Join me for Women of Courage: The Art and Stories of Entrepreneur Artists and Change Makers

Women of Courage: The Art and Stories of Entrepreneur Artists and Change Makers

Sydnei Smithjordan, Body Map, Mixed Media
4ft x 11ft

Saturday, December 11, 4-7 pm
1801 N. Quaker Lane
Alexandria, VA 22302

Free Parking, Complimentary Appetizers,
Wine and Refreshments
Handmade Gifts for All!

Join us for a multicultural celebration of art, music and entrepreneurship.
Meet Empowered Women International’s (EWI’s) 12 graduates from our 2010 Entrepreneur Training for Success program, learn about their new businesses, art and journeys, and celebrate EWI’s empowering work in the community.


4-5 pm, Meet the Artists & Holiday Gift Shopping
Do your holiday gift shopping at EWI
and support our local women artists!

Stop by and shop unique hand-painted silk scarves, knitted scarves, fashionable handcrafted jewelry, original fine art and prints, notecards, journals and handmade books, a natural line of bath and body products, and more…

Cash, Checks and Credit Cards are accepted!
Proceeds from sales benefit our women members and EWI.

Jimena Ryan

Starting at 5 pm …
Jimena Ryan, Entrepreneur
Keynote Speaker
Director of Marketing & Community Affairs


Tacha Coleman Parr

Jazz by Artist Graduate, Tacha Coleman Parr
& Scott Giambusso, Acoustic Guitar

Graduates after presenting their business plans

Graduation Ceremony:
Meet EWI’s 2010 Graduates of
the Entrepreneur Training for Success Program
Read the stories of women graduates

Jameela Alter, Author “On Clipped Wings”
Book Presentation

“On Clipped Wings” is about the physical, spiritual, and intellectual metamorphosis of a rootless, Hindu beggar girl whose personality is molded by people from different religions and cultures, spanning India, England, Colonel Gaddafi’s Libya, and the United States of America.

The main character’s unorthodox opinions and cultural conflicts with Hindus, Muslims, and Christians, all of whom firmly believe that they alone hold the key to a better afterlife, make the book provocative, enlightening, and poignant.

The author and book artist, Jameela Alter, will sign books during the reception. She will also be raising funds to support EWI’s cause by selling handmade book angels, which she and a group of talented women volunteers have crafted for this special event.

6-7 pm, Reception & Holiday Gift Shopping

This program is co-sponsored by:

AAUW Mt. Vernon Branch
Alexandria Business and Professional Women
Good Shepherd Lutheran Church, Alexandria

Funding for this program came in part from:

Giving Circle of Hope, Reston,
Washington Forrest Foundation
and The Alexandria Commission for the Arts

Thank you to our dedicated donors
who contributed scholarships for our women in need:

Giving Circle of Hope Reston, AAUW Mt. Vernon Branch, Jay (Jizeng) Chen, Publisher of Asian Fortune Newspaper & Asian Fortune Foundation, Sunanda K. Holmes, Esq., Mihaela and Iulian Nistor, Bruce Steinhardt and Dienna Howard.

On October 7, 2010 twelve immigrant and American-born women joined EWI’s intensive two-month Entrepreneur Training for Success program. Each woman was focused on starting up a small business or social venture using her talents, skills and creative capital.

Women worked together in a peer-learning model guided by EWI’s trainers and marketing coaches, Marga Fripp and Sharmila Karamchandani, to develop the business acumen, confidence and leadership skills they needed to turn create viable businesses. Graduates are listed below along with their businesses and projects.

Adela Poudratchi – Business Entrepreneur: Middle Eastern Jewelry

Adelina Perez del Castillo Mena – Event, Portrait, and Fine Art Photographer

Amy Ruth Odean – Women’s Apparel Designer

Brigitta Kral – Creator of All-Natural Bath and Body Products

Elena Nolan – Fine Art Painter

Elleni T. Ashine – Social Entrepreneur: Ethiopian Fair Trade

Kim M. – Collage Artist and Card Maker

Kwanele Ndlovu – Social Entrepreneur: Girls’ Education in Zimbabwe

Paula Margus – Art Promoter

Sydnei Smithjordan – Visual Artist and Painter

Tacha Coleman Parr – Jazz Singer and Songwriter

Yarmila Aragon – Business Entrepreneur: Scandinavian Bar and Restaurant

Each woman in training benefited from 20 hours of class training and experiential learning in entrepreneurship, marketing, legal and financial aspects of running a business, and an average of 2.5 hours of one-on-one marketing and business coaching. Women in training also participated in a Web design boot camp presented by our AmeriCorps Volunteer, Juliana Kerrest, and a loan seminar from the Latin Economic Development Council.

In addition to in-person training classes and coaching services, each woman received EWI’s entrepreneur workbook and additional reading materials and resources to help them conduct research and build a solid business plan.

Eleven volunteer guest speakers, all business professionals and accomplished artists and entrepreneurs, met with our students and shared their business stories and strategies for success.

Thank you to all of the EWI volunteers who made this program possible.

Volunteer Guest Speakers:

Eric Nelson, Joanne Clark, Hal Novick Esq., Karen Waltermire, Michelle Somerday, Nina Tisara, Rabia Naeem Pervez, Roman Corpuz, Sharon Burton and Sushmita Mazumdar.

Legal, Financial and Support Services Volunteers:

Sunanda Holmes Esq., Wendy Lesko, Josie Thompson and Roman Corpuz, ECDC

Volunteer Writers:

Brigitta Kral, Dienna Howard, Kaylee Kebort, Nicole Young and Paula Margus interviewed our students and helped us document the program and write women’s stories.

About Empowered Women International

Empowered Women International (EWI) is an award-winning non-profit organization that creates jobs, leadership skills and economic opportunities for low-income immigrant, refugee and other women struggling to integrate or transition from very difficult life circumstances into the community and marketplace.

EWI helps women rebuild their lives and livelihoods by starting up new careers, social ventures and small businesses. Member beneficiaries are women artists, artisans, and micro-entrepreneur working in various craft, food, beauty and other creative industries. Programs include entrepreneurial training, workforce and career mentoring, marketing and business coaching, and supplemental income through art and retail sales. To learn more or make a donation, visit

Dec 6 through Dec 22, 2010
Monday – Thursday, 12-7pm EWI Gift Shop at Convergence1801 N. Quaker Lane
Alexandria, VA 22302
P: 571-933-3989For every $10 you spend by Dec 22 at our gift shop, your name will be entered into a drawing. The prize is a bag-full of goodies from EWI artists!Winner will be chosen on December 23rd.Our business is not about selling art or goods, but transforming lives. We’re not asking for charity, but opportunity.