Empowered Women International: Finding Success in Business
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Women’s History Month celebrates the incredible contributions and sacrifices women have made throughout history. In celebration of the women who have accomplished great feats in our society, this article features one of the MAXIMUS Foundation partner nonprofits that is working to make the world a better place for women. Empowered Women International (EWI) is a Northern Virginia based nonprofit that provides entrepreneurship and workforce readiness training, mentoring and support to immigrant, refugee and low income women, who often face chronic underemployment and unemployment.
Founded in 2002, EWI has helped more than 3,500 women lift themselves out of poverty, transforming their lives profoundly. EWI views every woman as a source of potential and thus specifically focuses on helping vulnerable and disadvantaged women launch new micro-businesses and find success in the workplace in order to help them become financially secure and self-sufficient. Through its programming, EWI aims to “create economic, market and career opportunities” for women, provide them with opportunities to connect with other female entrepreneurs, and build personal and professional networks. EWI also engages in extensive community outreach to help raise awareness for the cultural contributions of women, particularly those with immigrant or refugee backgrounds.
The MAXIMUS Foundation has collaborated with EWI to help support their Entrepreneur Pathways for Women (EPW) program, which provides business education, training, mentoring and microloans to their target population. Through this programming, EWI has been able to create more than 220 women’s micro-enterprises, enabling women a self-sufficient means to earn money and support themselves. The MAXIMUS Foundation and EWI truly believe that with the right resources women can do anything. By developing the skills of women regardless of their socioeconomic status, we help them to create better lives for themselves and to support their families.
Laura immigrated to the United States from Mexico in 1999. Laura faced a lot of difficulty when she lost her job and separated from her husband. EWI helped Laura to get back on her feet and support herself financially by giving her the skills to grow her own business. Training with EWI helped Laura to grow her business exponentially. Laura describes it best when she says, “EWI helped me to improve my business. Am amazed; my life has changed. Before, I felt like a loser but now I feel I am getting better and better.” Laura is only one of the many success stories coming from EWI.
The MAXIMUS Foundation is grateful for the opportunity to positively affect the lives of so many families with EWI. To learn more about EWI click here.