Wisconsin Department of Commerce Newsletter
February 2007
Make Mine a $Million Business® Conference to be Held in Madison

Wisconsin will host the first-ever statewide Make Mine a $Million Business event at the Madison Concourse Hotel on May 21, 2007. Eight Wisconsin women-owned businesses will receive assistance to turn their million-dollar business dreams into reality.

"Women business owners in Wisconsin have a unique opportunity to compete for a year-long package of mentoring and coaching by highly successful individuals," says Department of Commerce Secretary Mary P. Burke. "I strongly encourage all women interested in taking their businesses to the next level to attend the conference."

Make Mine a $Million Business (www.makemineamillion.org) is a program of Count Me In for Women's Economic Independence and Founding Partner OPEN from American Express(r). It is the only national initiative committed to the growth needs of post-start-up, women-owned businesses with less than $1 million in annual revenues. American International Group, Inc. (AIG), world leaders in insurance and financial services, is committed to supporting the economic and social empowerment of women around the world and is a proud partner in the program and a supporter of Count Me In.

"By leading the first grassroots Make Mine a $Million Business program, Wisconsin is giving women entrepreneurs a helpful boost and is setting an example for other states to follow," said Nell Merlino, founder and president, Count Me In. "This event will put Wisconsin at the forefront of our nationwide Make Mine a $Million Business movement."

Women attending the conference will have the opportunity to attend growth-focused workshops on issues including finance, technology and law. Participants will receive expert coaching from local and national corporate sponsors and also Wisconsin non-profits. Attending the conference will also give women entrepreneurs of Wisconsin a chance to network with one another.

"We want women to 'say it out loud' and commit themselves to building a successful, million-dollar enterprise," said Marcella Shinder, vice president, OPEN from American Express. "Perhaps the greatest benefit from participating in the program comes from the confidence and determination women achieve when they declare their intent to build a million-dollar business."

Fifteen Make Mine a $Million Business award nominees will be selected from applicants statewide and asked to compete on May 21, 2007 in Madison at the Concourse Hotel. The Wisconsin award nominees will earn their awards after delivering business pitches to an audience of women entrepreneurs, judges and guests. Throughout the event, attendees will have access to inspirational and educational programming.

Eight program awardees are eligible to receive financing OPEN from American Express and Count Me In, a year of intensive business coaching and mentoring from a "dream team" of successful women entrepreneurs and professional coaches, business software and training from Intuit, discounts on shipping and business services from FedEx, marketing assistance from QVC, and assistance on work/life issues and financial security from AIG. In addition, three awardees will receive a Smart Business Communication technology package from Cisco valued at up to $20,000 complete with installation and support for one year. This robust package will support awardees to build their businesses into million-dollar enterprises. Other corporations will be contributing to the awards package as well.

The cost of the conference is $49, which includes all presentations, lunch, workshops, and networking reception- $35 if you purchase your ticket with your AMEX card.

Make Mine a $Million Business Conference
May 21, 2007
All day Conferences at the Concourse Hotel, 1 West Dayton Street
Madison, Wisconsin

To complete an award application or register for the conference, visit makemineamillion.org.

-- Tony Hozeny
-- Daniel Urzedo, Make Mine a $Million Business, 212/481-7000; danielu@mbooth.com

The newsletter is issued electronically every other month.

Please send comments or questions to Barbro McGinn, editor.

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