Marga Fripp ’05, Founder and President of Empowered Women International

Marga Fripp ’05

Photo: Courtesy Marga Fripp

Marga Fripp ’05 learned how to run a successful nonprofit by the age of 23 in her native Romania. There, Fripp founded and led a nonprofit organization that provided services to women survivors of domestic violence and advocated for legislation. Fripp also hosted a local TV talk show that promoted discussion of women’s rights; its popularity contributed to passage of a new law on domestic violence.

Fripp immigrated to the US nine days after 9/11, after a medical emergency with her newborn son. Before she started Empowered Women International (EWI), she volunteered for the DC Rape Crisis Center and served as an AmeriCorps volunteer.

Under Fripp’s leadership, EWI has grown from a volunteer-run program to an award-winning organization with more than 3,500 supporters, 2,500 women beneficiaries, and more than $1 million generated in donated services. EWI graduates have launched 133 microbusinesses, of which 70 percent are still in operation. The organization was recognized as “one of the best small charities in the DC Metro area” by the Catalogue for Philanthropy.

Fripp has been featured in The New York Times, The Washington Post, USA Today, and the Alexandria Gazette, among other media. She has received numerous awards, including the Leading Women Award 2012 by the Daily Record of Maryland, and the Maryland Governor’s Award for Service and Volunteerism.

In addition to an AA in general studies, she holds a graduate certificate in business administration from the Open University, UK, and a bachelor’s degree in communication and journalism from the University of Maryland University College. She is married to Jesse Fripp; they have two children.

This article first appeared in the fall 2013 issue of Insights.

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