Ernst & Young LLP is calling for applications for its fourth annual Entrepreneurial Winning Women competition, a national leadership program designed for women entrepreneurs to accelerate the growth of their businesses and help them realize the potential they envision for their companies.
To obtain an application form, or to nominate a deserving woman entrepreneur, visit: www.ey.com/us/entrepreneurialwinningwomen.com. The application deadline is June 30, 2011. Winners will be announced in October 2011.
The Entrepreneurial Winning Women program identifies and connects a select group of women entrepreneurs with the advisors, resources and insights they need to scale their businesses and become market leaders. The program is conducted in collaboration with the Women Presidents’ Organization, Women’s Business Enterprise National Council, the Committee of 200, National Association of Women Business Owners and Babson College.
“Women employ 16 percent of the US workforce and climbing – starting businesses at twice the rate of men. There has never been a better time to help women scale their businesses, adding even more jobs to the economy,” noted Maria Pinelli, Americas Director, Strategic Growth Markets, Ernst & Young LLP. “Our program helps successful women entrepreneurs to propel their company’s growth, which benefits their businesses, creates jobs, and helps to boost the economy.”
Winners of the Entrepreneurial Winning Women competition will join an elite business network of the country’s best high-growth companies, including accomplished entrepreneurs recognized through the 25-year-old Ernst & Young Entrepreneur Of The Year® program. Winners will also participate in a customized executive leadership program designed to:
- Expand their knowledge with the latest information, research and executive dialogues about business strategies and practices
- Identify potential partners, strategic alliances, customers and suppliers as well as prospective sources of private capital
- Provide access to informal, one-to-one guidance and support
- Strengthen their executive leadership and business skills and identify opportunities to grow through meetings with senior advisors and seasoned entrepreneurs
- Increase national and regional visibility for themselves and their companies among corporate executives, investors and the media
“Entrepreneurial Winning Women and the Strategic Growth Forum have allowed me to take a step back, focus on my business and think bigger and differently than I did before,” said Dawn Halfaker, CEO, Halfaker and Associates, and a 2010 Entrepreneurial Winning Woman. “The contacts I’ve made and relationships I’ve built are not just helpful now but will be in the future as I continue to grow my business. I’ve received tremendous media exposure and truly been inspired.”
Each winner will receive an all-expense paid trip to the Ernst & Young Strategic Growth Forum 2011, which takes place November 9-13, 2011 in Palm Springs, California. The Strategic Growth Forum, dubbed by Forbes.com as one of the “Seven Get-Ahead Executive Retreats,” is an invitation-only gathering of high-growth, market-leading company CEOs. The Forum presents a one-of-a-kind platform for Ernst & Young Winning Women to introduce their companies and share their corporate and personal brands within a community of established entrepreneurs, top executives, prospective investors and business advisors. All 2011 Winning Women will be recognized at a special celebratory event during the Forum. For more information on the forum, including speakers from top US companies, visit: www.ey.com/us/strategicgrowthforum.
Competition Criteria and Selection:
To apply for the program, applicants must fit the following criteria:
- Founding woman CEO of a privately held US company
- Company must have reported at least one full fiscal year of $1 million in sales within each of the last 2 years
- Venture must be less than 10 years old
- Entrepreneur must be able to attend an orientation/preparation session at Ernst & Young’s headquarters in New York City on October 4-5, 2011, and the Ernst & Young Strategic Growth Forum, November 9-13, 2011, in Palm Springs, CA.
“Through Entrepreneurial Winning Women and the Strategic Growth Forum, my network has grown exponentially,” said Susan Rice, President, Cavanagh Services Group, Inc., and a 2010 Entrepreneurial Winning Woman. “I have learned that even the most established entrepreneurs have similar challenges to me, which gives me the strength to know I can achieve that same level of success. I have gained more confidence to think bigger, and I have real plans for change in growing my company and exploring new market segments.”
The 2011 Ernst & Young Entrepreneurial Winning Women panel of independent judges — representing successful entrepreneurs, investors and business leaders — will name 10 Entrepreneurial Winning Women in October 2011. Applicants will be expected to demonstrate qualities needed to take full advantage of the program, including successes to date that exhibit the creativity, tenacity and plan necessary to realize their companies’ full potential and the confidence and conviction to drive toward market leadership. In addition, Entrepreneurial Winning Women should have the maturity and level of business sophistication needed to interact effectively with potential investors, high-level business advisors and top executives.