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Boosting women-owned businesses to achieve accelerated growth: EY announces 12 winners of the North American EY Entrepreneurial Winning Women™ program

For the past eight years, through its Entrepreneurial Winning Women™ program, EY has taken aim at the gender gap among high-growth companies. Despite years of progress, today, women-owned businesses still struggle to reach the same economic scale as businesses started by men.

For instance, according to the Economic Policy Institute, women-owned businesses earn 25 cents for every dollar male-owned businesses earn. To address this imbalance, EY helps women entrepreneurs overcome obstacles to growth through its Entrepreneurial Winning Women program. As a group, past participants of the program have seen their companies’ revenue increase by 54%, with some individual participants far outpacing that average growth rate.

The program acts as an accelerator to help successful women entrepreneurs gain business knowhow, resources and advice to grow their companies, access capital and develop the networks necessary to become formidable forces in their industries. Today, EY announces the 12 newest members of its program, the 2015 class of Entrepreneurial Winning Women.

This year’s winners faced more competition to join the program than ever. EY received record numbers of qualified applications and nominations. The diverse class comprises some of the most promising women in business today. As a group, they average $11.3 million in revenue, with combined proceeds of $136 million. Their three-year combined growth rate is 164%, and their companies have, on average, 116 employees.

Additionally, this year marked a sharp rise in applicants in STEM-related fields. Twenty-eight percent of this year’s applicants were in the technology sector, compared to 9% in 2014.These entrepreneurs break the mold of stereotypical female-run businesses, some creating market disruptors that effectively compete against established ways of working or enable today’s most innovative technologies.

“Being a part of the Entrepreneurial Winning Women program allowed me to think differently about the future of my company,” said Elena Bajic, Founder and CEO of Ivy Exec and a member of the 2014 Class of EY Entrepreneurial Winning Women. “The knowledge and tools provided by this exceptional program have helped me to create lasting connections and a professional network that I couldn’t have otherwise done on my own. The program has also inspired me to think big. As a result, Ivy Exec has achieved tremendous growth over the past several years and been named to the Inc. 5000 list for three years in a row.”

Launched in North America in 2008, Entrepreneurial Winning Women is a national competition and executive education program that identifies a select group of high-potential women entrepreneurs from the United States and Canada. Since inception, the program has helped more than 80 participants grow their companies.

Participants are specifically coached on five foundational steps that can help scale their companies:

  1. Thinking big and being bold
  2. Building a public profile
  3. Working on the business, rather than in it
  4. Finding and establishing the right network
  5. Evaluating financing for expansion

The program continues to help the entrepreneurs in the years that follow their initial selection. Many past winners stay engaged in this community where they find like-minded peers with common values, purpose and entrepreneurial ambition.

To view the full list of the members of the EY Entrepreneurial Winning Women Class of 2015, click here

Courtesy of Ernst & Young – Ernst & Young is a member of the EACCNY