Count Me In and Capital One Recognize Women Veteran Entrepreneurs as 2013 WVEC Awardees

Twenty-four Women Veteran Business Owners Win Regional Small Business Competition - Each to Participate in a Nine Month Business Coaching Program
Jun 13, 2013 3:25 PM ET

New York, NY, June 13, 2013 /3BL Media/ - 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, today announced the winners of the first-ever Women Veteran Entrepreneur Corps (WVEC) small business competition.

To help women veteran entrepreneurs fuel the growth of their small businesses and create new jobs for veterans and civilians across the country, Capital One partnered with Count Me In recently to develop WVEC, a new business growth initiative for women veteran entrepreneurs currently at $50,000 to $150,000 in annual revenues that is designed to help them grow their businesses quickly and sustainably to spur local economies and job growth in their communities.

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

As part of its $800,000 commitment to support the program, Capital One brought women veterans and business growth experts from across the country together to participate in the inaugural WVEC Conference in April 2013 at their headquarters in McLean, Va. During the conference, women veteran entrepreneurs participated in a two-minute business pitch competition that was judged by a panel of business experts and established women veteran small business owners.

Twenty-four winners were selected from the competition and each will be placed 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. The program will commence for the Awardees in March 2014.

“The WVEC 2013 Awardees 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.”

The Top 20 Awardees will each receive Jump Start Prizes, a $1,000 cash award to use for their businesses, and all 24 awardees will receive a one-year legislative membership with Women Impacting Public Policy (WIPP).

“The skills and qualities that made the 2013 WVEC Awardees 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 Tatiana Stead, Vice President, Corporate Affairs, Capital One,  Lt. Colonel (Ret.), United States Air Force Reserve. “Through our partnership with Count Me In, Capital One is combining our expertise in small business development with our commitment to help entrepreneurial women vets grow their businesses –– a step that not only benefits them personally but also supports local economies and job growth."

A full list of the 2013 WVEC Awardees is available at

In addition to the Washington, DC Area, in 2013 Count Me In is presenting Urban Rebound pitch competitions in Los Angeles, New York and North Carolina. Additional WVEC events are currently being planned for November of 2013 and the spring of 2014.

According to 2010 US Census statistics, while women-owned businesses represented nearly 50% of privately held companies, the majority of these firms reach just $50,000 in annual gross revenues or less.  In order to make an impact on the current economic recovery, significant growth among these businesses is essential.  

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.

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, 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. We apply the same principles of innovation, collaboration and empowerment in our commitment to our communities across the country that we do in our business. We recognize 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 we are proud to support this and other community initiatives.

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