Entrepreneur Training for Success is an intensive three-month, 60-hour course in business, workforce, life and leadership skills. ETS strongly emphasizes the fundamentals of micro-entrepreneurship, combined with the basics of financial literacy. ETS is offered twice during the program cycle (Fall and Spring), with a total participation of 50-60 women over the two cycles.

Students selection is based on an application, interview and intake assessment, through which they must demonstrate need, a business idea, and the basic skills necessary for participation.

Students work with mentors who assist them with their coursework and in developing a comprehensive business plan. ETS culminates with graduates presenting their vetted business plans at a business pitch event, where they receive feedback from a panel of expert business judges and are eligible to apply for micro-loans from organizations collaborating with EWI.

It’s time. Apply today to join ETS this fall!

Fall 2016 Classes Sign up to indicate your interest.
Location Rockville, MD, Alexandria, VA and Herndon, VA

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Students are highly motivated immigrant, refugee and low-income women who are selected in the program to launch businesses based on their talents, skills and experience.

“We are EWI” is a Pinkie Hugs production
Produced by Dicey Scroggins and Nneka Scroggins, Spring 2013 ETS Graduates
(c) 2013 Pinkie Hugs, LLC

Classes are taught by EWI instructors, trained through our Train-the-Trainer Program on EWI’s entrepreneurship training methodology. Each student in the program is paired with a mentor, who helps the student to develop the business plan.

Accomplished guest speakers, entrepreneurs, EWI alumni and business coaches work one-on-one with our students to build their businesses and their confidence.

class2Bankers from Capital One participate as financial mentors and provide financial literacy, pricing and budgeting forecasts. At the end of the program graduates present their business plans in a business pitch contest and receive feedback. Students from both semesters participate in an annual graduation event where they showcase their businesses and tell their stories.

Upon graduation from ETS, students have the opportunity to apply to the six-month Grow My Business program and be part of EWI Alumni.

All graduates are required to contribute 20 hours of service/year by mentoring other student entrepreneurs and doing community outreach work.

Alumni have access year-round to EWI Support Services and participate with EWI in networking events, sales and other opportunities to grow their businesses and develop strong leadership skills.

Examples of micro-businesses launched by our entrepreneur graduates include cosmetology and beauty, food and catering, cleaning services, wellness and nutrition businesses, fashion apparel and accessories, music businesses, performance programs, photography, multimedia (film, design, web), fine art, crafts, community and after-school programs, and more!

To learn more, share your business idea and to check if you are eligible and ready for the Entrepreneur Training for Success program, please call 240-242-4812 or contact the Program Manager, Alexandra Boycheck at



To qualify for the Entrepreneur Training for Success program, you should…

  • Have a viable, ready-to-market product or service or clearly defined business idea
  • Have an entrepreneurial spirit, enthusiasm, and persistence


Students are required to…

  • Attend all classes and complete a business plan at the end of the program
  • Have a good command of both written and spoken English
  • Have basic computer skills for writing and online research

All graduates are required to give back 20 hours service within one year after the graduation.

Cost and Scholarships

The total cost of the program is $1,850 per participant and is largely covered by donations and grants. Because of this, EWI is able to offer some full and partial scholarships based on need.

Scholarships are awarded to eligible students who meet the low-income requirements as defined below, who have a viable business idea, are committed to follow EWI’s program and have a strong motivation to succeed.

Strong scholarship candidates

  • Clear business or social venture idea
  • Product or service ready for the market
  • Energy, passion, and commitment to lead and succeed
  • Ability and willingness to do home study, work independently and complete all assignments
  • Capacity to build a business plan and develop a marketable product or service
  • Availability to attend all classes, business boot camps, mentoring session, business pitch, and graduation

Apply for a Scholarship

Scholarship Essay

A written essay is required of all scholarship candidates for consideration. In the essay, candidates must answer the following questions in no more than 2 pages:

1.    Why are you passionate about this business idea and why do you think this is the right time to start it?

2.     Why do you think you should be considered for a scholarship opportunity?

Due two days after the in-person interview.


Low-Income Requirement

To demonstrate low-income eligibility, applicants must provide proof on income during the interview in the form of tax returns, paystubs, unemployment benefits or other verifying documentation of their financial situation. Income level is based on gross yearly pay. When determining the course fee, EWI staff will take into consideration family size as well as other information pertaining to financial hardship (medical bills, outstanding debt, etc.).

Scholarship amounts are determined based on a sliding scale fee structure using HUD guidelines for household income and size, in the table below. The amounts listed in the chart are the amount that an applicant would have to pay not covered by a scholarship.

Scholarships are determined after the applicant’s in-person interview.

If you do not qualify under EWI’s low-income eligibility requirement but feel you would still benefit from our program, please apply and we will evaluate your need and contact you with our decision.

Apply for the Entrepreneur Training in Success (ETS) course

  1. Fill out the online EWI Program Inquiry Form.
  2. Schedule and attend an in-person interview
  3. Bring proof of household income and materials that showcases your business idea
  4. Confirm your acceptance in the program, if selected
  5. Pay the $100 base fee, which includes 17 sessions of 2.5 hour/session of in-person entrepreneurship training and mentoring support, ; participation in Business Plan Pitch and Graduation Showcase
  6. Attend the Meet & Greet Session!

Current students: click here to pay your tuition and base fee.