Submitted by: Laura Sicola, Ph.D, Owner, Sicola Consulting Group

Count Me In for Women’s Economic Independence (CMI), the leading national not-for-profit provider of resources, business education, and community support for women entrepreneurs, has named Dr. Laura Sicola, owner of the Sicola Consulting Group, as one of 30 M3-Awardees in the latest Make Mine a Million $ Business (M3) event, which was held Tuesday, July 31, 2012, at Barnard College in New York City.

Described as a cross between “The Apprentice” and “American Idol,” the M3 pitch competition invites women business owners with at least $85,000 in annual business revenues that have been in business for two years or more to present their business in a two minute “elevator pitch” to a panel of small business experts and judges.

From those Pitch Winners, the final M3 Awardees were selected. M3 Awardees receive a business development package that includes national PR, a one-year legislative membership with Women Impacting Public Policy (WIPP), and enrollment in the CMI Business Accelerator Program, a six-month group coaching and training program, following a curriculum of key business fundamentals, held in bi-weekly, 75-minute calls for small teams and led by a certified business coach/trainer.  They also came away with a $500 American Express gift card and a consultation with eMinutes legal services on how to best structure their business for growth.

Sicola was among 62 women entrepreneurs from around the country to pitch their businesses at the event in competition for the prize and among 225 total participating. A complete list of M3 2012 awardees can be found at www.countmein.org/m3ny2012.

Launched in 2005 by Count Me In for Women’s Economic Independence and founding partner American Express OPEN, the Make Mine a Million $ Business program was created to help post-start up, women-owned businesses grow to one million dollars in annual revenue. To date, 28% of M3 program participants have surpassed the $1 million mark in annual revenues versus the 2.6% national average for women business owners. The ultimate goal of the program is to elevate one million women businesses to over $1M in annual revenue generating $1 trillion in revenues and creating over 4 million jobs by 2020.

“We are thrilled by the eagerness of women across the country to grow their businesses, create jobs in their communities, and create stability for their families and the national economy,” said Nell Merlino, Founder and President of Count Me In for Women’s Economic Independence.

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