2024 -2025 ATHENAPowerLink® Program!

The deadline to apply is May 15, 2024.

ATHENAPowerLink® (APL) is a business mentoring program designed to increase the growth and profitability of women-owned businesses.

A panel of volunteers, powerful members of the local business community, is linked with a woman business owner to act as mentors and advisors for one year.


Watch the video below to follow the journey of ATHENAPowerLink® Candidate,   Carmen Ritz.

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ATHENAPowerLink® has met with outstanding success.

On average, women business owners participating in the ATHENAPowerLink® program see the following outcomes:

  • 88% increase in sales
  • 37% increase in business net income
  • 56% increase in personal net income
  • 36% increase in full-time employees
In addition to these impressive increases in business, measures that are less tangible, but equally important benefits, include:
  • The community experiences the positive economic impact that thriving businesses generate.
  • The woman business owner works with strong, professional advisors to grow her business profitability and to establish invaluable networks.
  • The women and men who serve on Advisory Panels gain from the positive mentoring experience and make professional connections with other panel members.
  • The positive economic results for businesses and the community generate publicity benefitting the sponsor.

What do previous participants say?

I cannot say enough great things about my ATHENAPowerLink® candidacy. The people that I have met and who have supported me through this journey have been generous with their time and gifts. The impact that Athena has had on me personally and my business extends well beyond a balance sheet. I look forward to paying forward to the next lucky woman!

Carmen Ritz
Owner, 2016-2017 Graduate, State Farm Insurance

I had been in business 9 years and was struggling to be profitable. After receiving coaching from top professionals who volunteered their time through the ATHENAPowerLink® program my business grew 23% in only 12 months. I highly recommend this program.

Lisa Smallwood-Howell
President, 2014-2015 Graduate,
Spoken 4 Communications LLC

ATHENAPowerLink® award for a woman business owner is the best-kept secret in the Triangle. Having an all-star board of directors volunteer their time to focus on helping you is an amazing resource, and a wonderful gift. Submit your application TODAY!

Lorraine Johnson CFP®, CFA, ADPA®
Former President, 2015-2016 Graduate
Triangle Financial Advisors / Lifetime Asset Mgmt.

NEW!  ATHENA 2.0 – Strengthening Small Business Workshop Series





The ATHENA Strengthening Small Businesses Workshop Series is sponsored by the TRUIST Foundation Grant whose Vision is to inspire and build economic mobility and wealth-building for underserved communities. TRUIST Foundation’s pillar of Strengthening Small Businesses supports revitalizing the entrepreneurial spirit, with a focus on minority and women owned businesses. The workshop series will provide business owners access to technical support, education, and networks.

Our strengthening small businesses workshop series is designed to assist women business owners with entrepreneurial skill building to increase their business acumen and to provide support for a segment of our community that is typically isolated. The ATHENA Leadership model is based on the ATHENA Principles of Enlightened Leadership (Live Authentically, Learn Constantly, Build Relationships, Foster Collaboration, Advocate Fiercely, Give Back, Celebrate). Participants of this business development series will experience these principles in action.

Format:  Four (4) quarterly, Two hour afternoon sessions will include a presenter who will provide an interactive and engaging learning environment for workshop participants.

Audience:  Women and minority owned women businesses who are looking to sharpen and expand their business acumen and skills.

November 16, 2023
December 13, 2023
February 21, 2024
April 17, 2024