The ATHENA PowerLink® program was introduced to the Erie Community in 2000 and since has provided professional mentors to over 23 women business owners. The ATHENA PowerLink® program is a business mentoring program designed to increase the growth and profitability of women owned businesses.
Although the number of women owned businesses has been growing fast and furiously for some time, the growth rate for women business owners is slower than that of their male counterparts. ATHENA PowerLink® strives to help women business owners navigate hurdles and barriers to growth such as achieving access to new networks, mentors, best business practices, staff/employee management issues, etc. previously unavailable to them.
The premise is simple - a panel of expert volunteers advises a woman business owner on important issues specific to her business with the goal of increasing the developement and success of her business. The program "links" a woman business owner with an Advisory Panel, recruited from their local community, to work with her at no cost for one year.
The mission of ATHENA PowerLink® is to increase the growth and profitability of women-owned businesses. ATHENA PowerLink® promotes the overall mission of Athena International in supporting, developing and honoring women leaders, inspiring women to achieve their full potential and creating balance in leadership worldwide.
We would like to strongly encourage you to consider applying if you are interested in receiving expert advice and invaluable insight on growing your business enterprise.
ATHENA PowerLink® provides professional advisory panels to women-owned businesses to assist in business growth. Each advisory panel is tailored to the specific needs of the company as defined by the business plan, goals and objectives of the enterprise. The panel's goal is to ultimately help women-owned bussinesses learn how to network better, access capital and implement best practices. In northwest Pennsylvania, the program is offered to women-owned businesses in Erie and Crawford Counties by the Erie ATHENA PowerLink® Governing Body through ATHENA International.
What Does ATHENA PowerLink® Provide?
- Advisory panels, consisting of business professionals, tailored to the specific needs of your company.
- A one-year commitment to assist your business through a series of quarterly meetings.
- Professionals from business areas such as accounting, law, marketing, finance, human resources, and technology.
- Advice that is not binding. You may accept or reject the suggestions made.
What are the Business Owner's Responsibilities?
- A willingness to accept the advice of the professionals on the advisory panel.
- A business plan or executive summary on the current status of your business and a description of your company's problems requiring assistance.
- An agreement to disclose appropriate business-related material including, but not limited to, financial statements and company literature.
A governing body of community business leaders will select ATHENA PowerLink® businesses annually from applications received by December 31, 2012. Companies are chosen based on their potential to effectively utilize an advisory panel and ATHENA PowerLink's® ability to assist the company's growth.
What are the Application Criteria for Becoming an ATHENA PowerLink® Business?
- Business must be at least 51% owned and actively managed by a woman
- Minimum of two (2) years in operation
- Minimum of two (2) full-time employees (including the owner)
- Annual revenues of at least $250,000 for retail or manufacturing business
- Annual revenues of at least $100,000 for service businesses
- Clearly defined company objectives/goals with explicit reasons for seeking ATHENA PowerLink's® assistance in meeting those objectives and goals
Cost to Participate
- $350 for those business accepted and receiving an Advisory Panel
2011 Beth Burnside, CMIT Solutions of Erie; Sabrina Fischer, The Sassy Peacock, LLC; Sherry Morian, Quality Engineering Solutions, Inc; Michele Quadri, Al's Awning Shop, Inc; Anita Rose-Marcoline, McCormick Coffee Co.
2010 Naomi Stutzman, FASTSIGNS Erie; Claudine Thiem Milestones Children's Consignment; Deborah Vahanian, Glass Growers Gallery
2009 Colleen Moore Mezler, Moore Research Services, Inc; Joyce Ann Miller, KeyStone Research Corporation
2008 Kathy Ames & Mary Birdsong, Naturally Yours; Donna Reese, General Exterminating
2007 Linda K Breakiron-Lombardo, W.C. Breakiron Jewlers, Inc.; Darlene Youngs & Cheryl Phillips, Bella Salon and Day Spa;
2006 Jennifer Reed & Terri Reed-Boyer, Relish, Inc.; Lucille Savelli, Sandcille Demi Spa and Treatment Studio
2005 Elizabeth Brown, Millcreek Mall Subway; Shawn Keough-Hart, Provider Resources
2004 Beverly Fetzner, Comfort Care & Resources, Inc.
2003 Sue Busse, Signature Mortgage Company
2002 Denise Christianson, Advanced Placement Services, Inc.
2001 Debrah Trocki, Signs Now
2000 Susan Wendel, Interiors of Erie, Inc.
Colleen Moore Mezler, Moore Research
Colleen received an Advisory panel in 2009. "This is a program I would recommend to any business owner. Without the hands on assistance, I would not have been able to refocus my business and take my operation to the next level. I heartily endorse this worthwhile program."
Applications must be submitted by January 15th, 2012 to:
Linda Stevenson, Chair
ATHENA PowerLink® Governing Body
901 State St, Erie PA 16501