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Network 2000 Awards $15,000 Grant to Women’s Entrepreneurship Program

BALTIMORE – Network 2000, which promotes the advancement of executive women in Maryland, awarded the Path Forward Center a $15,000 grant to support the center’s ACTiVATE women’s entrepreneurship program. The Path Forward Center is a Maryland-based nonprofit that helps women realize their untapped business potential.

Network 2000 President Ellen Fish said, “The Path Forward Center’s ACTiVATE program aligns neatly with what we are reaching for-to provide women opportunities to advance their careers. In this case, we’re focusing on helping enable women as an engine of economic creation and we are pleased to be able to support this effort.”

The ACTiVATE program is set to launch in Columbia, Md., in mid-September. Although the program is new to Columbia, ACTiVATE was started in 2005 at the University of Maryland, Baltimore County. It is an award-winning entrepreneurship program and community for mid-career women to start and grow companies by leveraging technology. The ACTiVATE program has spawned more than 30 women-owned companies across the region and was recently licensed to the Path Forward Center for international replication.

“The grant from Network 2000 brings more than just funding,” said Julie Lenzer Kirk, CEO and co-founder of the Path Forward Center. “The group’s financial and mentoring support of the ACTiVATE program is an example of successful women giving back, helping area women realize their dreams of entrepreneurship. Our goal through this program is to develop entrepreneurship skills in at least 20 more women from the mid-Maryland region. Based on our past success, this has the potential to create several more women-owned high-growth companies, bringing jobs and tax revenue to our local communities as a result.”

ACTiVATE is now recruiting women for its class of 2012, which runs through May 2012. Women with at least five years of business or technical experience who want to start a company, already have a company and need to develop skills, or are just exploring entrepreneurship are invited to apply. Interested women should visit the ACTiVATE website at
www.pathforwardcenter.org/activate/md-columbi…
. People interested in mentoring the students or sponsoring the program should contact ACTiVATE at md-columbia@activateprogram.org.