One of the best things about working at EWI is getting to see women become empowered to share their passions with the world and work towards their dreams. That’s why our pitch events are so special! When women get to stand in front of an audience and share their business idea, you can always see a confidence and passion in them – there’s nothing like it!

On July 25, we hosted the Alexandria Grow My Business Pitch Event at the WeWork Crystal City. It was a great night full of female empowerment, networking, and celebrating the hard work these entrepreneurs have done over the past few months. The four students who shared their businesses with us were outstanding! These inspiring women have already been operating their businesses, and joined the GMB program to learn strategies for growth and sustainability. At the pitch, they shared their plans for the future and the progress they have already made.

43739454161_d388fe5609_mFirst, we got to hear from Alejandra Santaolla who is the creator of Luna & Friends, a children’s multimedia brand that promotes multicultural awareness and inclusion. Her vision is to see  “a world where all children are changemakers and see themselves as superheroes.” Santaollahas a passion for connecting children with different cultures and discovering their own heritage through her beautiful, educational books. Grab one of her coloring books here.

41930408510_1e515e06c8_mNext, we heard from Marielle Barrow, who is involved with many different projects, but all with the same goal: building community through the arts. She has three separate businesses: Caribbean InTransit, a non-profit arts education organization registered in Trinidad and Tobago, Caribbean Arts Village, a limited liability company, and Marielle Studios, where she sells her own artwork. Marielle is incredibly driven and creative and we know she will influence many lives of students in America and the Caribbean with her vibrant work!

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Neisa Williams is changing the face of gluten-free baking with her company, Blended Bakery. She bakes delicious treats that are full of flavor, texture, nutrients and are gluten free! She brought samples for the guests to try and they were gone within minutes. She hopes to bring her products to schools this fall and the kids are going to love her treats.

29868071028_08f635e34d_mFinally, Adjoa Oriyomi shared her plan to expand her women’s holistic health counseling, The Nurturing Way. Adjoa has a passion of seeing women live healthy and full lives. Her approach looks at health through a holistic lens, considering every aspect of a women’s life including diet, physical activity, emotional wellbeing, spiritual influences, and more, to help women feel like their best selves. Along with being driven, Adjoa is compassionate and clearly cares deeply for her clients. Her services are already transforming the lives of women all over the DMV!

We are so proud of all these women have accomplished and can’t wait to see where their hard work and passion takes them! Thanks to Financial Empowerment Center of South County Alexandria for hosting this program all Spring; to WeWork for hosting the Pitch event, to lead trainer Sharmila Karamcandani and financial trainer Lori Atwood, and to the judges, Farah Broom, Regional Leader for Primerica Financial Services; Kim Fredrich, CEO of Kim Fredtich LLC; Lauren Parker, Senior Director of Ticket to Work Program; and Anab Ali, Founder & CEO of Oasis home healthcare, Inc. for dedicating their time and energy to give encouraging feedback to our entrepreneurs.

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The Alexandra GMB 2018 Pitch Event
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