dreams with no compromises. The ultimate goal of this program, beyond the business side – is the journey of self-discovery, learning, and embracing others.

All women graduates are changemakers – women who not only are in business to support themselves and their families, but to give meaning to other people’s lives.

“EWI has led me on a journey of self-discovery, through education, mentoring and empowerment. The program allowed me to gain a clear vision and realization of what I want to change in my own life, as well as what I can do to change the world we live in. One person can make a difference in a community, but a community as a whole can make a significant impact across the world.”  Valerie Fair, Graduate 2012, Owner of Fair Consultants

I take joy in seeing these women reaching new heights, and I can’t wait for all of you to meet them on June 23 at the graduation reception.

You too will be proud, empowered and inspired! Thank you for all your support.

Onward and upward!

Marga Fripp
Founder and President
Empowered Women International

Gail Consulting Group- Featured Graduate: Addie

11 Jun

Addie Gail’s success story begins before the family emergency that took over her life a couple of years ago. Addie had already been gaining experience in her field of business and marketing when a family member became sick and needed Addie’s assistance.

During this chaotic time, Addie lost her job—and subsequently her home. But, she was gaining something else in the process: faith in herself, and a desire to be a business owner.

Addie had a decision to make; she was at a crossroads. “I said, ‘I either have to do this now or I’m not going to do it at all.”

Addie sought help to get her business off the ground. She went to the public library, hoping to access information that would help her to launch her business. She began attending small business networking events and seminars, but she worried that she wasn’t getting the information or making the contacts that she needed to get to the next level.

She felt frustrated. “There’s got to be someone who can help me,” she recalls. She came across a flyer for the EWI program, and immediately filled out the application.

Addie has enjoyed meeting other women who share her dream of owning a business and being self-sufficient. “Women make relationships through talking. Light bulbs start going off and everyone has ideas that could have wings. You never know what can happen,” she says.

Addie says the coaching she has received from EWI’s volunteers has been invaluable to building her skills as well as her self-confidence. “They give you another confidence––an affirmation that you’re on the right track,” Addie says.

She has gained mentors, and further developed the skills she needed to launch her own business, The Gail Consulting Group, a management consulting firm. Addie offers strategic planning, management training, and facilitation services. She hopes to work with government agencies and programs, and faith-based non-profit organizations.

Addie continuously looks for opportunities to make connections, meet potential clients, and discover how she can meet their needs. While she faces challenges in growing her business during a tough economy, Addie’s passion and determination to achieve success also grow every day.

What’s Addie’s advice for other future business owners? “You have to believe in yourself and believe that you can do it,” says Addie. “You never know what can happen. You have to put yourself out there.”

Written by Willona M. Sloan

Meet EWI’s Spring 2012 Entrepreneur Graduates!

23 May
Meet EWI’s Spring 2012 Entrepreneur Graduates!

Addie Gail, US

Business: The Gail Consulting Group, a women owned consulting firm providing tailor-made services for businesses

What Addie says…

“I love EWI not for what it teaches about business and the pursuit thereof, but for how as individuals we are going thru this program with different types of businesses born from different cultures and experiences and we have and are bonding together. Encouraging and supporting each other! love it!”

Aida Mady, Egypt
Business:  Cooking and Beyond, a cookbook of Egyptian recipes and its influences from history, culture, family heritage, religion, social life, and humanity.
What Aida says….
“EWI is a good way to help others and myself in establishing a career. ETS is a perfect way to make us discovering our abilities to go forward with our dream. ETS classes, is a deep learning experience and good exposure to other aspects needed in order to transform a vision to a reality.”

You’re Invited: From Buds to Blossoms

22 May

From Buds to Blossoms


*  Entrepreneurs Graduation Gala  *  Business Showcase  *

Marketplace of Handmade Art and Gifts

 With Special Participation of  

Ten Thousand Villages Alexandria, EWI Partner 

Saturday, June 23, 2012

3:00 pm to 6:00 pm

Durant Center

1605 Cameron Street  Alexandria, VA 22314

Complimentary Appetizers & Drinks

 Delicious Homemade Egyptian Dishes by Aida, EWI Entrepreneur Graduate 

 Free Parking

Free of Charge. RSVP Required

Join us to learn how each woman has blossomed into a confident business woman and entrepreneur. Hear their inspiring stories about how they’ve followed their dreams,faced their challenges, and overcame their fears.


3 – 3:45 pm – Showcase of Graduates’ Businesses, Art Exhibition and Marketplace Shopping

3:45 – 5 pm – Graduation Ceremony

5 – 6 pm – Reception and Marketplace Shopping

Check back on the blog tomorrow to meet our graduates!

This program was made possible with funding from:

The Community Foundation for Northern Virginia  *  The Alexandria Commission for the Arts

The Mason Hirst Foundation  *  The Washington Forrest Foundation
The Giving Circle of Hope Reston   *  AmeriCorps Vista
The Tikkun Olam Women’s Foundation
and many individuals who contributed scholarships in support of our low-income students