A High Energy Day at the WVEC Conference!

7 May

EWI could not have been more proud to be a part of empowering veteran entrepreneurs this week at the WVEC Conference. Hosted by our friends and supporters at Capital One, a huge thank you goes to Nancy Stark, Senior Manager of Community Development Banking at Capital One in McLean, VA for inviting us to this extraordinary event. We met with many new friends from the ever-so-splendid Count Me In, the main presenter and organizer of the event, and all enjoyed a high energy day full of growth and vision in the empowered women’s entrepreneurial endeavors.

Count Me In for Women’s Economic Independence is the leading national not-for-profit provider of resources, business education and community support for women entrepreneurs seeking to grow micro-businesses into million dollar enterprises. Count Me In has inspired tens of thousands of women to take control of the potential of success by providing a wealth of virtual tools and resources, live competitions, and a variety of peer exchange platforms all designed to help women business owners substantially and sustainably
increase revenues and create new jobs.


Jami McDowell (Community Partnerships Intern), Kate Campbell Stevenson (EWI Board), and Charmelle Clark (Spring ETS Student). Not show but in attendance were Dianne Lorenz (Chair, EWI Board), Lizzie Clark (Spring 2012 Grad), Winter Walker and Rashunda Bailey ((Fall 2012 Grads)

Women Veteran Entrepreneur Corps (WVEC), an exciting new business growth initiative for women business owners who are veterans or spouses/domestic partners of veterans. WVEC targets women looking to grow their small businesses quickly and sustainably, ready to create new jobs, and contribute to economic growth in their community.


The morning started with a wonderful introduction by the keynote speaker as well as the Founder and President of Count Me In, Nell Merlino. Nell provided wonderful insight and encouragement for being strong leaders and moving forward with the sometimes daunting task of starting a new business. During the afternoon, the participating WVEC participants presented their business pitch to a panel of judges.

The women were critiqued and given some wonderful advice and feedback by Heather Cox, Executive Vice President of U.S. Card Operations for Capital One Financial Corporation’s domestic credit card business. The women were competing with their pitch to be able to participate in the Count Me In Business Accelerator Program, a 9-month curriculum designed to help women business owners with $50,000-$150,000 in annual gross revenues reach $250,000+ within 18-36 months. This program is FREE to all Awardees and valued at $3000. Designed and delivered by People Biz, Inc., the program utilizes an effective combination of group coaching and training in business education, expert support and peer accountability.


At the end of the day, all women were winners of the Business Accelerator Program which was a pleasant and well deserved surprise to all that made the effort!

By Jami McDowell, Community Partnerships Intern


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