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JAX Athena PowerLink creates jobs

The Jacksonville Women’s Business Center’s (JWBC) ATHENAPowerLink program is supporting the local economy with job creation and growth as it assists women business owners in meeting their business goals and objectives.

 “The ATHENAPowerLink program is having a profound impact – not only on the participating entrepreneurs and their companies but on the business community as a whole,” said Pat Blanchard, director of the JWBC.  “Our five recent ATHENA graduates collectively added nearly 80 new jobs in the Jacksonville area and they are attributing their businesses’ growth and success to the ATHENAPowerLink® program.”

Recent Jacksonville ATHENAPowerLink graduate Lisa Davis, president and CEO of Analytic Partners, Inc., describes the mentoring program as a game changer for her company.  Analytic Partners has experienced rapid growth, resulting in a significant increase in revenue. 

 “Our revenue this year is up $1.4 million; we have doubled our number of employees from 15 to 28 with four open positions yet to fill; and our customer base has grown by 20%,” Davis said.  “The ATHENAPowerLink program enabled us to set a foundation to catapult our business into the future.”

Other recent Jacksonville ATHENAPowerLink graduates also credit the mentoring program for helping them develop sound business practices and achieve business goals and objectives.  Kathryn Murphy, president and CEO of Comfort Keepers, has seen her company’s gross revenue year-to-date increase 25%.  Joanne Parks, founder and CEO of Parks’ Place Daycare & Learning Center, has realized a 15 % increase in revenue and Jan Korb, CEO of Broadbased Marketing Communications & Public Relations, has seen her company’s service fees increase by 12%.  Kilwin’s Chocolates, Fudge & Ice Cream president and CEO Dana Stallings points to the ATHENAPowerLink program as laying the groundwork for her company’s significant growth and success.

 “When I started the ATHENAPowerLink program, my goal was to make Kilwin’s top of mind in Jacksonville and we have done just that,” Stallings said.  “Our revenues increased by more than 20% over last year.  In addition, we have added three new employees.  I am a better business woman because of the Jacksonville Women’s Business Center.”

The Jacksonville program, one of only 27 in the nation, is a year-long program that concentrates on women-owned businesses.  The program links a woman-owned business at least two years old and beyond the initial start-up with a panel of six to eight volunteer, professional advisors who agree to work with her for one year.  The volunteer advisory panel is tailored to fit the entrepreneurs’ needs, providing business advice, moral support and accountability so that the business owners can develop sound business practices and grow their companies.

To learn more about the ATHENAPowerLink program, including how to become a mentor, visit the Jacksonville Women’s Business Center at www.OpportunityJacksonville.com.


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