Women Entrepreneurs Named 2012 Urban Rebound-Detroit Awardees

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Ten Women Business Owners Win Regional Small Business Competition Each To Receive Cash Prize and 9-Month Business Coaching Program

Our Urban Rebound-Detroit Awardees represent the incredible potential that women business owners have to truly impact economic growth in our country.

Count Me In for Women’s Economic Independence, the leading national not-for-profit provider of resources, business education, and community support for women entrepreneurs, is pleased to name ten area business owners as Awardees of its first-ever Urban Rebound-Detroit small business competition for women.

Urban Rebound, made possible with generous support from Sam’s Club Giving Program, is an exciting new business growth initiative for women entrepreneurs currently at $50,000 to $150,000 in annual revenues and designed to help them grow to $250,000+ quickly and sustainably to spur local economies and job growth in their communities.

The 2012 Urban Rebound-Detroit Pitch Winners are:

Zalonya Allen: Global Diversity Staffing, Southfield, MI
Kathrina Easlick: Dulaya Memories, North Branch, MI
Cynthia Zeki: Spark of the Heart, LLC, Chicago, IL
Pamela Matthews: SoupDive!, Southfield, MI
Sheila McBride: GRADECHECK, Detroit, MI
Evelyn McKenzie: Hire a Wife LLC, Chesterfield, MI
Monique Snyder: Brainiacs Clubhouse, Detroit, MI
Anita Tellis: Tellis & Company, Pllc, Detroit, MI
Cassandra Thomas: Sweet Potato Sensations, Detroit, MI
Maria Young:    University Pharmacy, Detroit, MI

A reception celebrating the 2012 Awardees will take place Thursday, November 15, 2012 from 3:00 P.M. to 5:00 P.M. at Fifth Third Bank, 1000 Town Center in Southfield, MI. Learn more about the Awardees and the program at http://countmein.org/urbanrebounddetroit.

Urban Rebound-Detroit Awardees each receive a $1000 Jump Start prize to use in their businesses, a one-year legislative membership with Women Impacting Public Policy, and a place in Count Me In’s renowned nine-month Business Accelerator program, which provides intensive business coaching and education designed to help participating businesses grow their revenues by at least 30% and create new jobs within 18-36 months. That program will commence for the Awardees in January 2013.

Jump Start prizes were provided by local businesses Comerica Bank, Detroit Development Fund, Fifth Third Bank, McClelland & Associates, as well as Count Me In.

Urban Rebound aims to help 300 women-owned businesses across the country grow to $250,000+ in revenue with support through the Count Me In Business Accelerator Program. That goal translates into $75 Million in new economic activity and 600-900 much needed new jobs.

In addition to the Detroit Metro area, in 2012 Count Me In presented Urban Rebound pitch competitions in Los Angeles and Charlotte, NC. Additional events are currently being planned for 2013.

The ten Awardees named each presented a two-minute pitch on their business at the Urban Rebound-Detroit conference and competition at the Detroit Marriott at the Renaissance Center on October 1, 2012. Twenty-eight Pitch Winners were selected at that event and invited to submit financial documentation and business plans as part of the second round of competition. Awardees were chosen based on their demonstrated ability to benefit and grow through the Business Accelerator Program.

“Our Urban Rebound-Detroit Awardees represent the incredible potential that women business owners have to truly impact economic growth in our country,” said Nell Merlino, Founder and President of Count Me In. “We look forward to working with this promising group of motivated entrepreneurs as they grow their micro-businesses into thriving enterprises.”

According to 2010 US Census statistics, while women-owned businesses represented nearly 50% of privately held companies, the majority of these firms reach just $50,000 in annual gross revenues or less. In order to impact the current economic recovery, significant growth among these businesses is essential.

Michigan is among the top 10 states in terms of the number of women owned businesses – ranked #10 with 250,000. However, it ranks 49th when it comes to revenue growth among women-owned firms – only 17.1% between 1997 and 2012, compared to the national average of 58%, according to a 2012 report.

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 business revenues in the next decade by providing tools, skills, and the support of a nation-wide community of peers. For more information about Count Me In and Urban rebound, visit http://www.countmein.org

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Ann Noder
Pitch Public Relations
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