Empowered Women International creates entrepreneurs and community leaders through women’s empowerment. Marga C. Fripp, the Founder and President, shares Three Reasons to Mentor a Woman, while EWI’s Media and Outreach Intern Jeremy Brandt-Vorel shares the stories of two women active in EWI’s programs. Both articles were originally published on EWI’s blog.
Why mentor a woman? Well, there are many reasons, but I want to share 3 compelling aspects that move most of our mentors.
Passion is infectious.
I often hear our mentors and even donors finding EWI’s passion for social change real and infectious. It’s true that once you meet our women entrepreneurs and experience the passion behind their work, you too will catch the bug and be transformed. We’re in the business of changing lives, but doing this without passion we wouldn’t be the same organization.
Once empowered, women give back.
It’s truly remarkable to see our immigrant or low-income women students struggling to recover from difficult life circumstances, yet working on business models that aim at social change. Income or profit is important for women. But what is most important is the change these women want to see in their communities. And their business enables them to do just that.
Mentoring is inspiring and rewarding.
We all want to feel good about being of help to someone in need. We love to support and invest in people who passionately believe in what they do. We love champions, and being part of their journeys is as rewarding as seeing them reaching the final destination.
EWI Student Spotlight: Elda and Lyzbeth
Imagine a world in which baked goods are currency. Where, instead of bank vaults, there are bank ovens. Wallets are discarded to be replaced by Tupperware. In this world, Elda and Lyzbeth are queens; the richest women in the world?
But until this dream of mine comes to fruition, these two ETS (Entrepreneurship Training for Success) students will have to make due with their wonderful smiles, and delicious cake pops.
The story of Elda and Lyzbeth’s baked goods begins in Latin America. Lyzbeth grew up in Peru, and attributes her culinary skills to her mother. She recalls the parties her mother would prepare, with sandwiches, appetizers, drinks, desserts, candy, cake and much more. Similarly, Elda remembers her childhood in Mexico, where her mother would take the reins and put out lovely displays for each party.
Upon coming to the United States, the women settled down and started families of their own. Soon, they were assigned the task of birthday duty for their own sons and daughters. The two recall having to buy different cakes for different children, and often feeling the homogenous selection of cakes was just sub-par. Elda and Lyzbeth became disappointed in American culture, noticing a lack of birthday-party preparations, and citing mothers as being “too busy” to properly furnish each event .
Then the idea occurred to them — why don’t we cater birthdays? Why don’t we provide a service that is too often overlooked in this bustling American society? So, Elda and Lyzbeth began practicing, researching, and creating beautiful cakes and baked goods for their friends and family. The two felt a “magic” in each cake, and would celebrate after each beautiful accomplishment. Soon enough, the culinary duo was comfortable enough to act upon the suggestions of their loved ones, and begin a business of their own.
Lucky for them, Lyzbeth had a friend in the ETS program at EWI. They saw her business grow with the help of EWI, and aspired to find the same success. Through the ETS class, Elda and Lyzbeth hope to be able gain a better understanding of the market and how to sell.
“… Every time we did a cake and delivered a product, it so much fun to see their faces, the reaction in people, it is really like, ‘hey we did something good,’ and it makes us feel good inside, and if we can achieve that every single time and go bigger, I think that would be wonderful — it helps us inside, helps us monetarily, it’s like the whole package.”
Here at EWI, we know these two women CAN and WILL succeed. We are so excited to have them in our ETS class, and we look forward to watching them grow and prosper.