Women Owned Businesses Strive for $1M Revenue Goal : Published October 2006 All Rights Reserved


Women Business Leaders Work Towards $1M Revenue Goal

Women who own small business may find a friend in the Make Mine A $Million Business program. The program is designed to assist women-owned businesses in reaching the $1 million annual revenue mark by growing sales. It was founded by Count Me In for Women's Economic Independence along with OPEN from American Express.

Count Me In (the programs co-founder) provides women entrepreneurs with online micro-loan financing of up to $10,000. Since launching the Make Mine a $Million Business program in March 2006, more than 15,000 women entrepreneurs from across the country have joined with the goal of reaching $1 million (or more) in annual revenue by year 2010.

Marking the program's final event of calendar year 2006 in New York City, some 20 women were awarded mentoring, money, marketing, business services, and technology assistance to turn their million-dollar dreams into reality.

"One million women at $1 million in revenues by 2010 means a possible four million new jobs and $700 billion to the United States' economy,” said Susan Sobbott, president of OPEN from American Express. “Make Mine a $Million Business has received an overwhelming response this year from women across the country as well as a critical mass of support from corporate America and the important backing of visionary leaders like Senator Hillary Rodham Clinton. Make Mine a $Million Business is picking up steam and is looking forward to 2010 as the movement grows one woman entrepreneur at a time."

Nell Merlino, founder of Count Me In, said, "OPEN’s leadership has created the conditions to help bring in new corporate sponsors to join the movement."

Other than American Express other corporate sponsors include American International Group Inc., (AIG,) Cisco Systems Inc., FedEx Inc., Intuit Inc., and QVC Inc.

AIG contributed $1.1 million to Count Me In for Women’s Economic Independence and the Make Mine a $Million Business program. AIG will help Make Mine a $Million Business awardees with what many working women need—services to achieve a work/life balance, including in the areas of child care and elder care, and help securing their financial future.

Ned Cloonan, vice president of international and corporate affairs at AIG, said "Count Me In has created an effective mechanism to provide women entrepreneurs the access to financial services they need to grow their businesses and create new opportunities for themselves, their families and their communities."

FedEx serves as the global shipping and business partner for the program and Intuit announced its role would be to offer business management software support.

Program awardees are eligible to receive financing from OPEN, one year of intensive business coaching and mentoring from a dream team of successful women entrepreneurs, business software and training from Intuit, discounts on shipping and business services from FedEx, marketing assistance from QVC, and assistance on work/life issues and financial security from AIG. Five awardees will receive a Smart Business Communication technology package from Cisco valued at up to $20,000 complete with installation and support for one year. This robust package will support awardees to build their businesses into million-dollar enterprises within two years, the organizers contend.

On 24 October in New York the program chose 20 women from 450 applicants nationwide. These entrepreneurs raise the total class of Make Mine a $Million Business awardees to 63, including women selected from a 2005 pilot program.

"Make Mine a $Million Business awardees are an inspiration to any woman who has dared to create a thriving business but never imagined she would write her own seven-figure success story," said Merlino. "Along with the women that went before them, these twenty awardees represent the promise and potential of women entrepreneurs across America."

The awardees were:
    * Christine Cunneen, CEO of Hire Image LLC (background investigation services)
    * Theresa Daytner, CEO of Daytner Construction Group
    * Kelly Driscoll, president of Digication Inc. (developer of educational software)
    * Melinda Earl, partner with Stone Impressions (manufacturer of decorative natural stone tile)
    * Valarie King-Bailey, CEO of OnShore Technology Group Inc., (dedicated to keeping technology jobs in the United States)
    * Lynne Lambert, president of NYC Subway Line (designer, distributor of NYC-themed products)
    * Fiona Macaulay, president of Making Cents International Inc. (training, consulting committed to poverty alleviation)
    * Bonnie Marcus, president of Bonnie’s Style Press (greeting cards)
    * Marie Moody, founder of Stella & Chewy’s LLC, (wholesaler of all-natural, raw and freeze-dried pet food)
    * Nandini Mukherjee, president of Indian Bread Co.
    * Christie Nightingale, owner of Premier Match LLC (matchmaking service)
    * Elizabeth Perelstein, president of School Choice International Inc. (educational consulting)
    * Renee Schofield, owner of Tongas Substance Screening (drug and alcohol testing)
    * Gina Stern, president of d_parture spa
    * Dawn Stokes, CEO of The Texas Driving Experience (high performance driving and accident avoidance at major race tracks)
    * Caroll Stoner, founder of Stoner Innovations Inc. (Ornament Safe)
    * Damaris Valero, CEO of Animus Group (media content)
    * Sandi Webster, principal of Consultants 2 Go LLC (marketing)
    * Renee Wood, founder of The Comfort Company (sympathy gifts)
    * Doreen Zayer, president of Relax on Cloud 9 (spa)

The New York awardees "pitched" their business to some 1,000 attendees  including Clinton, Congresswoman Nydia Velázquez, finance consultant Suze Orman, and DailyCandy's editor Dany Levy.


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