"Purpose is something really extraordinary. It's something hard to find but easy to discover in times of crisis, in vulnerability... and perhaps, in the darkest corners of our existence..."

These words were part of my TEDx Talk in December, a TEDx Bethesda Women event organized by Jane Smith, our graduate entrepreneur of Class 2011.

Purpose is what drives our passion to empower women. Purpose inspires our women to find their own voice and overcome challenges.  

We help women transform crisis and challenges into opportunities, and seize their chance to blossom and thrive.

With your support, over the last years we've proved that when given the right educational training, mentoring and support services even the most vulnerable women can turn their lives around and transform themselves, their families and communities.

This transformation is what inspires each of us at EWI to pursue this mission and seek greater and more effective approaches to social change.

2014 was branded as the year of transformation, and we are already seeing it taking place...

Our new office in Montgomery County located in the Wheaton Plaza North Office Building is now open and our team is working with clients at this new location.  

This year we see a stronger focus on partnerships and leveraging resources and community assets to create greater impact on the lives of immigrant, refugee and low-income women. 

Together with our community partners and funders, we're exploring an integrated approach to delivering comprehensive and holistic services that lead clients to full transformation and economic opportunity.

We're excited about the possibilities ahead and look forward to working with you to create new opportunities that build resilient and fulfilling lives and livelihoods.

Onward and Upward!

Marga Fripp  

Marga C. Fripp

Founder & Chief Visionary
Empowered Women International  

Amazing Moments that Made 2013 
a Success for EWI and our Women Entrepreneurs!


-  February 2013 -


EWI presenting at the Federal Reserve Bank in Richmond, VA 
the Micro-Business Lending Conference


At an eye-opener conference of people and organizations doing innovative work to build local economies. EWI was invited to facilitate a discussion on crowd-funding, share our entrepreneurial stories and present an Artisan Showcase with Velma Crawford, Clementine Simons, Mariam Mohamed, Lisa and Jim Jacenich, Elizabeth Coker, and Aida Mady.

- April 2013 -


Maggio+Kattar Hosts Benefit to Raise Funds for 
EWI Immigrant Women Entrepreneurs

Maggio+Kattar Immigration Law hosted a benefit event to celebrate EWI and  
showcase our women micro-entrepreneurs. Velma Crawford, Aida Mady, 
 Mariam Mohamed, Paulette Mpouma, Nadia Janjua and Tasha Coleman Parr were 
there to showcase their businesses, art, music, and cuisine.

- April 2013 -


A Victorious Spring2Action Campaign!
Our team competed, had fun and raised $30,000 in 24 hours

During the 24 hour online giving day Spring2ACTion, we came in 3rd place for most donors (399), and 5th place for most dollars raised $30,497. We won $2,850 in prizes. In total, we raised $33,347 to provide scholarships and subsidize training and support services for some of our talented low-income entrepreneurs.

- June 2013 - 


Entrepreneurs Graduation and Business Showcase 
at Montgomery College Cultural Arts Center 
49 immigrant and low-income women entrepreneurs completed the intensive
Entrepreneur Training for Success (ETS) and launched their businesses. Our new program, Grow My Business, was launched with 15 entrepreneurs, all alumni of ETS.

- August 2013 -

First EWI micro-loan through Kiva Zip
went to open a community art studio in Arlington

EWI facilitated two $5,000 interest-free loans through Kiva Zip.
Sushmita Mazumdar opened her community art studio, StudioPAUSE
and Odirsa Argueta secured licensing and equipment for 
her landscaping business - JR Irrigation & Lighting Company

- September 2013 -


Ernst & Young (EY) Mentors EWI Women Entrepreneurs

 During its annual EY Connect Day, more than 30 employees spent a day with over 30 EWI women entrepreneurs, and mentored and guided them in growing their businesses.

EWI's 1st Annual Holiday Gift Marketplace Movie 203
 - November 2013 -

EWI's Annual Holiday Gift Marketplace in Washington DC

Twenty-four alumni entrepreneurs marketed and sold their gifts and goods at EWI's First Annual Holiday Gift Marketplace in the historic building of the WNDC. The event was a unique shopping experience for more than 300 guests and facilitated connection and conversation between local community and local micro-enterprises.
Finding Purpose: Marga Fripp at TEDxBethesdaWomen
- December 2013 -

Marga Fripp's Powerful TEDx Talk Connected EWI to the World!

Get inspired by Marga's passionate talk on what sparked her imagination and vision for Empowered Women, and what drives her purpose for social change. 
 This TEDx talk says it all - Finding Purpose.

Get Involved with EWI & Spread the Word!
What's coming up at EWI ...
Capital One Business Plan Pitch for EWI Women Entrepreneurs
Winners of 2013 Business Plan Pitch, Mother and Daughter Film Production, 
Dicey and Nneka Scroggins, Entrepreneur Graduates, Class 2013
Saturday,    Feb  8, 11:00 am - 2:30 pm, Silver Spring Civic Center

Wednesday, Feb 12,  6:30 pm - 9:00 pm, Silver Spring Civic Center

Saturday,    Feb 22, 11:00 am - 2:30 pm, Arlington County Public Library

At the end of every class, each entrepreneur has an opportunity to pitch their business in front of a panel of judges. This year we are holding three business plan pitches for each of our classes that graduate this month. The Business Plan Pitch is sponsored with generous support by Capital One.

We're looking for sponsors to award cash prizes for entrepreneurs winners of the business plan pitch. Contact Marga Fripp at if you would like to contribute.

Let Your Ideas Take Flight! Enroll in the Entrepreneur Training for Success Spring Semester, Class 2014

Chef Entrepreneur, Aida Mady doing a tasting of her delicious Egyptian Cuisine
Aida is an Entrepreneur Graduate of Class 2012

Do you know an immigrant or unemployed woman with a business idea or a product that needs help getting off the ground? If you know or work with someone who we can help, send her our way. Entrepreneurship can bring great fulfillment and the opportunity of earning while doing what you love. 
Enrollment is ongoing. We're currently recruiting women students for the spring semester of the Entrepreneur Training for Success. Want to learn more? Contact our office at 571-312-4781 or email Alexia Muchisu Wendel at 

EWI's Office in Wheaton is Open!

Yes, we're making waves and growing our wings to empower more immigrant, refugee, low-income and at-risk women in Montgomery County. This new office and programming in Montgomery County was made possible in part with support and a grant from the Office of the Montgomery County Executive.

Our office is in the Wheaton 
Plaza North Office Bldg, Suite LL2 - 2730 University Blvd W. in Silver Spring. Schedule an appointment in our Wheaton Office to learn how EWI can help you launch and grow your business at 571-312-4781 or email Alexia Muchisu Wendel
The Journey of Women Entrepreneurs in our 
Training for Success!


They are strong, courageous and talented  

Meet Class 2013 Fall Semester...    


Staff, Trainers, and Mentors with the Awesome Fall 2013 ETS Class!

They are an inspiring and diverse group - 26 women from over 10 countries including Guatemala, Cameron, Somalia, Malawi, Ethiopia, and Bolivia, among others.

With 26 women come 26 aspiring small businesses including a resume writing, jewelry, art, photography, child care and learning, desserts, hair styling, cleaning, textiles, and more! It's a powerful testament to the creative ideas and drive women have all over the world. Read more...

Thank you to our all wonderful and dedicated trainers, mentors, volunteers, coaches and guest speakers who make the program a continuing success!

A special shout out to our guest speakers and partners, including Chizoma Cluff, Hilltop Micro-Finance, Capital One, Capital Area Asset Builders, Milken Institute, and the ever-inspiring ETS alumni who have all shared their expertise and insight.

Our Sincere Appreciation to EWI's
Generous Donors & Supporters 2013 

Our work is possible because of your dedication to create
economic opportunity, empower women and change lives.

and donors like you!