NEW YORK, NY (PRWEB) August 07, 2012
Count Me In for Women’s Economic Independence (CMI), the leading national not-for-profit provider of resources, business education, and community support for women entrepreneurs, has named 50 women small business owners from across the country as Pitch Winners at its 2012 Make Mine a Million $ Business Conference and Competition. The event took place July 30 and 31, 2012, at the Diana Center at Barnard College in New York City.
Launched in 2005 by CMI and founding partner American Express OPEN, the Make Mine a Million $ Business (M3) program was created to help post-start up, women-owned businesses grow to one million dollars in annual revenue as a means of spurring job creation and local economic activity.
The 250 participating women at M3 2012 were treated to a welcome address by New York City Council Speaker Christine Quinn; a keynote by MSNBC’s JJ Ramberg; and inspirational stories and insights from program alumni and renowned small business experts including entrepreneur.com’s Colleen DeBaise and Adelante Movement Founder Nely Galan, who encouraged attendees to take charge of their potential for success.
Described as a cross between “The Apprentice” and “American Idol,” the M3 Pitch Competition invites women entrepreneurs with at least $85,000 in annual revenues to give a two-minute “elevator pitch” to a panel of small business experts, which this year included Women’s Business Enterprise Council (WBENC) President and CEO Pamela Prince-Eason and Chief of Staff Candace Waterman; ybf Founder and HSN personality Stacey Schieffelin; Strategies for Small Business Founder Sue Malone, the top SBA lender in the country; and M3 program alumni who have grown their businesses beyond the million dollar threshold.
Seventy-two women small business owners from around the country competed in the 2012 M3 Pitch Competition. The 50 Pitch Winners represent small businesses based in New York, New Jersey, Connecticut, Pennsylvania, Florida, North Carolina, Massachusetts, Oregon, Georgia, Indiana, Rhode Island, and Illinois. A complete list of the pitch winners can be found at http://www.countmein.org/m3ny2012.
Pitch Winners came away with a $500 American Express gift card, a free legal consultation with eMinutes, a $1,200 value; a one-year legislative membership with Women Impacting Public Policy (WIPP); and a free media kit. The top 10 Pitch Winners also received a $1000 Jump Start prize from CMI to use in their businesses.
In addition, all Pitch Winners Pitch Winners are invited to participate in the next round of competition, for a chance at six-months of free coaching and business education in CMI’s renowned Business Accelerator Program. Designed to grow annual revenues of participating businesses to the one million dollar mark within 18-36 months, the program utilizes CMI’s proven mix of coaching, confidence and capacity building, and access to a supportive community.
Since its inception, M3 has presented more than 30 pitch competitions in cities around the country with thousands of women entrepreneurs participating. To date, 28% of M3 program participants have surpassed the one million dollar mark in annual revenues versus the 2.6% national average for women business owners. A year-to-date investment of $12 million in the program has yielded $160 million in revenues for M3 Awardees. The ultimate goal of the program is to elevate one million women businesses to over $1M in annual revenue generating $1 trillion in revenues and creating over 4 million jobs by 2020.
“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 for Women’s Economic Independence.”
For more information about the event, visit http://www.countmein.org/m3ny2012
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.