As one of the largest and leading chapters in the country, NAWBO (National Association of Women Business Owners) Philadelphia Chapter has a key program that is designed to increase the growth and profitability of women owned businesses – the ATHENAPowerLink® program. Although the number of women owned businesses has been growing tremendously for some time, the growth rate for women business owners is slower than that of their male counterparts. ATHENAPowerLink® strives to help women business owners navigate hurdles and barriers to growth by providing them with an advisory panel of professionals who have the expertise to address the specific challenges of her business. This program provides women entrepreneurs opportunities to achieve access to new networks, mentors, business capital, best business practices, staff/employee management issues, and more.
Since 2006, ATHENAPowerLink® has been helping women-owned businesses achieve great milestones, and it shows through program results. “Women entrepreneurs have surged their businesses forward after implementing plans they created with guidance from their advisory panels,” said Maria Baseggio, president of SAGE Insights and chair of the ATHENAPowerLink® Governing Body. “For example, one prepared food business extended her network of distributors and supermarket presence from the Philadelphia region to the South and Mid-Atlantic regions and laid a foundation for national distribution. Another increased profitability by over 500%. Still, another achieved control and profitability over her enterprise that was growing at what previously seemed like an unmanageable rate.”
In 2019, PIDC began partnering with NAWBO to bring greater access to resources for our clients who are women business owners. The partnership has been mutually beneficial in many ways. “[Our partnership has been] very beneficial because of PIDC’s leadership in the Philadelphia business community.” This helps ATHENAPowerLink® and NAWBO increase awareness in the region,” said Maria.
PIDC is proud to have had a few of our clients complete the ATHENAPowerLink® program, including one of the most recent graduates, Kristin Smith, president of Smith Flooring. In addition, at the 4th Annual Innovation Gala hosted by NAWBO Philadelphia’s Center, PIDC client and CEO of COFCO, Joan Waters, was honored with the 2019 Innovator’s Award for her leadership and dedication to advancing entrepreneurs and the community.
While women seem to still have a long way to go in comparison to male counterparts in business, Maria believes that women are certainly gaining momentum, especially in Philadelphia. “Women are taking new leadership positions at PIDC, the Chamber of Commerce, within larger businesses, and in leading their own businesses.” PIDC and NAWBO frequently hosts information sessions for business owners who are interested in learning more about the ATHENAPowerLink® program. Plus, with our NAWBO-PIDC Strategic Alliance agreement, PIDC clients have special access to NAWBO activities and membership. Click here to learn more about NAWBO’s programs and how you can get involved.