Monday, June 4, 2007

Count Me In

You see from our Breaking News headline today that we have great news about Capabilities. It was an incredible honor to represent Pam and our store in Atlanta at this huge Count Me In, Make Mine a Million $ Business event. The finalists, chosen from an applicant pool of 200, presented in front of several hundred women business owners, including judges from the Small Business Administration and other corporations. I am so proud of all that we have accomplished since our Grand Opening in September 2005.
Of course, we could not have done it, nor can we continue to be successful without all of you as our wonderful customers and supporters.

I want to tell you a bit more about the Count Me In organization. It’s the leading not-for-profit provider of online business loans and resources for women to grow their micro businesses into million dollar enterprises. Inspired by the passion of Nell Merlino, CEO, the organization sponsors other programs. Nell launched the Make Mine a Million $ Business program in 2005 with founding partner, OPEN from American Express, with the intent to help a million women entrepreneurs grow their businesses to $1 million or more within the next three years. In 2006 several leading corporations joined the effort: AIG, Cisco Systems, FedEx, Intuit and QVC.

There are over 10 million women-owned businesses fueling the American economy, employing almost 13 million people and generating $1.9 trillion in sales. The number of majority women-owned firms grows at around two times the rate of all businesses. However, when compared with men who start their own businesses, women’s businesses do not typically grow as fast or as large. While there are many factors, business experts site finding mentors and role models, and securing enough capital are the two major road blocks.

Nell Merlino, a successful entrepreneur in her own right and long-time advocate of women entrepreneurs, decided it was time to put a plan in place to help women break through to the next level. This is the third year Make Mine a Million $ Business has awarded women entrepreneurs mentoring, marketing and financial packages. The results are already impressive. For example, eight of the 2006 awardees already have reached the million dollar mark within one year of receiving their award package.

Much has been written over the years about the similarities and differences between men and women entrepreneurs. Our economy and society need plenty of both to ensure a constant supply of employment opportunities, innovation, and imagination. With organizations such as Count Me In, women entrepreneurs can get the leg up they often need to access resources and information so valuable to the process of building a business.

We are grateful and proud to be part of this growing number of women. We are committed, too, to continuing and strengthening our line up of products and services that support your needs and wish lists. Please email us with your ideas as we are always eager for your feedback.

Many thanks, too, to the National Association of Women Business Owners (NAWBO) for its support of the Make Mine a Million $ Business. As incoming Vice President of the Denver Chapter, I am honored to be surrounded locally with so many supportive and smart women entrepreneurs.


Brian said...

Congratulations on this fantastic accomplishment and honor. Capabilities is going places, and it's great to watch.

Kim said...

I am so proud of you! Capabilities is a fabulous concept that is helping so many people ~ and we all look forward to watching it grow under your CAPABLE leadership.
All the best,
Kim McRae

Matt Garton said...

Good job Kathryn!!! I remain an impressed and loyal fan of Capabilities. The sky is the limit!

Susan said...

Ka: I never doubted your "capabilities"! Congratulations to you and Pam.

All the best, Susan Amenta