On July 30-31, women entrepreneurs from across the country will gather at Barnard for “Make Mine a Million Competition & Homecoming,” an event co-sponsored by Count Me In for Women’s Economic Independence, American Express OPEN, and Barnard’s Athena Center for Leadership Studies.

This nationwide competition invites women business owners to deliver a two-minute pitch in front of a panel of judges, explaining the vision, growth potential, and marketing and financing strategy for their business. Pitch winners will receive a consultation with the legal firm eMinutes to help develop the right structure to maximize their small-business growth, as well as a media kit to help promote their business. The top ten winners will also receive a $1000 Jump Start prize, and all winners are invited to apply for Count Me In’s Business Accelerator Program, an intensive six-month coaching-and-training course designed to help grow small businesses to the $1 million mark within 18-24 months.

In addition to the pitch competition, the event will feature keynote addresses and panel discussions with small business experts, as well as extensive opportunities for networking and brainstorming with a growing community of women business owners. Speakers include New York City Council Speaker Christine C. Quinn and JJ Ramberg, host of MSNBC's Your Business, along with Kathryn Kolbert, Constance Hess Williams '66 Director of the Athena Center and Nell Merlino, president and founder of Count Me In, which is the nation's leading nonprofit provider of resources, business education and community support for women entrepreneurs. For the full event agenda, visit the Make Mine a Million website.

"Helping women attain the skills and resources to be successful business owners is close to the heart of the Athena Center and aligns with our Core Competencies, which are ten qualities we consider key to the success of aspiring leaders," said Kolbert. "This event will provide an excellent forum for like-minded people to connect and share ideas, and we're exited to be a part of it."

“We are so pleased to bring this exciting opportunity back to New York City, where we know there are thousands of women business owners ready to grow,” said Merlino. “Less than 3 percent of US women-owned businesses grow to $1 million in revenues, which is a great loss in economic potential. We need to provide local women entrepreneurs with the tools and confidence necessary to grow, create jobs, and foster economic stability for their families and the local economy.”

Registration for the event and the pitch competition are now open. Read more about Make Mine a Million in The Washington Post.

Also sign up for Count Me In’s Leadership Institute, taking place at Barnard on August 1-2. Through in-depth workshops, speaker presentations, and networking events, participants will learn new tools for making their businesses bigger and more sustainable.