Make Mine a Million $ Business, a national movement inspiring women to grow their businesses, co-founded by Count Me In for Women's Economic Independence and American Express OPEN, returned to Newark, New Jersey on Tuesday, June 15. Seven successful women entrepreneurs from across the nation were awarded some of the additional support and resources they will need to run million dollar enterprises as part of the Make Mine a Million $ Business awards package.
Through Make Mine a Million $ Business, the selected women entrepreneurs received a powerful boost to enable them to grow and build sustainable enterprises, create jobs and develop innovative products and services despite the recession. This includes coaching, financing and marketing support that entrepreneurs need to help grow their businesses from micro to millions.
One by one, each finalist presented captivating “elevator pitches” before seven awardees were selected by a panel of judges and a live audience. The winners became the newest members of a flourishing network of 192 Make Mine a Million $ Business awardees and a community of 70,000 women who share their commitment to entrepreneurial growth.
Hon. Kim Guadagno, New Jersey's first Lieutenant Governor, joined representatives from Count Me In and American Express OPEN to present the awards to the winners.
“Women-owned, million-dollar businesses are a rarified reality,” said Nell Merlino, founder and president of Count Me In. “The women in the Make Mine a Million $ Business community are at the forefront of a rising economic force – women business owners are the boost this economy needs.”
“There are more than 10 million women-owned businesses in this country, each with a distinct vision,” said Sophia Lundberg, Vice President at American Express OPEN. “By joining the M3 movement, women business owners are reaffirming their vision, declaring their intent to build million dollar enterprises and joining a community of like minded peers to help them succeed”
The seven awardees received:
- Business coaching from Count Me In's coaching partner, The Coach Connection
- Count Me In's Capitol Concierge service – personalized assistance from Count Me In experts who will help you prepare your financials to pursue financing through SBA lenders
- American Express OPEN Business Gold Rewards Card with 50,000 Membership Rewards points
- Local and national visibility for you and your business from American Express OPEN
- Membership to Sam's Club
- Discounts on select shipping and office and print services from FedEx
- Increased exposure to potential customers seeking your goods or services
- Opportunities to reach new national markets with partners like American Express OPEN, Reader's Digest, Dell, FedEx and Sam's Club
- Promotion of you and your business through local and national television, newspapers, magazines, radio and blogs
Launched in 2005 by Count Me In and founding partner American Express OPEN, Make Mine a Million $ Business is the leading national program to raise awareness of the growth challenges facing post-start-up women-owned businesses.
Since its inception, the program has hosted 19 competitions in cities around the country and grown into a nationwide movement. Throughout the events, attendees have access to business insight and educational workshops featuring other successful businesswomen, seasoned entrepreneurs and experts in finance, marketing and technology.
Major corporations including American Express OPEN, Reader's Digest, Dell, FedEx and Sam's Club are important sponsors of the Make Mine a Million $ Business movement. They contribute to the awards package with products, services and discounts in the areas of financing, technology, shipping, and insurance to help propel women over the $1 million mark.
The following seven women were selected as new members of the Make Mine a Million $ Business program based on their ability to build significant and sustainable companies with the growth potential to achieve $1 million or more in annual revenues.
Princess Jenkins, of New York, NY-based The Brownstone
(http://www.thebrownstonewoman.com) a “lifestyle” boutique focuses on ethnically inspired fashions.
Angela Barnard, of West Palm Beach, Florida-based Audio Video Systems Inc.
(http://www.AVSsafetysystems.com) a full service security system integrator offering burglar/fire alarm systems and monitoring; video surveillance and access control solutions that provide benefits well beyond theft deterrence.
Valerie Lecoeur, of Winston-Salem, NC-based Zoe b Organic
(http://www.zoeborganic.com) a distributor of Natursutten Pacifiers and Teethers, Kidishes, Kid-friendly tempered glass, On The Go Sleepy Hats, etc.
Audrey Storch, of Wayne, NJ-based HUGS TO GO, LLC
(http://www.huggeemissyou.com) a marketer and seller of Huggee Miss You - the World's First and Only Huggable Picture Frame.
Stephanie Vance of Washington, D.C.-based Advocacy Associates, LLC
(http://www.advocacyassociates.com) a company that helps clients to implement citizen-based approaches to achieving policy change at the local, state, or federal level.
Rupila Sethi, of New York, NY-based Aerial Design and Build
(http://www.aerialdesignandbuild.com) a “boutique” design and build construction firm that prides itself on providing customers with an excellence of quality construction services, project and time management, and workmanship.
Susana Cabrera, of Downingtown, PA-based Delicious Bite LLC
(http://www.delicious-bite.com) a producer of healthy, easy to prepare products made from the finest and freshest ingredients with no trans fat, no cholesterol, no artificial coloring, while providing a good source of calcium and protein.
The next Make Mine a Million $ Business event will be held in the West Coast during the late Fall. Applications for the West Coast program open on August 1, 2010. To apply for the event or join the Make Mine a Million $ Business community, please visit www.makemineamillion.org.
About Count Me In
Count Me In for Women's Economic Independence is the leading national not-for-profit provider of resources, business education and community support for women entrepreneurs seeking to grow micro businesses to million dollar enterprises. Count Me In launched Make Mine a Million $ Business® to inspire one million women entrepreneurs to scale their businesses to a million dollars in revenue by providing tools, skills and the support of a nation-wide community of peers.
About American Express OPEN
American Express OPEN is the leading payment card issuer for small businesses in the United States and supports business owners with products and services to help them run and grow their businesses. This includes business charge and credit cards that deliver purchasing power, flexibility, rewards, savings on business services from an expanded lineup of partners and online tools and services designed to help improve profitability. Learn more at OPEN.com and connect with us at openforum.com and twitter.com/openforum.
American Express is a global services company, providing customers with access to products, insights and experiences that enrich lives and build business success. Learn more at americanexpress.com and connect with us on facebook.com/americanexpress, twitter.com/americanexpress and youtube.com/americanexpress.