Press release

Ernst & Young LLP seeks ambitious women entrepreneurs for its 2013 Entrepreneurial Winning Women Program

New York, 9 May 2013

  • Share

Ernst & Young LLP is looking for women entrepreneurs with the vision and passion to accelerate the growth of their companies for its 2013 North American Entrepreneurial Winning Women Program. Currently in its sixth year, this annual competition and executive leadership program identifies a select group of high-potential women entrepreneurs whose businesses show real potential to scale — and then helps them do it. The call for applications and nominations is now open to both American and Canadian entrepreneurs and runs through June 28, 2013.

The program emphasizes thinking big, and recent polling results show the Entrepreneurial Winning Women are doing just that. Respondents indicated the three most valuable lessons learned from the program are:

  • Thinking bigger and setting higher goals for what their businesses can achieve
  • Working on the business, as opposed to in it – focusing on strategic priorities and big goals
  • Purposeful networking – learning how to seek out and formalize networks of contacts and advisors

This is a tremendous shift – on average, the women entrepreneurs said their business growth goals prior to the program were 30 to 50 percent; following the program, energized by what they learned and who they met, they increased their growth goals by up to 200 percent. Many of the entrepreneurs reported moving beyond self-financing to sourcing external funds, enabling them to expand beyond what they imagined was possible with their more limited resources.

“The EY Entrepreneurial Winning Woman™ Program has helped me to be bolder – I’m now setting my sights on a 300 percent growth plan,” said Kari Warberg Block, CEO, Earth-Kind and Entrepreneurial Winning Women Class of 2012. “The opportunities that presented themselves once I gained access to this elite network enabled me to begin building a public profile, seek advisors and utilize new tools and insights, all of which have literally changed my life and erased any doubt of what’s really possible as a leader.”

A previously released independent impact study entitled, “Thinking big: how to accelerate the growth of women-owned companies,” based on research carried out by Babson College’s Center for Women’s Entrepreneurial Leadership, also revealed that the Entrepreneurial Winning Women Program is a model that can spur dramatic growth. According to the study, after winning a space in the program, entrepreneurs achieved average annual revenue growth of 49% and a corresponding 26% average annual growth in the number of jobs they provide. 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.

“The Entrepreneurial Winning Women program introduces participants to an influential network of entrepreneurs, corporate leaders, investors and advisors, as well as potential partners, strategic alliances, customers and suppliers who can help these women think bigger, scale their companies and become market leaders,” said Kerrie McPherson, Principal and North American Entrepreneurial Winning Women Executive Sponsor, Ernst & Young LLP. “Through the program, we leverage EY's convening power, seeking to connect women with the resources they need, so that the number of market-leading companies run by women increases – creating a boon to the global economy.”

Each winner will receive an all-expense paid trip to the EY Strategic Growth Forum® 2013, which takes place November 13-17, 2013 in Palm Springs, Calif. The Strategic Growth Forum is an invitation-only gathering of more than 1,800 high-growth, market-leading company CEOs. The Forum presents a one-of-a-kind platform for Entrepreneurial Winning Women to introduce their companies and share their stories and goals with a community of EY Entrepreneur Of The Year® winners, top executives, prospective investors and business advisors. All Entrepreneurial Winning Women will be recognized at a special celebratory event during the Forum. For more information on the Forum, visit: www.ey.com/us/strategicgrowthforum.

Competition Criteria and Selection
To apply for the Entrepreneurial Winning Women program, applicants must fit the following criteria:

  • Founding woman CEO of a privately held US or Canadian company
  • Company must have reported at least $2 million in sales within each of the last two years
  • Venture must be less than 10 years old
  • Entrepreneurs must be able to attend an orientation and coaching session at Ernst & Young LLP’s headquarters in New York City on October 24-25, 2013, as well as the EY Strategic Growth Forum, November 13-17, 2013, in Palm Springs, Calif.

The Entrepreneurial Winning Women panel of independent judges — representing successful entrepreneurs, investors and business leaders — will select up to 12 women for the class of 2013. 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 professionalism 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, visit: www.ey.com/us/entrepreneurialwinningwomen. The application deadline is June 28, 2013.

Collaborating organizations:
The program is conducted in collaboration with Babson College, the Kauffman Foundation, the National Association of Women Business Owners, the Committee of 200, the Women’s Business Enterprise National Council and the Women Presidents’ Organization.

About EY’s Strategic Growth Markets Practice
Through our Strategic Growth Markets (SGM) practice, EY guides high-growth companies to market leadership worldwide. Our multidisciplinary teams of dedicated professionals provide perspective, advice, and insights to help our clients accelerate their growth. EY is the undisputed leader in guiding Russell 2000® companies, IPO-bound companies and Forbes’ largest private companies. We deliver assurance, advisory, tax and transaction advisory services to thousands of companies in numerous, selected industries.

About EY
EY is a global leader in assurance, tax, transaction and advisory services. Worldwide, our 167,000 people are united by our shared values and an unwavering commitment to quality. We make a difference by helping our people, our clients and our wider communities achieve their potential.

For more information, please visit www.ey.com.

EY refers to the global organization of member firms of Ernst & Young Global Limited, each of which is a separate legal entity. This news release has been issued by Ernst & Young LLP, a client-serving member firm of Ernst & Young Global Limited located in the US.

###