Empowered Women International


Started in 2001 by an immigrant woman, Marga Fripp, Empowered Women International (EWI) is an award-winning non-profit organization. EWI channels the entrepreneurial spirit and creative capital of talented and high-potential immigrant, refugee, and low-income women into new jobs and small businesses. EWI is a leader in women’s empowerment and microenterprise development in the Washington, D.C. Metro area serving more than 200 women each year. We help women rebuild their lives, families and livelihoods, and pursue the American Dream.


Since 2006, when we started the Entrepreneur Training, we've launched 133 small businesses, many in the arts and the creative industry. We also mentored, coached, showcased and promoted over 1,500 women artists and micro-entrepreneurs in food, services and the creative industry. Today, we start about 50 businesses a year, and provide business and marketing coaching to an additional 200 women entrepreneurs each year.

The Entrepreneur Training for Success class runs twice a year, at two locations, in Alexandria and Rockville.  The classes are small, with 10 to 15 women per class, to ensure that each woman gets the attention and support needed to complete her business plan.

We plan to add a new Entrepreneur Training for Sucess location in Washington DC in 2013-2014. 

What makes EWI unique?

  • We work with some of the most talented, yet vulnerable and struggling women and families in our community
  • We help these women to realize their passions and turn them into sustainable businesses
  • We create jobs and smalls businesses that benefit our whole community
  • We keep our overhead costs low and funding for our programs high
  • We've been recognized as "one of the best small charities in the Greater Washington DC area" by the Catalogue for Philanthropy



Who are the women and families we work with?
  • Women come to EWI from all walks of life. Some are working to overcome difficult medical challenges, others are battling domestic abuse, unemployment, isolation, or financial crises. 
  • Many are immigrants and refugees, and others are American-born women - all facing tremendous hardships.



How do we help the women we serve?
  • We meet women where they are, and work alongside them through training, mentoring, and coaching, to help them see their possibilities.
  • We provide mentors for each woman in our program, so they can stay motivated and accountable, and make their business a reality.
  • We connect them with networks and professionals, and help take their product to market.  We introduce them to other businesses, and promote their goods and services.


320 S. Henry St., Alexandria, Virginia 22314 -- Office: 571-312 4781 -- Marga C. Fripp, President

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Our Events


2016 Alexandria Entrepreneur Bootcamp

Saturday, February 27, 2016 - 9:00am - 5:00pm
Downtown Baptist Church 212 South Washington Street Alexandria, VA 22314


Empowered Women International: Artisan Gifts & Food Marketplace

Sunday, November 15, 2015 - 10:30am - 5:00pm
Silver Spring Civic Center 1 Veterans Pl. Silver Spring, MD


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This Week’s Nonprofit Spotlight is Empowered Women International (EWI)

Posted on: 06/04/2012 - 10:00am