Ernst & Young's Entrepreneurial Winning Women Program (2012)
Program winners defy the odds and spur dramatic company and job growth in women-owned businesses
Ernst & Young LLP today announced the 11 winners of its 2012 Entrepreneurial Winning Women program, a national competition and leadership initiative that 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.
Women entrepreneurs play an essential role in creating sustainable economic growth in today’s uncertain economy. In fact, women start businesses at twice the rate as men. But, despite robust growth in early stages, women-owned companies don’t always scale up to their full potential.
“Our Entrepreneurial Winning Women program helps bridge the gap for an area we call ‘the missing middle’ – those second-stage women business owners whose companies have emerged from the start-up phase but face a crucial inflection point in their growth journey,” said Kerrie MacPherson, Partner and Entrepreneurial Winning Women Executive Sponsor, Ernst & Young LLP. “By providing the right information, networks and guidance, we’re able to help these talented women access capital, identify strong business advisors and put the processes in place to radically expand their companies.”
Research shows that the program is paying off in a big way. Revenues of program participants' companies have grown almost 50% each year on average, with a corresponding 25% average annual growth in the number of jobs, according to a recent independent study directed by the Babson College Center for Women's Leadership.
“The Entrepreneurial Winning Women Program has totally changed my definition of ‘big’ and opened my eyes to the growth potential for our company,” said Amy Buckner Chowdhry, CEO, AnswerLab and a 2011 Entrepreneurial Winning Woman. “I’m thinking entirely differently about how we measure being the market leader.”
This year's Entrepreneurial Winning Women award recipients were chosen by a panel of independent judges from a group of 110 applicants. The women own companies in a wide variety of industry sectors, including lifestyle and luxury brands, legal solutions, corporate wellness, and food and beverage. Combined, the group’s total 2011 revenues are nearly $85 million.