EWI Legacy Stories Project Episode #7 features EWI alumna and current program trainer LaDon Love. LaDon is the founder and executive director of SPACEs in Action, a social justice organization in DC and Maryland. In her interview, LaDon shares how LEDC’s Empowered Women International program shaped her perception of entrepreneurship and offers a view into her ETS classes.
LaDon participated in Entrepreneur Training for Success (ETS) and Grow My Business (GMB) in the early 2010s. She learned vital business leadership skills like developing a profitable business plan, targeting an audience, and branding. “In the first program, we learned to do our business plans. We learned how to think like business leaders, and we understood better what it takes to start your business. By going into Grow My Business, I was able to start to learn…how do I catapult what I am doing to take it to a whole other level.”
Using her business plan and new skills, she developed her photography business, Lens and Love Photography. A few years later, LaDon was invited to become an ETS trainer. She has worked with dozens of women since starting in 2016. “It’s been really great because, each time, I meet these women who are building their business,” she shares, “folks start off timid and shy…and as the program goes on, these women build their confidence and build their business plan.”
One of the keys to entrepreneurial success is leveraging your network. EWI’s network is the highlight for LaDon. She still connects with her ETS mentor from a decade ago and collaborates with other EWI women. Her ETS classes are collaborative spaces where entrepreneurs, mentors, and guest speakers learn from each other. The students have accountability partners with whom they share struggles and successes, and her cohorts stay connected long after the program finishes.
The ETS program looks different from when LaDon participated or started as a trainer. The program shifted online in 2020 and continues in another form. The medium has changed, but the goal of fostering community and belonging continues. LaDon explains, “EWI is a place where you can be part of a broader community. Where you can get the resources and support to develop your own business. And it’s a space where you can find your niche and find others who are similar.”
Watch LaDon’s interview to learn more about what it is like to participate in our Entrepreneur Training for Success program!
You can find LaDon and SPACEs In Action at:
LaDon’s LinkedIn: https://www.linkedin.com/in/ladonlove/
SPACEs In Action Website: https://www.spacesinaction.org/