Sam’s Club® Champions Small Business by Supporting the Make Mine a Million $ Business RACE
New York, NY – February 2, 2009 – Women entrepreneurs across the country are taking charge of their businesses and their families' livelihoods by joining the Make Mine a Million $ Business RACE (M3 RACE) launched by Count Me In for Women’s Economic Independence, the leading national not-for-profit provider of business resources and community support for women entrepreneurs. Sam’s Club today reiterated its continued commitment to women entrepreneurs and small business by underwriting the first 625 women entrepreneurs in the Make Mine a Million $ Business RACE, in part through a donation from the Walmart Foundation for $580,000.
The Make Mine a Million $ Business RACE is a year-long business growth marathon to inspire thousands of women entrepreneurs across the country to hit their revenue goals and provide them with business coaching and expert advice, innovative online business growth resources, access to new markets, and a supportive community of peers.
“In these uncertain times, when the economy is contracting and changing, small business owners are providing solutions. We are thrilled to have Sam’s Club as a partner who realizes women entrepreneurs are the economy’s secret weapon, with the strength to build and grow businesses, create jobs and secure the futures of their families,” said Count Me In’s Founder and CEO, Nell Merlino.
Women entrepreneurs in the M3 RACE choose their own “pace” for their 2009 business revenue goal: $250,000, $500,000 or one million dollars or more. The M3 RACE Grand Prize is $100,000 plus a year of marketing and media opportunities. Coveted business-building prizes and recognition will be awarded to runner-up women-owned businesses in each state and industry who reach their revenue target for the year. Live national events, Webinars and events at local Sam’s Club locations will bring women entrepreneurs in the M3 RACE together for expert and peer learning on business-related topics and opportunities to reach new national markets with founding sponsor American Express OPEN, Dell, FedEx, JetBlue and Reader's Digest. M3 Racers can also gain valuable perspectives on entrepreneurship from Nell Merlino's business blog at www.readersdigest.com.
Exclusively for the Sam’s Club M3 RACE community, the 625 women entrepreneurs will receive a Sam’s Club membership, conference calls led by experts on topics critical to business growth, and access to Count Me In's M3 RACE online business growth assessment tool and digital financial dashboard to help participants identify where their business stands and what they need to reach their 2009 goal.
"This program is about building up small business in America and we think that's a great place to invest our resources and time," said Sharon Orlopp, Senior Vice President, People Division at Sam’s Club. "Our participation also gives us the opportunity to further demonstrate our commitment to women entrepreneurs, and the millions of small businesses that rely on us everyday to provide quality products or services at great values."
“Sam’s Club allows us to buy office supplies and the tools we need to support our customers at very affordable rates and that is going to make us more successful,” said Jess McLamb, The Roper Group and one of the first Sam’s Club- sponsored M3 RACE participants.
There are 1.8 million women business owners in what the experts call the "missing middle," women with businesses earning annual revenues of $250,000 to $750,000. Through its successful business growth programs, Count Me In has learned that coaching, expert advice, and peer networking are the key ingredients for women entrepreneurs to hire new employees, innovate new products and services and ramp up their businesses. The M3 RACE aims to inspire at least 175,000 growing or new women-owned businesses, and create 500,000 new jobs for the American economy.
To kick off the M3 RACE, Sam’s Club is hosting a special event for small businesses at its Secaucus, NJ location on February 12, 2009 during its Gold Key hours 7:00 to 9:45 am.
The M3 RACE starts online at www.makemineamillion.org where women enroll to race and declare their revenue goals for 2009. The M3 RACE ends on midnight, December 31, 2009.
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 micro businesses to million dollar enterprises. Count Me In launched Make Mine a Million $ Business® to inspire one million women entrepreneurs to scale their businesses to a million dollars in revenue by providing tools, skills and the support of a nation-wide community of peers.
About Sam’s Club
Sam’s Club is a division of Wal-Mart Stores, Inc. (NYSE:WMT). The first Sam’s Club opened its doors in Midwest City, Okla., in 1983. Today, Sam’s Club serves more than 47 million U.S. Members with locations nationwide and in Brazil, Canada, China, Mexico and Puerto Rico. Sam’s Club offers exceptional values on merchandise and services for business owners and consumers. Online merchandise and Club information is available at samsclub.com.