The Access Community Action Agency is inviting women to participate in the Women: Inspired! Next Steps Windham Area Hour Exchange Orientation. Women: Inspired! Next Steps is a program designed to provide support of low-income women who would like to start or grow small businesses. The Windham Area Hour Exchange is a large component of the Women: Inspired! Next Steps program. The hour exchange is a network of individuals, businesses, and organizations that exchange services using a time-based currency, where one hour of service equals one “time dollar”. During the Women: Inspired! Next Steps Windham Area Hour Exchange Orientation, participants will learn about the operation and benefits of the Windham Area Hour Exchange and the Women: Inspired! Next Steps program.
The Women: Inspired! Next Steps program is inviting low-income women to participate as “Entrepreneurs,” and established local business women to participate as “Mentors. Entrepreneurs participating in the Women: Inspired! Next Steps program will have access to a series of supports that will help them along in the “next steps” of their business development journeys, with mentors playing a key role in guiding them along the way. Supports include action planning to set manageable goals with guidance from an experienced employment support specialist, the ability to access and share local and online business development resource connections, and enrollment in the Women: Inspired! Networking Group (WING), a mentoring and skills-sharing program that will help Entrepreneurs gain experience, earn professional references, and begin to build a consumer base for their products and services.
Finally, Entrepreneurs will be invited to apply to the Women: Inspired! Next Steps Fund for a limited number of small grants to pay for eligible expenses toward pursuing their business goals, including costs associated with education, licensing, business support services, equipment, etc.
All programming is coordinated by the Windham Area Hour Exchange, a community engagement initiative of the Access Community Action Agency, with contributions from the agency’s employment support program, Climb the Ladder to a Better Future. Funding for this program came from the Windham Area Women & Girls Fund via the Community Foundation of Eastern Connecticut.
Women interested in participating in the program are invited to attend the Women: Inspired! Next Steps Windham Area Hour Exchange Orientation on Thursday, June 26, 2014 from 4:30-6:00pm at the Access Community Action Agency, 1315 Main Street., Willimantic, CT 06226. Registration for this event by June 24th is recommended.
To register to participate in Women: Inspired! Next Steps or for more information, please contact Stephanie Kaczowski, Coordinator at stephanie.Kaczowski@accessagency.org or (860) 450-7400, ext. 7482 or Ashley Smith, A2A Program Coordinatior/Americorps VISTA at firstname.lastname@example.org or phone: 860-450-7400, ext.7435