Arianna Sweeney is 29 years old and originally from Bolivia, South America. She moved to the US when she was 15 years old. She graduated from Virginia Commonwealth University in Richmond with a degree in Education and Linguistics.

saltena project
Arianna is a professional translator and interpreter, but started her journey about 9 years ago as a professional makeup artist. She has always thought outside the box, using her creativity and uniqueness to her advantage.

Arianna’s relationship with EWI:

Arianna’s mother heard of EWI a few years ago, and recently sent her an email about an entrepreneur bootcamp run by EWI.  Arianna had been looking for an opportunity like that. She had been facing difficulties advertising her business, and achieving financial stability. She didn’t charge very much at the beginning because she wanted to build a clientele. Ultimately my passion keeps her going, all her downfalls made her stronger. She learned from her peers and cultural background to keep trying till she succeeds.

What Challenges have you faced?

How were people going to find out about my business if advertisement was nonexistent? I’m not making any profit in the business. I know that in order to make money, I need to invest money. I learned at the bootcamp that I have to pick a target audience.

How has EWI impacted your life and business?

The bootcamp helped me learn about financial literacy. The people I met at the boot camp and the information shared was very crucial at this point in my entrepreneurial career. The workshop help me focus on the common projects my mom and me are trying to start.

How has EWI impacted you personally? 

Everything I learned at the bootcamp we will be taken on to create the new project with my mom, and definitely improved our business.

What was the most significant skill, idea, or connection you gained from EWI?

 “I feel more prepared, I have more resources, and I have built a network in the two days I spent with EWI, I have a support system, I can trust them and that is something that will help me grow. Mind mapping helped because I never thought about a business plan, challenged my thinking process. Before EWI I always had to free style, but EWI provided the coaching I didn’t have in the past.”

Where do you want to be in 3 years?

We want to get the food project Saltena off the ground by the end of the year so that everyone can experience this unique product. Saltena is a specific type of Empanada. I want to manage the business so well that I have more time to pursue other endeavors like volunteering in the community. This can prosper and create job opportunities for others.

What advice would you give to women who are thinking about starting their own business?

When something is really good, it takes hard work. Over the years it will happen, so be patient and work hard. Believe in yourself and have the passion for it. It will be very hard but it will come to flourish and prosper. Make sure you educate yourself on how owning a business works.

Is there anything else that you would like to add or share about your business or experience with EWI?

Empowered Women International does such a heartfelt job at empowering women. EWI gives women second chances to go after their dreams. Their donation makes a difference in someone’s life.

“ I feel more prepared because I have more resources. I have built a network in the two days I spent with EWI, and also provided me with the coaching I didn’t have in the past. That is something that will help me grow my business.”







Arianna Sweeney – A Saltena Love Story
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