NEW YORK, Oct. 26 /PRNewswire/ -- Ernst & Young LLP today announced the 11 winners of the 2010 Entrepreneurial Winning Women competition, a national leadership program designed to help accelerate the growth of high-potential businesses founded by women entrepreneurs. The winners were selected by a distinguished panel of independent judges from a competitive pool of applicants across the US.
Women entrepreneurs are critical drivers of economic growth. In the United States, women are starting businesses at nearly twice the rate of men. But, while women own about 40% of US businesses, only about 5% of all equity capital investments in the US go to businesses headed by women, and just 3% receive venture capital funding, according to Babson College research.
These statistics highlight the importance of programs like Ernst & Young's Entrepreneurial Winning Women, which was launched in 2008 and is conducted in collaboration with several organizations that empower women-owned businesses, including the Women Presidents' Organization, Women's Business Enterprise National Council, The Committee of 200 and Babson College's Center for Women's Leadership. For more information on the program, visit www.ey.com/us/entrepreneurialwinningwomen.
"Over the past three years, the Entrepreneurial Winning Women program has grown into a highly competitive platform to help exceptional women entrepreneurs accomplish the key goals they have for their companies," said Maria Pinelli, Americas Director, Strategic Growth Markets, Ernst & Young LLP. "We've seen some real magic take place when these high-potential women gain access to the right business networks, insights and knowledge resources they need to grow their businesses."
This year's Winning Women award recipients own companies in a wide variety of industry sectors, including online retail, national security, translation services, pharmaceutical and biotech support services, and environmental and construction management consulting. Following are brief profiles of this year's winners:
- Lisa Bair| The Hobart Group (Gladstone, NJ) develops communication strategies and creative campaigns for pharmaceutical/biotech clients to ensure consumers affordable access to branded medications. In response to the Healthcare Reform Act, The Hobart Group also works with companies such as Pfizer, GSK and Eli Lilly to define managed care organization partnership strategies aligning to legislative mandates.
- Ali Brown | Ali International LLC (Los Angeles, CA) is an Inc. 500 company that provides advice, resources, and coaching to more than 50,000 women entrepreneurs around the world through programs, events, publications and the AliBrown.com website. Ali is one of 2010's Enterprising Women of the Year and was featured on Forbes.com as the #1 woman entrepreneur to follow on Twitter.
- Amy Gonzales and Kelly Caldwell | AK Environmental (West Trenton, NJ) began as an environmental services company, but thanks to Fortune 500 energy clients and talented staff, it now provides a full range of project management services from initiation of project development to post-construction monitoring. AK is one of Inc. magazine's 500 Fastest Growing Private Companies.
- CPT (Retired) Dawn Halfaker | Halfaker and Associates, LLC (Washington DC) provides security consulting services and solutions to business and government organizations to ensure their people are safe, their assets are protected and their businesses can continue to operate in the event of a disaster. Major clients include the Department of Defense, Department of Homeland Security and Fortune 500 companies.
- Lili Hall | KNOCK inc. (Minneapolis, MN) is an independent branding, advertising and design agency that partners with Fortune 500 leaders and entrepreneurs in retail and consumer packaged goods. Specializing in creating impactful brand stories and retail experiences, KNOCK is recognized for driving sales and customer loyalty. KNOCK intends to continue its impressive growth by expanding its forward-thinking marketing expertise globally.
- Jessica Herrin | Stella & Dot (Burlingame, CA) is redefining the traditional home-based business platform for our times. Stella & Dot offers its boutique-style jewelry and accessories exclusively through its social selling channel, a network of more than 11,000 independent stylists who sell Stella & Dot products online and through in-home trunk shows.
- Barbara Levine | Exam Coordinators Network (Boca Raton, FL) provides independent medical evaluations to assist employers and insurers in verifying the legitimacy of medical claims, aiming to reduce substantially these claims' human and financial costs. ECN's clients include major insurance carriers and several Fortune 500 and 100 companies.
- Elisabete Miranda | Translation Plus (Hackensack, NJ) provides specialized translation and interpretation services for complex subjects and diverse cultures, helping the United Nations, the federal government and numerous Fortune 500 companies reach their global and US ethnic audiences effectively. Translation Plus was recognized as a 2010 Top 500 US Diversity Business by DiversityBusiness.com.
- Darlene Panzitta | DSP Clinical Research (Parsippany, NJ) is a contract research organization that manages late-stage drug testing for small to mid-size pharmaceutical companies. DSP helps clients get drugs to market faster than their competition with its aggressive approach and use of a fixed cost billing model. DSP plans to expand its services locally and internationally.
- Susan P. Rice | Cavanagh Services Group, Inc. (Salt Lake City, UT) specializes in cleaning up the environment by managing the logistical challenges of transporting nuclear waste to safe locations throughout the United States. Serving billion-dollar companies and government clients, Cavanagh intends to continue its triple-digit revenue growth by introducing additional services and products to both the environmental and cleantech industries.
The program has helped leading women entrepreneurs significantly grow their businesses by providing key resources and support. For instance, it helped boost the credibility and visibility of LetterLogic, Inc., according to founder and CEO Sherry Stewart Deutschmann, a winner in 2009.
"New sales are largely the result of relationships, and Ernst & Young has gone above and beyond to facilitate meetings and networking opportunities that allow relationships to begin and grow," said Stewart Deutschmann.
This year LetterLogic is expected to grow by 50% or more, vs. the firm's historic annual growth rate of approximately 35%. Stewart Deutschmann believes that the Entrepreneurial Winning Women program was a vital part of the impetus for growth.
The Entrepreneurial Winning Women will participate in a customized program designed by Ernst & Young to catalyze their companies' growth by building and fostering critical relationships, enhancing leadership skills, expanding business know-how and providing increased visibility. Elements of this program include:
- Identifying prospective sources for private capital, potential partners, strategic alliances, customers and suppliers
- Expanding their knowledge about leading business strategies and practices tailored to high-growth companies
- Providing informal, one-to-one guidance and support
- Strengthening their executive leadership and business skills and identifying opportunities to grow and scale their companies through introductions to senior advisors and seasoned entrepreneurs
- Increasing visibility for themselves and their companies through local and national media
"Our congratulations to these women entrepreneurs for their successes so far; our confidence and support is behind their businesses, and we are excited to see what the future holds as these women enter the Entrepreneurial Winning Women program," said Billie Williamson, Ernst & Young LLP's Americas Inclusiveness Officer. "Ernst & Young has a long history of helping to bolster and support both businesswomen and the entrepreneur community, and we are delighted that this program is making a difference for these accomplished and ambitious women entrepreneurs."
The 11 Entrepreneurial Winning Women will also receive complimentary participation in this year's Ernst & Young Strategic Growth Forum. Dubbed by Forbes.com as one of the "Seven Get-Ahead Executive Retreats," the Strategic Growth Forum will bring together more than 1,600 of the nation's most successful entrepreneurs and business leaders to share growth strategies. The Entrepreneurial Winning Women will be introduced at a special luncheon ceremony and panel at the Strategic Growth Forum and will be provided with numerous opportunities to network at the event with successful entrepreneurs, senior executives and investors who can act as formal or informal advisors, provide access to capital and extend their extensive business relationships to the Winning Women.
The 2010 panel of independent judges for the Entrepreneurial Winning Women program includes:
- Howard Brodsky, Chairman and CEO, CCA Global Partners
- Jeri Harman, Managing Partner, Avante Mezzanine Partners
- Pamela O'Rourke, President and CEO, ICON Information Consultants
- Vicki Raport, CEO, Quantum Retail Technology and Ernst & Young Entrepreneurial Winning Women Class of 2009
- Rob Scott, Vice President and Worldwide General Manager, Hewlett-Packard
About Ernst & Young's Strategic Growth Markets Practice
Ernst & Young LLP's Strategic Growth Markets (SGM) practice guides leading high-growth companies. Our multi-disciplinary team of elite professionals provides perspective and advice to help our clients accelerate market leadership. SGM delivers assurance, tax, transactions and advisory services to thousands of companies spanning all industries. Ernst & Young is the undisputed leader in taking companies public, advising key government agencies on the issues impacting high-growth companies and convening the experts who shape the business climate. For more information, please visit us at www.ey.com/us/strategicgrowthmarkets, or follow news on Twitter at EYSGM.
About Ernst & Young
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SOURCE Ernst & Young