Lee Brandon, CSCS (Top row 4th from left)
“What an honor to be included in such a powerful group of business women to be considered for this great opportunity”
Count Me In for Women’s Economic Independence, the leading national not-for-profit provider of resources, business education, and community support for women entrepreneurs, and Capital One Financial Corporation are pleased to name 21 business owners as Pitch Finalists of its Women Veteran Entrepreneur Corps (WVEC) small business competition for women.
WVEC, the result of an ongoing partnership between Capital One and Count Me In is a training and mentorship program designed to help established women small business owners who are veterans, spouses/domestic partners, or daughters of veterans conquer daily business challenges and plan ahead for future growth and success. The program is made possible as part of Capital One’s $800,000 commitment to Count Me In to support women veterans and small businesses.
WVEC aims to help women-owned businesses across the country grow to $250,000+ in revenue with support through the Count Me In Business Accelerator Program. That goal translates into $75 million in new economic activity and 600-900 much-needed new jobs.
The 21 Pitch Finalists each presented a two-minute pitch on their business at the WVEC conference and competition at the Women in Military Service for America Memorial Foundation in Arlington, VA on April 15, 2014. These Pitch Finalists will now be invited to apply to participate in Count Me In’s renowned nine-month Business Accelerator Program, which provides intensive business coaching and education designed to help participating businesses grow their revenues by at least 30% and create new jobs within 18-36 months.
If selected as an Awardee, the program will commence on June 27, 2014. Named Awardees also receive a one-year legislative membership with Women Impacting Public Policy (WIPP).
The 21 WVEC Pitch Finalists are as follows:
-Stephanie Alexander of BOOST LLC
-Doreen Archard of Southeast Accounting Solutions
-Mary Bezzini of Godman Power Group, Inc.
-Sheilah Black of Lasting Impressions Hosiery Inc.
-Simone Boyd of My Family Fantastic
-Lee Brandon, CSCS of AB-Vanced NEU-Spine Tech
-Carmen Coker of Carmen Coker Int’l – Goodbye Clutter, Hello Serenity!
-Vonetta Dumas of Signature Image Salon
-Lisa Foreman of Women Society of Cyber Jitsu
-Stephanie L. Foster of Intentionally Me, LLC
-Lenique Dominque Jenkins of Capital Leaving, LLC
-Dawn Mabery of Mabery Consulting, LLC
-Paulette Mpouma of The Africa Memory Game
-Wanda Petty of EMPLOY VETS
-Michelle Putnam of A “Polished” Life
-Dannielle Rash of 1st Class Resume & Career Services
-Yvonne Rivers of Phoebe Marketing Group
-Deatrice Simpson of NDS Fix-it LLC
-Elizabeth Suda of ARTICLE22
-Dr. Kinta Vanterpool of Chirokei Consulting, LLC
-Zee Worstel of AccelerateHER LLC
“Our Women Veteran Finalists represent yet another group of women business owners who have the potential to truly make an impact on economic growth in our country,” said Nell Merlino, Founder and President of Count Me In. “We look forward to working with this promising group of motivated military-affiliated entrepreneurs as they grow their micro-businesses into thriving enterprises.”
“We want to congratulate the women veteran finalists of the WVEC program whose skills and qualities that made them outstanding military members – a strong work ethic, discipline, the creativity needed to overcome obstacles – are precisely the qualities that can translate to business success,” said Daniel Delehanty, Senior Director of Community Development Banking at Capital One. “For many aspiring small business owners, the prospect of starting and growing a new business can be daunting, but coaching and mentoring can help to ease that start-up learning curve. Through our partnership with Count Me In, we are leveraging our expertise in small business development to help drive the success of talented and entrepreneurial women veterans and support the economic growth of our whole community.”
Capital One’s partnership with Count Me In is aligned with its commitment to helping aspiring entrepreneurs and small businesses of every size grow and thrive – whether it’s directly through their products and services, or through innovative partnerships and programs like WVEC that provide tailored business training, mentoring, and other professional support and resources.
About Count Me In:
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 their businesses to million dollar enterprises. Count Me In launched the Make Mine a Million $ Business Competition to inspire one million women entrepreneurs scale their businesses to a million dollars in business revenues in the next decade by providing tools, skills, and the support of a nation-wide community of peers.
For more information about Count Me In and WVEC, visithttp://www.countmein.org/women-veteran-entrepreneur-corps/.
About Capital One: 
Capital One Financial Corporation, headquartered in McLean, Virginia, is a Fortune 500 company with more than 900 branch locations primarily in New York, New Jersey, Texas, Louisiana, Maryland, Virginia, and the District of Columbia. Its subsidiaries, which include Capital One, N.A., and Capital One Bank (USA), N. A., offer a broad spectrum of financial products and services to consumers, small businesses and commercial clients. Capital One applies the same principles of innovation, collaboration and empowerment in our commitment to our communities across the country that we do in our business. Capital One recognizes that helping to build strong and healthy communities – good places to work, good places to do business and good places to raise families – benefits us all and Capital One is proud to support this and other community initiatives