Tag Archives: entrepreneurship

Marga Fripp takes EWI to the Woman’s National Democratic Club

15 Apr

Want know more about EWI and the extraordinary league of women changing the world? Come join Marga Fripp at the Woman’s National Democratic Club on May 9, 2013 as she introduces EWI to a growing and vibrant audience.


The WNDC is located in The Whittemore House in the greater Washington, DC area and engages men & women in public policy paving the way for future democratic leaders. The club hosts outstanding speakers who have dedicated their lives for public service from first ladies, to ambassadors, to renowned authors.

EWI is honored to be included in the up and coming speaking engagements featuring journalists, authors and among them our own, Marga Fripp.

She will be presenting about Empowering Women and Creating Social Change Through Entrepreneurship from 12pm to 2pm with brief recess for Q & A. There will be open bar and lunch and participation prices vary from $20 for members, to $30 for non-members (includes lunch), to $10 for lecture only. Learn more and buy tickets here.


Currently Accepting ETS Applications!

27 Feb

Do you know an immigrant woman ready to make a living doing what she is passionate about? We can help!


We work with talented and high-potential immigrant, refugee and low-income women and help them monetize their creative or cultural assets, artistic abilities, knowledge and skills.

Perhaps you know someone who loves to bake, cook, make art, design clothes or teach your skills to others? Whatever her passion might be we can help turn it into business.

We are currently accepting applications and conducting intake interviews. The application is free and available online through the link below.

Tuition scholarships are offered based on need and merit to qualified women applying for our program. Learn more and apply now

You’re Invited! Micro Business Lending Conference featuring Marga Fripp & EWI Graduates!

16 Jan

EWI Founder and President Marga Fripp

The Federal Reserve Bank of Richmond will be hosting Micro Business Lending: Landscape for the New Economy, a conference on micro development and micro business lending on February 25th and 26th and we want YOU to attend!

Empowered Women International’s founder and president, Marga Fripp, will be among a panel of speakers discussing  marketplaces for artists and she will host a panel discussion about Kickstarter.

Also in attendance will be several of EWI’s successful Entrepreneur Training for Success graduates and members of EWI’s Artist Marketplace program: Azeb Yilma, Velma Crawford, Mariam Mohammed, Clementine Simmons, and Lisa Jacenich. Marga will introduce and highlight these women entrepreneurs during the micro business reception on February 25th.

The conference will also feature a keynote presentation by author Michael Shuman, Fellow at Cutting Edge Capital; learning tracks on sustainability, funding, and technical assistance.

Who should attend?
Representatives of micro lenders; small business support organizations; community and economic development and other public agencies; state and local officials.

For more information about the event and to register, visit the registration page found here.
Please note there is a $65 registration fee.

The event will be located at:
Federal Reserve Bank of Richmond
701 East Byrd Street, Richmond, VA 23219

This event is the result of a planning partnership with the Virginia Microenterprise Network, Association for Enterprise Opportunity, Virginia Department of Housing and Community Development, Empowered Women International, Virginia Community Capital and On Point Services.

Passion is the Source of Energy. It is when you do everything with passion that you live fully

2 Jul

Dear Readers,

Welcome to the first edition of what will be an ongoing series of posts on our beloved Marga Fripp, the Founder and President of Empowered Women International.  While some of you may have read her bio and seen her speak at events, there is more to the dynamic Fripp than the incredible work she does for women entrepreneurs.

Ask any of EWI’s current interns – this is one empowered woman with great advice and some wonderful quirks.

Or better yet, ask Marga!  That’s what the EWI interns did this month, and we were impressed and surprised by the answers!

Q) How do you keep yourself constantly energetic and empowered?

A) I often tell people that my mantra is that “I love what I do and I do what I love.” It is when you do everything with passion, when you believe in what you do that you live fully. Passion is the source of energy for me. I never, or perhaps rarely do things just to have them done. I do it fully, or I don’t.

My personal philosophy is rooted in Taoism, and it emphasizes living in harmony with Tao. Tao is the “way”, “path” or “principle”.  I draw inspiration and energy from the little things in life; the things that are often forgotten or taken for granted. Picking up a beautiful leaf from the ground after a stormy weather, stopping to smell the flowers and watching the bees work hard for their honey, planting new seeds in the spring, reading poetry, or making art out of scrap paper – all fill me with a renewed sense of purpose and oneness.

Aside of the meditative part of me, I gain energy by dancing, jumping rope, hiking, cooking, and gardening.

Q) What’s your favorite kind of weather?

A) Gosh! I grew up in Romania where the summers are oven-hot and the winters are freezing-cold. Because of this (and many other dramatic changes in my life) I became very adaptive to any environment or climate changes.

However, I love cooler weather and breezy days. These are times when I am in my garden, digging in the soil to seed new plants, harvesting fresh lavender or basil, or picking fresh vegetables for a homemade salad.

Q) If you were a superhero, what would your superhero name be?

A) Oh, this is a fun one. For years I believed I was Zorro!

It all started with a birthday wish when I was 10 years old. I was tired of seeing my younger brother ordered around by older kids. We grew up without a father, and I often felt the responsibility of protecting my family. After I watched Zorro, one of my favorite movies, I wished to become like Zorro.

The wish turned real in my 10 year old mind. When I saw not only my little brother getting in trouble with older boys, but many other kids, I realized it was time to bring out Zorro.  So, I made myself a mask, a cape and a sword – and I started to solve neighborhood problems 🙂

I have been very fortunate not to forget my childhood wish and throughout my life to find ways to make my voice count, and give voice to those seeking justice.

Q) What do you wish you knew more about?

A) So many things… I wish I knew more about my family roots. My great-grandmother who I was very closed to had a fascinating, yet very difficult life.

Her first husband, my great-grandfather, who I have never met, worked for the Royal Family of Romania before WWII. I remember some of the stories she had told me as a child, and many are war stories filled with life lessons, losses and wisdom grown from tough experiences. Later, she married the great-grandfather who I loved as a child. He built brick homes for wealthy people, but eventually lost his vision in an accident and not being able to earn, he became a beggar. He spend the money he begged to buy milk and bread every day for my younger brother and I, and he often gave me a quarter to save for a winter coat…

Because of all this that I know, and everything else I don’t know about my great-grandparents and my past, and I would to spend some time unearthing history and making new memories about these incredible people that are my family.

*The “Monday with Marga” series will be published on the first Monday of every month and will feature questions submitted by YOU!  If you have a question you’d like to ask, simply email it to info@ewint.org by the 20th of the previous month (ex. send in a question for August 6th on July 19th).  EWI would like to encourage readers to focus on topics relevant to our mission (such as empowerment, business development and leadership) as well as personal (and appropriate) questions.

Empowering Women

14 Nov

When I first learned about EWI, I knew I would be volunteering to help women grow their businesses. What a great project! But when I learned that a lot of women who take advantage of EWI’s programs have art businesses, I got even more excited.

Along with other students from The Washington Center, I participated in a social media workshop through EWI where we helped up-and-coming female entrepreneurs learn how to use social media websites in growing their businesses.

I knew that this would be a great program for everyone to take advantage of, but I was particularly excited for the women interested in art. As someone with an art business myself, I know that social media (particularly social networking websites) can be a huge asset to those who are serious about selling their art.

The primary reason for this is that the internet provides a great market for niche products. Through online communities, people who are interested in a particular type or art or craft can find others with the same interest and connect with them. This not only means an increase in exposure, but also an increase in exposure of people who are likely to be repeat customers. The reason for this is simple: social media isn’t just about exposure, it’s about bonding over a common interest. Through the internet, people with art businesses can make friends who truly care about their work, and will therefore be more likely to continue to invest in the artist.

So where are the best places for artists to connect? Facebook, Twitter, and LinkedIn all seem to be great platforms due to their size and notoriety. However, I think that the two greatest platforms for artistic social networking are Ravelry and Etsy. Ravelry is a social networking platform akin to Facebook. It allows members to talk about their artwork or crafts, join groups, and plan gatherings where members can improve their craft. Etsy is an online marketplace specifically for those selling handmade products, vintage items, or craft and art supplies. Etsy allows members to create a unique storefront where they can sell their products alongside similar artists. This is an invaluable tool, because it allows an artist to express their creativity and display their products in a digital space that is uniquely their own.

I am thrilled that I had the chance to help some wonderful ladies with social media skills during our workshop. I met some very talented artists and crafters, most of whom were new to the idea of connecting over the internet. While I know that these women have what it takes to make it successful, I know that utilizing social media will give them a great edge.

by Meg Gasvoda

Meg Gasvoda is a senior studying political communication and digital journalism at Alma College in Michigan. She is currently an intern at the Daily Caller, a popular online news publication. Meg is thrilled to be volunteering at EWI for her civic engagement project, because she gets to be inspired by budding female entrepreneurs.

Why Stand Up for Women’s Empowerment? Help us raise $35K by Dec 31

10 Nov

Help us secure $35,000 by December 31st so we can sustain our programs and expand our capacity to deliver services in 2012.

Things are bustling at EWI with an amazing array of innovative projects coming out of the Entrepreneur Training for Success (ETS), an intense 3-month business incubator, mentoring and training program for start-up women entrepreneurs.

Thanks to your continued generosity and support, our women students sponsored in the ETS are currently working on their business plans and preparing for their graduation and business launch on Dec 17, 4-7pm at our office in Alexandria, VA. Please save the date and join us to celebrate our students’ success!

A goup of Fall 2011 students working on a price strategy exerise.

In the next 3 weeks, they will be meeting with 5 bankers from Capital One, who volunteered their time to review students’ business plans, and provide mentoring and advice. All students will also participate in a business plan pitch judged by a visiting panel of business experts and entrepreneurs.

As we’re wrapping up this program and begin recruiting students for the spring semester, we need your help to ensure we can continue to provide services to some of the most talented and promising low-income or at risk, immigrant, refugee and other women in need.

Help us secure $35,000 by December 31st so we can sustain our programs and expand our capacity to deliver services in 2012.

What is truly remarkable about these women is not only the quality of their work, but the circumstances in which these women launch new businesses.

A recent survey EWI conducted on its current students shows that:

  • 90% of the women served live at or below the poverty level.
  • 80% experienced domestic violence, sexual abuse, war trauma, and unemployment.
  • 70% have a higher education degree, yet they earn less than $25,000/year.

This discouraging reality requires innovative solutions to address the service gap and complex needs of the low-income, immigrant and refugee women in our community. One of these solutions is entrepreneurship and self-employment, the core service provided by EWI.

Designers, Bre and Tiffany showcasing their product line of hair accessories

Take Tiffany for example. She is one of the students currently enrolled in EWI’s entrepreneurship program. Tiffany came to EWI after she left her full-time position at the end of 2010 to start up her own tutoring company. The credit was maxed out, savings completely depleted, and she had less than $30 to her name. The tutoring company failed, and Tiffany was unemployed and lost hope, until she met EWI.

Continue reading

EWI featured in Blog Post on Yahoo!

6 Oct

Trisha Waldron

Empowered Women International was featured in the inspiring blog post, “Welfare Mom Creates Million Dollar Biz: How She Did It” by Sara B. Weir, detailing the entrepreneurial journey of the talented artist Trisha Waldron of the Trisha Waldron Designs.  The story highlights Waldron’s transformation from a unemployed, single mother on welfare to a million dollar art business entrepreneur.  Her story echos that of so many of EWI’s Entrepreneur Training for Success graduates, and proves that is is possible to create a million dollar business from the arts!

Empowered Women International sends much many thanks to Sarah B. Weir, Yahoo! Blogger for sharing EWI’s link on her article and sending several talented women to our website.

Read:  “Welfare Mom Creates Million Dollar Biz: How She Did It

Learn More about EWI’s Entrepreneur Training for Success Program

If you are experiencing similar circumstances to Trisha Waldron and are ready to start your journey to financial independence through entrepreneurship email Marga at margacfripp@gmail.com today!