This Week’s Nonprofit Spotlight is Empowered Women International (EWI)
What Is EWI?
Empowered Women International, now in its tenth year of operation, trains, mentors and connects refugee, immigrant and low-income women to give them tools to launch their own business in the creative or artistic sector. Upon graduation from the intensive, four-month business program, the women have incorporated their businesses, completed a business and marketing plan, and have properly priced their creative product or service. Upon program completion, graduates market their products and services through EWI’s micro-enterprise and artisans marketplace program, participate with EWI in community networking and sales events, receive yearlong one-on-one mentoring and business coaching and contribute back more than 20 hours service/year by mentoring or teaching other women in EWI’s program.
EWI channels the entrepreneurial spirit, the arts and creative talents of immigrant, refugee and low-income women into small businesses to create jobs, opportunity for women, multicultural understanding and a new generation of American leaders and entrepreneurs.
EWI Program Highlights
- Entrepreneurship Program: Serving two locations (Alexandria and Rockville, MD), EWI runs a business startup incubator for 10-15 women micro-entrepreneurs/ semester. The program is offered as a spring and fall semester.
- EWI Marketplace: Provides EWI artist and artisan graduates the opportunity to present, exhibit, and sell their work with the organization through EWI’s online store, sponsored events, home parties, community festivals, and partnerships with Whole Foods Market (one of EWI’s retail partners). Participants in the program produce and sell jewelry designs, fashion accessories, home decor, stationary, and fine art.
- Civic Engagement: Each of the EWI micro-entrepreneur graduates (an amazing 99% graduation rate) agree to 20 hours of service upon graduating by mentoring a new class member or supporting the EWI program.
How You Can Get Involved with EWI
- Be a career mentor: Sophisticated female entrepreneurs are needed to guide and support these women throughout the training program and as they launch their own business. Plan on spending only 2-4 hours each week. Email Marga for more information.
- Host a home party or event: Possibly the most fun way to volunteer! Gather your friends together and shop for gorgeous, unique handmade silk scarves, jewelry, note cards, paintings and other gift items, all made by EWI graduates. And, it all goes to a great cause. Email Marga for more information.
- Write an EWI Success Story: Profile an EWI graduate to show what impact EWI has had on their personal and professional lives.
- Attend EWI’s Micro-entrepreneur Graduation and Artisans Marketplace on June 23, 3-6pm at Durant Center in Alexandria