Maryland’s Path Forward Center for Innovation and Entrepreneurship Co-Founders Receive 2011 “WIPP AT&T Innovator of the Year Award” in Washington, DC

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More than 150 leading women business owners from Women Impacting Public Policy (WIPP) gathered last week to celebrate the recipients of this year’s prestigious WIPP 2011 Awards. Co-founders of Path Forward Center for Innovation and Entrepreneurship, Renee Lewis and Julie Lenzer Kirk, were recipients of this year’s “WIPP AT&T Innovator of the Year Award” for leveraging technology innovation and success in business.

More than 150 leading women business owners from Women Impacting Public Policy (WIPP) gathered last week to celebrate the recipients of this year’s prestigious WIPP 2011 Awards. Co-founders of Path Forward Center for Innovation and Entrepreneurship, Renee Lewis and Julie Lenzer Kirk, were recipients of this year’s “WIPP AT&T Innovator of the Year Award” for leveraging technology innovation and success in business.

“Renee and Julie’s continual hard work, dedication and desire to be the change agent for identifying opportunities to grow women-owned businesses is an inspiration for all. Through the Path Forward Center and ACTiVATE®, they have developed creative approaches to reach more women who desire to start businesses around innovative ideas, but do not know how to get started in the marketplace,” said WIPP President Barbara Kasoff. Based in Germantown, Maryland, the Path Forward Center for Innovation and Entrepreneurship (http://www/PathForwardCenter.org) acts as a catalyst for economic change by activating women to build their Business Beyond One™. Their flagship, innovative, and award-winning offering is the year-long ACTiVATE women’s entrepreneurship program (http://www.ActivateProgram.org). ACTiVATE is designed for mid-career women who want to build a business around a patented concept or another proprietary idea they license or develop.

The Path Forward Center is working to expand around the globe through licensing partners with the goal of ACTiVATE’ing 1,000 women by 2014. “We both have such passion for what is yet to be because of what we’ve seen already happen with the women who have been ACTiVATE’D thus far. We are lucky to be able to work with these women and promote their capabilities,” said Lewis. “Both Renee and I knew that even though we formed the Path Forward Center as a nonprofit, the impact of ACTiVATE and the imperative for empowering women economically through entrepreneurship was not just a cause,” Kirk adds. “Seeing these women leverage innovation to create jobs and change the world through business, we knew it was imperative to expand the program. More women need to realize the power of technology for creating a competitive advantage.”

The WIPP Awards Ceremony was part of WIPP’s three-day Annual Leadership Conference in Washington, DC, that ran from October 11th – 13th. The conference agenda included important economic briefings on current policy issues impacting women business owners growth, a very special high level briefing by The White House, a Congressional Luncheon and the exciting unveiling of WIPP’s updated Economic Blueprint used as the organization’s call to action to the Administration, Congress and Federal Agencies.

WIPP is a national nonpartisan public policy organization, advocating on behalf of nearly 1 million women-owned businesses representing 59 business organizations. For more information, please visit http://www.wipp.org.

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