Coaching program aims to empower female entrepreneurs

Dr. Mary Jo Gorman decided to help patients in intensive care units five years ago when she saw a problem brewing in hospitals.

“There’s a crisis in the intensive care units today based on the shortage of specialists taking care of patients in ICU combined with the aging population,” says the founder of Advanced ICU Care.

Gorman’s company uses telemedicine to allow communication between doctors, patients and their families. “Our physicians and staff are watching and interacting with patients 24 hours a day from our central office in St.Louis, Missouri,” says Gorman.

Her company is one of 10 recipients of Ernst & Young LLP’s 2011 Entrepreneurial Winning Women program. The winners from different industry sectors and geographies will be provided with advisors, resources and insight with the goal of becoming reaching their full potential. The program coaches its recipients in the following areas:

Setting higher goals

    Building a public profile Working on the business, rather than in it Establishing key advisory networks Evaluating financing for expansion

“Through our 25-year history of working with and supporting entrepreneurs, we’ve seen that the biggest challenges women business owners face is lack of access to capital and not having the same business networks as male entrepreneurs,” says Herb Engert, Americas Strategic Growth Markets Leader for Ernst & Young LLP.  “We launched the Entrepreneurial Winning Women program to eliminate these barriers by providing women with know-how and access to valuable networks.”

Does size really matter to women entrepreneurs?

The results of a new survey show that nearly 90 percent of women business owners want to grow their companies, but few of them see hiring as a way to do it.

Nell Merlino, the founder and president of Count Me In, a not-for-profit organization that includes 70,000 online members, commissioned the report that polled 250 women small business owners and another 700 non-business owners nationwide. Merlino said the survey shines a light on why women-owned businesses don’t grow at a similar rate to those run by men and why broader societal misconceptions are preventing many women from expanding their businesses.

“There is a perception on the part of the public in general that women are in business to bring in a little money, as opposed to women are in business because they are supporting their families and they want to grow a business,” said Merlino, quoting the study’s findings that just 38 percent of Americans believe women entrepreneurs care about making a lot of money, compared to 63 percent who said male entrepreneurs care about the same.

from The Great Debate:

Women small business owners really need healthcare reform

-- Nancy Duff Campbell is a founder and co-president of the National Women's Law Center, one of the nation's pre-eminent women's rights organizations. A recognized expert on women's law and public policy issues, for over thirty-five years Ms. Campbell has participated in the development and implementation of key legislative initiatives and litigation protecting women's rights, with a particular emphasis on issues affecting low income women and their families. The views expressed are her own. --

Insurance companies and others who profit from our broken health care system are mobilizing to defeat comprehensive reform by using misinformation and scare tactics. A prime example is the allegation that healthcare legislation – specifically the plan being considered by the House of Representatives – will hurt small businesses.

The fact is that small business owners, especially women, are already hurting under our current healthcare system. Leah Daniels, 29, is the owner of Hill’s Kitchen – a gourmet kitchenware store that opened last May not far from the U.S. Capitol. Daniels can’t afford to offer health insurance to her three employees. She purchased her own bare-bones plan on the individual market for protection “in case I get hit by a car,” but not much else. It costs her just under $200 a month and doesn’t cover such services as routine doctor’s visits or maternity care. Daniels, who often works 7 days a week, says that she is constantly worried about getting sick.

Summer camp, with a twist


We’ve all heard of summer camp, boot camp, even fat camp. But how about a camp for young women with a knack for business?

That’s the idea behind Girls Inc. Corporate Camp for Entrepreneurs, a week-long workshop held earlier this month in New York City for 20 girls between the ages of 15 and 18.

Now in its fourth year, the camp hand-picked its attendees from a pool of 70 applicants across the U.S. who competed in teams with like-minded young women to come up with an original business product or service, complete with a viable business plan. (Think: The Apprentice, minus Donald Trump and the TV crew.)