ATHENA PowerLink® Mentoring Program for Women Business Owners
The ATHENA PowerLink® program began in 1992 in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania when two businesswomen recognized that female entrepreneurs often lack access to valuable advisors and mentors. The premise was simple – “panels of volunteers willing to advise women business owners on important issues can help them achieve greater success.” Today, as ATHENA PowerLink® expands across the country, the program continues to help women grow themselves and their businesses.
Businesses are selected from a field of applicants by a governing body made up of community members. Once the specific needs are determined the local program recruits local professionals in relevant fields to provide the necessary guidance. The business owner is then teamed with a volunteer board of advisors and a cohort of other participants. The program is tailored to fit the company’s needs.
- Business must be at least 51% owned and actively managed by a woman.
- Minimum of two (2) years in operation.
- Minimum of the equivalent of two (2) full-time employees (including the owner).
- Annual revenues of at least $250,000 for retail or manufacturing businesses.
- Annual revenues of at least $100,000 for service businesses.
- Clearly defined company objectives/goals with explicit reasons for seeking ATHENAPowerLink’s® assistance in meeting those objectives/goals.
On average, women business owners participating in the ATHENA PowerLink® program see the following outcomes:
- 88 percent increase in sales;
- 37 percent increase in business net income;
- 56 percent increase in personal income;
- 36 percent increase in the number of full-time employees;
- 75 percent increase in the number of part-time employees
28+ hours of customized development and support for Women Business Owners
- One, four hour PowerUp Strategic Planning Session:
- Assists in the customization of the PowerLink® Program to the participant’s needs over the course of the 6-month program
- Six, one each month, 90-minute PowerGrowth and PowerShift Coaching Sessions that are customized to the participant’s specific needs.
- The ATHENA PowerLink® Program Director will coordinate these calls to include the ATHENA PowerLink® participant, the program director, and ATHENA Advisory Panel group participants (as needed)
- Six, one each month, 2.5-hour PowerGrowth Advisory Panel Group Meetings with the ATHENA Valley of the Sun Advisory Panel Members, Program Administrators, and the other ATHENA PowerLink® Participant Cohort members, dinner included
- Homework: Customized, self-directed learning activities (time varies)
Sample Advisory Panel Expertise
- Human Resource Law/Risk
- Finance/Human Resources
- Business Development/Sales
Project Management/Capacity Planning