10 Growth-Stage Underrepresented Businesses Graduate from FCOED’s EmPOWER Mentorship Program

The Frederick County Office of Economic Development (FCOED) recently wrapped up its second cohort of the EmPOWER Mentorship Program. With 10 program mentees and 18 business mentors, this program was successful in helping the participants achieve growth in several areas of their businesses.

The EmPOWER Mentorship Program is a facilitated mentoring model designed to help underrepresented businesses in Frederick County generate ideas, identify blind spots, expand their networks, and take their businesses to the next level.

“FCOED is committed to fostering an economically inclusive environment. The diversity within our business community is what makes Frederick County a vibrant and attractive place to live, work and play,” says Jodie Bollinger, Acting Executive Director for Frederick County Office of Economic Development.

“Since 2015, our office has developed strong programs that support the unique challenges of underrepresented businesses and we are grateful to see them grow and receive support from the community,” she continues.

The 2022 cohort ran from September 16, 2022 through November 4, 2022 and was open to growth-stage businesses with two or more years in business, less than 5 million dollars in revenue and in good standing with the State of Maryland.

2022 EmPOWER Mentorship Graduates:

This year’s mentorship program participants had the opportunity to take a deep dive into topics relevant to their business, with discussions led by successful local business leaders. Topics included 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.

The 2022 cohort expanded and received a Signature Sponsorship from the City of Frederick Department of Economic Development.

“The City of Frederick is very proud of the businesses which successfully completed the EmPOWER Program, and I wish them solid and speedy growth and prosperity – many right here in the City,” says Richard Griffin, Executive Director of The City of Frederick Department of Economic Development.

“EmPOWER was clearly highly educational for all involved and a game changer for some in terms of business education.  The speakers and information conveyed were world quality and inspired passionate discussion and questions from the very diverse participants.  The City Department of Economic Development is a proud signature sponsor of the EmPOWER program and we value the partnership with Frederick County OED – growing and fostering diversity one business at a time,” Griffin adds.

FCOED is looking forward to continuing the EmPOWER Mentorship program in 2023. For more information on the EmPOWER program, please visit www.discoverfrederickmd.com/mentorship or contact Shana Knight at sknight@frederickcountymd.gov