SYS-CON MEDIA Authors: Elizabeth White, Sean Houghton, Glenn Rossman, Ignacio M. Llorente, Xenia von Wedel

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EY seeks exceptional women entrepreneurs for its 2014 Entrepreneurial Winning Women™ Program

-- Program alumni say they are thinking bigger and tapping into powerful networking opportunities

NEW YORK, March 17, 2014 /PRNewswire/ -- EY is looking for women entrepreneurs with the vision and passion to accelerate the growth of their companies for its 2014 North American Entrepreneurial Winning Women™ Program. Currently in its seventh 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. Entrepreneurial Winning Women have access to education on crucial subjects and are welcomed into a vast network of successful entrepreneurs and potential financial investors associated with EY's Entrepreneur Of The Year program. The call for applications and nominations is now open to both American and Canadian entrepreneurs and runs through May 30, 2014.

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The program encourages women entrepreneurs to think big and take the steps needed to achieve exponential growth. A recently completed impact study carried out by Babson College's Center for Women's Entrepreneurial Leadership reveals that the Entrepreneurial Winning Women are doing just that. In fact, 73% said they plan to grow revenues more than 20% in the next year. Many of the women say these ambitious growth plans were made possible because the program helped them set higher goals, engage outside advisors, consider external financing options, focus on their brands  and provided them necessary support and connectivity.

"The Entrepreneurial Winning Women program has enabled me to consider new dimensions for me as a leader, as well as my company," said Joy Taylor, CEO of TayganPoint Consulting Group and a member of the Entrepreneurial Winning Women Class of 2013. "I've been able to make valuable new connections, close new business deals and surround myself with a spectacular group of high-achieving women entrepreneurs that are going through the same challenges I'm facing. I've learned important new business strategies and have a renewed confidence in my ability to grow my company exponentially."

The study also revealed that women entrepreneurs continue to be challenged with freeing themselves from operational details so they can focus on growth opportunities and profitability, i.e., working on the business rather than in it. Entrepreneurial Winning Women say they program is helping them learn to build a strong team to handle operational responsibilities so they can find more time to focus on strategic priorities and even bigger goals.

"The EY Entrepreneurial Winning Women program helps teach this process is a priority. By stepping outside the day-to-day, these women can not only grow their revenues and create jobs but also build a valued team of colleagues who share in the responsibilities and rewards of their ventures," said Kerrie MacPherson, Principal, Ernst & Young LLP and North American Entrepreneurial Winning Women Executive Sponsor. "Through this program, women entrepreneurs develop the confidence and resolve to think bigger, surround themselves with great teams and take advantage of powerful networks to grow their companies. As a result, they are able to drive employment and prosperity in their local markets and, increasingly, leave their mark on the world."

Each winner will receive an all-expense paid trip to the EY Strategic Growth Forum® 2014, which takes place November 12-16, 2014 in Palm Springs, Calif. The Strategic Growth Forum is an invitation-only gathering of approximately 2,000 of the nation's top CEOs, entrepreneurs, advisors, investors and senior business leaders to share insights, make connections and celebrate success. 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.

"My most profound wake-up call as an entrepreneur happened to me at the Strategic Growth Forum. I was being interviewed by a reporter, and I realized for the first time that I really knew my business inside and out. I came away from that amazing event stronger, more confident and with a clearer business vision, ultimately inspired by EY's mentorship. My sales have already increased 50% with the changes I made from knowledge gained from my fellow Winning Women," said Corin Mullins, founder and CEO of Holy Crap Cereal and a member of the Entrepreneurial Winning Women Class of 2013.

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 EY's headquarters in New York City on October 23-24, 2014, as well as the EY Strategic Growth Forum, November 12-16, 2014, 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 2014. 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 May 30, 2014.

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
EY's Strategic Growth Markets (SGM) practice guides leading high-growth companies. Our multi-disciplinary teams of elite professionals provide perspective and advice to help our clients accelerate the path to market leadership. SGM delivers assurance, tax, transactions and advisory services to thousands of companies spanning all industries. EY 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 @EY_Growth.

About EY
EY is a global leader in assurance, tax, transaction and advisory services. The insights and quality services we deliver help build trust and confidence in the capital markets and in economies the world over. We develop outstanding leaders who team to deliver on our promises to all of our stakeholders. In so doing, we play a critical role in building a better working world for our people, for our clients and for our communities.

EY refers to the global organization and may refer to one or more of the member firms of Ernst & Young Global Limited, each of which is a separate legal entity. Ernst & Young Global Limited, a UK company limited by guarantee, does not provide services to clients. For more information about our organization, please visit ey.com.

This news release has been issued by Ernst & Young LLP, an EY member firm serving clients in the US.

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