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 Access to Capital, Small Business Operations, Marketing & Social Media, Building Your Network, Strategic Planning, Commercial Real Estate, Legal Matters & Taxes, and Human Resources/Workforce Development. Seasoned business leaders and a facilitator will guide the mentorship program throughout its 8-week duration.


To participate in the FCOED EmPOWER Mentorship program, applicants must meet the following requirements:

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 growth-stage status – 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).

3. Applicants must commit to attending all eight in-person meetings unless an emergency or unforeseen circumstance arises.

4. Applicants who are selected to participate will be required to pay a $100 program fee prior to the start of the class.

Stay Tuned for the Fall 2023 Mentorship Program Application

If you have questions, please contact Shana Knight, Senior Business Development Manager for Diversity & Inclusion with the Frederick County Office of Economic Development at sknight@frederickcountymd.gov.


Thank you to our EmPOWER Signature Sponsor 


Congratulations to the 2022 EmPOWER Mentorship Program Graduates

Alexandra Gushard-Edwards, Marie Rose Photography & Videography
Alice Victoria Mbuyi, The Frederick Ballroom
Alyssa Palermo, Shoppers Insurance Agency
Jarad Bowens, Benefactor Events
Juve Lima, Greek Aroma
Lois Pruitt, The Frederick Basket Company
Sandra Hofmeister, A&S Construction
Santhanalakshmi Shanmugam, Minnodi, LLC
Tina Harper, Dream FREE Art

Tonya Chubb, EmPowerment Consulting Services, LLC

To learn more about the 2022 EmPOWER Mentorship Program, check out this blog post!

Congratulations to the 2021 EmPOWER Mentorship Program Graduates

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

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