EmPOWER Mentorship Program

The EmPOWER Mentorship Program is a facilitated mentoring model designed to help underrepresented businesses generate ideas, identify blind spots, troubleshoot problems, and grow their networks in Frederick County. Discussion themes will be set for every session and include subjects such as marketing, legal matters, human resources, finance, real estate matters, goal-setting, strategic planning, and networking. Two seasoned business leaders and a facilitator will guide the mentorship program throughout its 8-week duration.

Requirements: To participate in the OED EmPOWER Mentorship program, applicants must qualify in the following ways:

1. Businesses must be 51% underrepresented - For this program, “underrepresented” is defined as identity groups whose percentage of the business community is lower than that of the dominant identity subgroup. This program considers this to include business community members who are: American Indian or Alaska Native, Asian American, Black or African American, Biracial, Hispanic, Latino, Middle Eastern, Native Hawaiian or Pacific Islander, People of Color; People with Disabilities; those who identify as Intersexual, Gender-Fluid, Nonbinary, Transgender, or Women; and those who identify as Asexual, Bisexual, Gay, Lesbian, Queer or Questioning.

2. Businesses must be in the idea-stage or growth-stage status:

a. Idea Stage - businesses that have not been yet to be established and/or are in their first two years of opening. The proprietor must live in Frederick County
b. Growth Stage - businesses that generate revenue under $5 million annually and have been in business for over two years. Business must be located in Frederick County and must be in good standing with the State of Maryland (https://egov.maryland.gov/BusinessExpress/EntitySearch).

Plans are underway for the 2022 EmPOWER Mentorship Program. If you are interested in this program, please contact Shana Knight, Senior Business Development Manager for Diversity & Inclusion with the Frederick County Office of Economic Development at sknight@frederickcountymd.gov.


Congratulations to our 2021 EmPOWER Program Graduates

2021 Mentees

Aje Hill, I Believe in Me Inc.
Brian Beiglarbeigi, Frederick Daily Meals
Elizabeth Chung, Asian American Center of Frederick
Jacqueline Douge, What is Black
Janece Lee, H E I S I S
Taral Flippen, Clark First Consulting
Wendy Campbell, COAST Designs

2021 Program Mentors

Ashleigh Kiggans, MacRo Commercial Real Estate
Jose Bueso, Dynamic Automotive

Program Facilitators

Sandy Dubay, Platinum PR
Jay Mason, Platinum PR

To learn more about the 2021 EmPOWER Mentorship program, check out this blog post!