Photo Caption: Panelists from the “Dream, Girl” Atlanta premiere event (L to R): Monica Maldonado, of Interprint Communications; Darlene Gillard of digitalundivided; Nancy Chorpenning of C-Suite Advisors; Grace Fricks of Access to Capital for Entrepreneurs Inc. (ACE); and Renee Sandler of BLAMtastic.
Nearly 200 women entrepreneurs gathered Sept. 13 for the Atlanta premiere of the Kickstarter-funded film “Dream, Girl.” In addition to the movie screening, the evening included networking opportunities, popcorn, wine, and a panel discussion, all designed to encourage each entrepreneur to continue to dream big on the journey to building her business.
The documentary was created by two women entrepreneurs with the intention of inspiring and uplifting not only women and girls, but all people to express their full potential through entrepreneurship and the idea of living their best lives every day. “Dream, Girl” showcases the stories of female entrepreneurs as they work to bring their dreams to fruition — both on their own and in collaboration with other women.
Following the premiere, four Atlanta-area women entrepreneurs took part in a panel discussion and shared insights about their own journeys with their businesses. Nancy Chorpenning, founder and CEO of C-Suite Advisors, served as moderator. The panelists and audience discussed their takeaways from the film, and the panelists shared the challenges and successes they have experienced in building their businesses. Panelists were Grace Fricks, president and CEO of Access to Capital for Entrepreneurs Inc. (ACE); Monica Maldonado, president and CEO of Interprint Communications; Darlene Gillard, partner and partnership director of community and events at digitalundivided; and Renee Sandler, CEO of BLAMtastic.
“I am in awe of the entrepreneurial electricity of our collective hopes and experiences,” said Grace Fricks about the vibe of the event. “Many thanks to Nancy Chorpenning of C-Suite Advisors for bringing this opportunity to us. We are thrilled that, with her support and that of the attendees, we raised more than $5,000 for ACE’s programs supporting female entrepreneurs.”
Proceeds from the night’s event go to the nonprofit Access to Capital for Entrepreneurs Inc., which has made its mark by being the only community development financial institution serving small-business owners with capital, coaching, and connections throughout Metro Atlanta and North Georgia. The organization continues to grow by issuing small-business loans of less than $50,000 to commercial loans up to $500,000.
Attendees were also able to access to business-related information during the event via resource tables and representatives from C-Suite Advisors, with Corporate Fugees; Metro Atlanta Chamber of Commerce; Yo Soy M; U. S. Small Business Administration (SBA); ACE, with SBA Women’s Business Centers; Small Business Development Corporation; Georgia Mentor Protégé Connection; Greater Women’s Business Council; Women’s Entrepreneurship Initiative (WEI); Latin America Association; and The Edge Connection.
About Access to Capital for Entrepreneurs Inc. (ACE)
ACE is a 501(c)(3) nonprofit and Community Development Financial Institution (CDFI) that provides loans and business consulting services to help borrowers throughout metro Atlanta and North Georgia create and grow stable, sustainable businesses that generate jobs. ACE specializes in working with underserved populations, particularly women, minorities and low-income business owners, to help drive economic mobility and build stronger communities. Founded in 1999, ACE has loaned more than $36 million to entrepreneurs, which has created or saved more than 5,200 jobs in Georgia. As a nonprofit, ACE relies on operating and program grants and private contributions to support a portion of its budget. ACE has offices in downtown Atlanta and Cleveland, Ga., and an ACE Women’s Business Center in Norcross, Ga.
About the ACE Women’s Business Center
The ACE Women’s Business Center provides a full range of services for women at all stages of business planning, implementation, and growth. It offers long-term classes, workshops, seminars, and one-on- one counseling. All services are offered in English and Spanish.