Ernst & Young LLP is calling for applications for its fifth annual Entrepreneurial Winning Women Program, a national competition and leadership program that identifies a select group of women entrepreneurs whose businesses show real potential to scale – and then helps them do it.
In conjunction with the call for applications, the firm has also released a new independent impact study, “Thinking big: how to accelerate the growth of women-owned companies,” based on Babson College Center for Women’s Leadership research. The study revealed that four years into the Entrepreneurial Winning Women Program, it is a model that can spur dramatic growth. Program participants’ companies have grown almost 50 percent each year on average, with a corresponding average annual job growth rate of more than 25 percent.
The study also speaks to the importance of bridging the “missing middle” – or lack of resources and advice available to second-stage women business owners whose companies have emerged from the start-up phase but are not yet large enough for the public markets.
Each winner will also receive an all-expense paid trip to the Ernst & Young Strategic Growth Forum 2012, which takes place November 14-18, 2012 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.
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 $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 and coaching session at Ernst & Young LLP’s headquarters in New York City on October 10-11, 2012, and the Ernst & Young Strategic Growth Forum, November 14-18, 2012, in Palm Springs, CA.
The 2012 Ernst & Young Entrepreneurial Winning Women panel of independent judges — representing successful entrepreneurs, investors and business leaders — will select 10 Entrepreneurial Winning Women. 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.
To obtain an application form, or to nominate a deserving woman entrepreneur, click here.
The application deadline is April 30, 2012.
The program is conducted in collaboration with Babson College, Kauffman Foundation, National Association of Women Business Owners, the Committee of 200, Women’s Business Enterprise National Council and Women Presidents’ Organization.