Dr. Tiamesha Walker-Smith, ATHENA of the Triangle,

Kristen Fraser, Truist,


ATHENA of the Triangle receives a $15,000 grant from Truist Foundation to strengthen small businesses

Raleigh, NC, June 8, 2023 – ATHENA of the Triangle today announced it received a $15,000 grant from Truist Foundation to strengthen small businesses.

“ATHENA of the Triangle is honored to be selected as a grant recipient of the Truist Foundation,” said Dr. Tiamesha Walker-Smith, executive director of ATHENA of the Triangle. “These resources will be invaluable to ensuring women and minority small business owners are able to receive support and development opportunities through their participation in the ATHENA Powerlink® program.”

This grant will allow ATHENA of the Triangle to work with ATHENA Powerlink® program participants to increase their internal capacity and to administer technical assistance to women- and minority-owned small businesses in the Triangle. Through new enhancements, the program will work to assist business owners to grow and sustain their companies; provide opportunities for program participants to receive access to business-related workshops that can strengthen their operations; and expand their knowledge in the areas of financial literacy, operational efficiency and marketing implementation.

Oftentimes women- and minority-owned businesses are excluded from participation in programs like ATHENA Powerlink® due to lack of access. Since 2015, ATHENA Powerlink® participants have experienced an 18-42% increase in their net revenue. With the assistance of Truist Foundation, ATHENA will be able to offer opportunities to companies who typically would not be able to dedicate resources to technical skill building and support programs while ensuring they are on stable ground to grow and sustain their business.

“Small businesses are the backbone of our communities and the country’s economy,” said Chris Bell, Triangle Regional President for Truist. “Truist’s purpose is to inspire and build better lives and communities, and this initiative speaks to this important and ongoing work. We are happy to partner with ATHENA to support our small businesses.”



About ATHENA of the Triangle


ATHENA of the Triangle’s mission is to support, develop, and honor emerging and established women leaders and their allies across the NC Triangle Region. Our vision is to empower women to live the ATHENA Leadership Model® and achieve their highest potential. Founded in 2014, ATHENA of the Triangle is a licensee of programs developed by ATHENA International, a non-profit organization founded on the deeply held belief that women can achieve a worldwide balance of leadership when they are recognized, cultivated, and encouraged as leaders. We provide innovative programming in leadership development and entrepreneurial skill building for women leaders in the Triangle region of North Carolina.


About Truist Foundation

Truist Foundation is committed to Truist Financial Corporation’s (NYSE: TFC) purpose to inspire and build better lives and communities. Established in 2020, the foundation makes strategic investments in nonprofit organizations to help ensure the communities it serves have more opportunities for a better quality of life. Truist Foundation’s grants and activities focus on building career pathways to economic mobility and strengthening small businesses. Learn more at

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