Recent Posts

How to Start a Nonprofit

Tell me about your business and how you help women?

Women Empowered is a membership based women’s nonprofit organization aimed to empower women through volunteerism, mentorship, self-development workshops, and professional and social networking. We also promote entrepreneurship as well by providing workshops specifically tailored for women entrepreneurs or those who are thinking to start their own business but just need some support and guidance. In addition to the volunteer services we provide for our community, we have a mentoring program, a partnership between WE and another nonprofit called, Girls Today Women Tomorrow located in Boyle Heights where we provide group mentoring activities and workshops for at-risk teenage girls as well as one-on-one e-mentoring where we match a WE member with a teenage girl in the GTWT program and the communication is made via email, social media, skype, and text messaging.

The underlying theme of all WE events and activities are to create bonds with women whether it’s through a friendship or business relationship thereby empowering each other by supporting one another. In order to cement those bonds we also have three subgroups, a book club, a hiking group, and a support group – all of which were formed to not only create friendships between the members but to also promote mental and physical health. We aim to empower women in many ways, health and well-being is on the top of our list.

What tip can you give women who want to start a nonprofit?

Hire the right people to join your board. When recruiting board members, the most important aspect is that they must be passionate about the cause. If they lack the passion, it will not work. The next thing is commitment to time. Commitment not only to attending board meetings but actually following through with the work that is required. Remember board members are volunteers so they won’t necessarily have the same level of passion as you do but they must at least exceed the minimum otherwise they will not only waste their time but cause frustration in the group.

What does being a Financially Wise Woman mean to you?

Being a financially wise woman means that you are in control of your life (which includes finances) and not dependent on others. I personally had to learn this the hard way when I got divorced and was on my own for the first time in my life in my late twenties. I was so used to be being taken care of that I didn’t realize how little I knew how to manage my money. Being aware of where each penny goes makes you realize how important budgeting really is. Once you learn how to manage and save, you feel empowered!

What is your spending vise?

  • Starbucks (can’t live without)

  • Amazon (books)

  • Scarves (I’m obsessed)

What is a favorite money quote or affirmation?

“Friendship and money: oil and water.” Mario Puzo. Never mix the two!

Any upcoming events?

Save the date for our 3rd annual fundraiser, A Night of Empowerment on Sunday, November 4th at the Sheraton Delfina Santa Monica. For more info and to purchase tickets, please visit

Shelly Ulaj

Founder and CEO, Women Empowered

Shelly Ulaj and Women Empowered are not affiliated with LPL Financial or Perennial Financial.