Ann Cantrell Named Finalist for the Make Mine a Million $ Business Competition ™

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Finalists compete for business coaching and other prizes to help catapult their business revenues to a million dollars.

Business growth program the Make Mine A Million $ Business Competition selected Ann Cantrell of Annie’s Blue Ribbon General Store as one of the fifteen business women finalists to compete for an awards package at the Newark, New Jersey Make Mine a Million $ Business Competition event on June 15th. The exciting event featured female entrepreneurs from across the nation competing for business development packages that include business coaching, marketing, PR, and technological assistance to help their businesses grow into million-dollar enterprises. The event also included educational and networking opportunities in addition to a keynote speech by Count Me In Founder, Nell Merlino.

Described as a cross between “The Apprentice” and “American Idol,” the competition provides these finalists with the opportunity to present their business in a three minute “elevator pitch” to a panel of business experts and a live audience. Seven winners were chosen by the audience and judges who collaborate on the selection process.

Annie’s Blue Ribbon General Store is a modern general store for a well-lived life, combining the charm of a country general store with the sophistication of a modern city lifestyle. It was founded in October 2007 by Ann Cantrell, a Brooklyn resident with over twelve years of retail experience. Having worked in product development for companies such as Coach, Ralph Lauren and Talbots, Ann took what she learned from corporate retail and coupled it with inspiration from her travels to open a modern day general store. Every item has earned the “Blue Ribbon” for cleverness, wit and practicality, and comes with useful tips, trivia and suggestions to help you or the recipient enjoy your purchase to its fullest. The store has been written up in publications such as the New York Times, Daily Candy and The New Yorker, and received numerous recognitions, including "Top 10 destinations for Holiday Gifts” by People StyleWatch and “Best Place to get Last Minute Gifts” in New York Magazine’s 2009 Best of New York issue.

“I am honored to be selected as a finalist for this competition; opening Annie’s Blue Ribbon General Store has been a lifelong dream of mine, and recognition like this is such an encouraging affirmation,” said Ann Cantrell. “The community has been so receptive to my vision of an urban general store, and I am excited to see what lies ahead for us!”

Launched in 2005 by Count Me In for Women’s Economic Independence and founding partner American Express OPEN, the Make Mine a Million $ Business Competition was created to help post-start up, women-owned businesses grow to one million dollars in annual revenue. Since its inception, the program has hosted 19 competitions in cities around the country and grown into a nationwide movement. In the history of the program, thousands of women entrepreneurs across the nations have applied.

“We are thrilled by the eagerness of women across the country to grow their businesses, create jobs in their communities, and create stability for their families and the national economy,” said Nell Merlino, Founder and President of Count Me In. “The number of applicants mirrors the growth of our entrepreneurs, businesses, and their desire to take them to the million dollar level.”

The Make Mine a Million $ Business Competition has garnered support from organizations who are all joining hands in order to make an impact in women’s lives and strengthening the US economy. The impressive list of national sponsors includes American Express OPEN, FedEx, WIPP, and Sam’s Club. Sponsors provide an array of products and services that serve as invaluable tools for growth.

For more information about how women can grow their businesses please visit http://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 their businesses to million dollar enterprises. Count Me In launched the Make Mine a Million $ Business Competition to inspire one million women entrepreneurs scale their businesses to a million dollars in revenue in the next decade by providing tools, skills, and the support of a nation-wide community of peers.

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