"Our" Louisiana-style musician and their Business Coach & Legal Adviser:
“I have spent most of my life, professionally and personally, in the civil rights arena, trying to make equal opportunity a reality for all in American, regardless of race, ethnicity, nationality, religion, gender, orientation, or other discriminatory classifications. Working with immigrant and low-income women at Empowered Women International for the past couple of years has given me the most meaningful experience with regard to this cause since I was a civil rights attorney in the South, many years ago. One reason for this is that, while our "official" mission at EWI is to train and prepare women to become successful entrepreneurs, we go the extra mile and stay involved in their lives for as long as it takes, dealing with whatever issues present themselves in their lives.
During difficult economic times, it is challenging enough to navigate the business world, particularly in an area as competitive as the capital region. Add to that factors such as language and cultural unfamiliarity; lack of access to start-up capital; limited educational background; and/or a history of oppression by husbands or partners, and it becomes clear that EWI's clients need more than the standard classroom approach. Unlike other well-meaning non profits, EWI will do whatever it takes to ensure that our students succeed. If this means hanging in there with a woman for several years, we'll do it. If it means bringing in an attorney, a social worker, a financial adviser, or other outside assistance, that's no problem. If it means setting up a “buddy” system, in which a former student or mentor works one-on-one with an EWI graduate while a business is growing, we will make that happen. This holistic approach is geared to ultimately equip our students with confidence they need to succeed not just as businesswomen, but as empowered individuals.
- Howard Feinstein, EWI Board Member, Mentor, Trainer, Attorney, Musician, etc.”