Wednesday, March 11, 2009


Today's "green" takes on a different meaning...

I am Woman, Count Me In

And Make Mine a Million $ Business. Did you know women own 48% of all businesses in the United States? We do. And in the process we employ approximately 27 million people, while contributing more than $3.6 trillion to the marketplace each year. (We also account for more than 70% of consumer spending.)

And although 55% of us provide half or more of our household income, 80% in the workforce (48 million), earn less than $25,000 a year. Most notably, of the 48% who own businesses only 2.6% make more than $1 million in revenue.

Something's wrong with that. And that's what Nell Merlino thought too. She was the driving force of Take Our Daughters to Work Day and is the CEO & Founder of Count Me In.

In case you didn’t already know, Count Me In is an organization designed for women entrepreneurs, by women entrepreneurs, to help their businesses grow or become more efficient.

We see all these articles about economic growth and attracting industry to IRC and yet here we may be missing the forest because of the trees. Count me in has a lot of success stories of women business owners finally topping and exceeding the $1 million mark within a year of joining, and creating jobs along the way. If you're interested, you could lobby the Economic Growth Council (which incidentally is nearly 50% women), the Chamber of Commerce or the county commissioners to partner with them (if they're not already). But if you don't want to wait on them, you can get started right away.

The primary program is designed "to inspire and support a movement of one million women entrepreneurs to build million-dollar businesses by 2010".

But they're aware not everybody wants to grow their business or is ready for the million dollar challenge. Some may just want to learn to run their business more efficiently.

Their business platform "builds on principles of the 5 Keys to Business Growth: Vision, Business Practices, $Growth$, People, and Continuous Improvement.” For instance, one key to business growth often overlooked is people, as in hiring the right employees. In one of the success stories I read when they hired based on different criteria, like hiring people based on their fit to the company instead of how good they looked on their application, the business soared.

For a $100 registration fee you’ll have access to that kind of information. They’ll also assess your business strengths and weaknesses and introduce you to peer groups and experts etc.

If you're already established and looking to grow faster, for the same $100, you can get all that and take it a step further by entering the M3 Race.

The M3 race "is a year-long business growth marathon to inspire women entrepreneurs like you to hit your revenue goals... On average, participants in the Make Mine a Million $ Business program have increased their revenue and job growth rate by more than 40% within a year."

According to their web-site entering the M3 Race grants you access to:

  • Online business assessment tool to help you identify where your business stands and what you need to reach your 2009 goal
  • Your own personalized Dashboard for easy tracking of your strategic to-do list, short-term goals and current revenues
  • Increased exposure to potential customers seeking your goods or services
  • Three national events featuring intensive workshops and competitions for prizes to enhance your business or improve your work-life balance
  • Opportunities to reach new national markets with partners like American Express OPEN, Reader's Digest, Dell, FedEx and Sam's Club
  • Promotion of you and your business through local and national television, newspapers, magazines, radio and blogs
  • Prizes and national recognition for crossing your personal finish line, as well as the chance to win our Grand Prize of $100,000 cash for your business

You can find more information about the M3 race here:

Count Me In's Mission Statement:

"At Count Me In, we believe in YOU! Our mission is to promote economic independence and the growth of women owned businesses. Count Me In for Women’s Economic Independence is the leading national not-for-profit provider of resources, business education and community support for women entrepreneurs seeking to grow micro businesses to million dollar enterprises."

"Local and state officials and government agencies across the country have joined with Count Me In to support women entrepreneurs prosper and create jobs in their communities." If you'd like Local and State Support or you are local and state support, you can find out more about what you can do by contacting Stacey Straughter at

Reader's Digest is a sponsor and is trying to bring more visibility to “this timely, critical effort to support women entrepreneurs and the economic growth their success can generate". Nell Merlino has a Make Mine a Million blog there:
A good Press Release summing up and making it clearer what the M3 Race is all about:
Linked to Count Me In is a talk radio show for women entrepreneurs. Felicia Joy aka Ms. CEO, is the host. "The show informs, inspires, celebrates and connects women across the U.S. who are running a business or planning to launch one. The live format allows listeners to call in with specific questions for Felicia Joy or guest experts while the show is on the air. Listeners can also email questions ( during the show for quick on-air responses. It airs live every Tuesday, 2-3pm ET on and, which reaches more than 1.5 million women listeners per month."
Ms. CEO's blog:

"Join a million.
Make a $million.
Create millions of jobs.
Are you in?"

TTFN, LDouglas



LDouglas said...

There was a guest column printed in yesterday's PJ by a Vero Beach resident, Dr. James Fisher, titled "Memo to bosses — great job interview doesn’t guarantee a great employee". It fits with the "people" portion of the 5 Keys to Business Growth.

Also, yesterday there was an article that SCORE was offering speed counseling to business owners on April 20th- but I couldn't find a link to it.

Anonymous said...

Sorry I'm late. Thanks for the mention and I will try to learn. Two comments. It is not a panther...I have seen a Florida panther and you sir are no panther.

Second. On the subject of the Lack of Press Journal. Tonights headline...rug store has going out of business sale! Why do they even bother to publish? I have an idea, lets organize a "Month without the Press Journal" That's where we don't read it, buy it, advertise in it until someone from Cincinnati agrees to come down here and hear from us.

Let's test the power of the new underground media. How about an underground media summit at an undisclosed secure location.

Charlie Wilson