Educational Initiatives Promoting Women Entrepreneurs: The Significance of a PowerLink Panel On Women Entrepreneurs

Defense Date


Graduation Date

Fall 1-1-2006


Campus Only

Submission Type


Degree Name



Instructional Leadership Excellence (ILEAD)


School of Education

Committee Chair

Ruth G. Biro

Committee Member

Matthew L. Schneirov

Committee Member

William Switala


PowerLink, self-directed learning, women entrepreneurs


The purpose of this research was to examine the significance of a PowerLink advisory panel on women owned businesses. The study also investigated how women entrepreneurs, the fastest growing segment of American business, engage in learning and how they learned to advance their businesses to the next level by utilizing the educational guidance of a PowerLink advisory panel as well as other educational resources. This study utilized both quantitative and qualitative methods of data collection. A survey instrument, personal, in-depth interviews and focus group interviews were instituted to collect data. Data analysis was derived from qualitative participant feedback and descriptive statistics from the survey instrument. Results of the study indicated that the use of a PowerLink advisory panel appeared to positively impact not only the woman owned businesses, but the overall well being of the business owner. In addition, the findings of the study indicate the value of having an advisory board to which the women participants were held accountable. PowerLink was founded in Pittsburgh in 1991 by Barbara Moore, President/CEO of Anderson Transfer (Washington, PA) and Ilana Diamond, President/CEO of Sima Products Corporation (Oakmont, PA). According to Moore, "We came up with the idea out of frustration. We thought women business owners didn't have access to the type of advice and helpful information needed for them to start a business." She continued, "We wanted to provide women business owners with resources that were typically only available to men" (B. Moore, personal communication, June 4, 2003). PowerLink is a non-profit organization serving businesses that have a woman acting as chief operating officer, are at least 51 per cent woman-owned and operate for profit.





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