Ready to Up Your Entrepreneurial Game With Mentoring From A Tennis Great?

Apr 11, 2018 | Uncategorized


The Maria Sharapova Women’s Entrepreneur Program—With Help From NAWBO—Will Mentor Female Entrepreneurs Starting This Spring


Five-time Grand Slam tennis champion Maria Sharapova has experienced some monumental moments in her career: Among them are in 2004, with her life-changing win at Wimbledon, and in 2012, with the launch of her own successful candy company, Sugarpova.

Now, in the spirit of philanthropy and women’s empowerment, Maria announced this month that she is partnering with NAWBO National and the NAWBO Institute, along with her team, to mentor female entrepreneurs through the Sharapova Women’s Entrepreneur Program. The program kicks off in Spring 2018 with a nationwide call for applicants, from which up to six businesswomen will be selected. Maria naturally turned to NAWBO as a partner for finding and identifying potential participants, and as a resource to help develop a robust curriculum for the 12-month-long mentorship program. Sales from Sugarpova will support the Sharapova Women’s Entrepreneur Program.

“I only wish when I was starting out with my own company, Sugarpova, that I had a group of mentors and the team I have now to help guide and support me,” says Maria. “I recognize that supporting women-owned businesses by sharing expertise and valuable business resources can have a dramatic impact on a business and can be a real catalyst for advancing the success of a business. Simply put, this partnership is about women helping women.”

Over the past six years, Maria has learned the many business dimensions of starting a company with all the challenges and hurdles of real-world experience along the way. Being a young startup, Maria wore many hats in growing Sugarpova, her off-the-court business. With Sugarpova reaching global sales penetration with double-digit revenue growth the last several years, Maria decided the time is right to pay forward her well-honed business skills—joining with the hefty rolodex and strong relationships of her business team—and set aside time from her busy competitive tennis schedule to help other women entrepreneurs, via mentoring support and networking opportunities and allocating her team’s resources to help grow these women’s businesses.    

“The NAWBO Institute is excited about partnering with Maria Sharapova to propel women to the next level of their business,” says Loreen Gilbert, chair-elect of the National NAWBO Institute’s Executive Board and president of WealthWise Financial Services. “She is an inspiration, who has graciously agreed to share her expertise, business savvy and tenacity to help other women excel.”

Use this application to apply now.


More About the Program

The Sharapova Women’s Entrepreneur Program will consist of six women business owners who are selected from a nationwide call for applicants. The program will run from June 2018 through July 2019, and is a cohort-based virtual/in-person hybrid program that will include mentorship, peer-to-peer support, mastermind and educational components to be delivered on a monthly basis by NAWBO and the Sharapova Business Resource Team led by Traub Consumer.

Through the Sharapova Women’s Entrepreneur Program and NAWBO partnership, female businesswomen will be selected to receive support and resources from Maria’s longtime marketing and business development teams as well as the NAWBO Institute. Each of the women selected will receive support from a range of both NAWBO and Maria’s personal business resources in growing their business and in reaching their business goals.


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