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Launching women into the business world

February 25, 2008 12:00:00 AM PST
Most successful businesses in the country are owned by men, but more women are jumping into the fray.One organization is trying to help, giving women the tools to break the glass ceiling of entrepreneurship.

Sarah Endline is looking for a taste of success with one sweet idea.

"Rather than eating a processed chocolate bar, you are actually eating the bean the chocolate bar comes from, that bean is a super food it's full of anti-oxidants," said Endline.

This chocolate entrepreneur started her business two years ago. She has grown steadily, but needs help to get to the next level.

"I had a dream to create the world's greatest candy company," said Endline.

Endline entered her idea to a contest being held by "Count Me In" for Women's Economic Independence, an organization designed to give women entrepreneurs the tools to succeed, connecting them with experts and information needed to run a company.

"We decided that it was important for women to understand that this was a place where they could go," said Nell Merlino, President of "Count Me In."

Merlino says women can easily make millions, if they stick to some simple rules. First, shed the superwoman mentality.

"If you hire people, you have more control over business and your time," said Merlino.

She also believes in the importance of learning by example.

"We've spent centuries watching what each other wear, and how we do our hair and now we're in a position to watch how we're growing our businesses," said Merlino.

Merlino says women need to get smart, get credit and get a plan. That means, take all the business classes you can find, pay off as many bills as you can and figure out who is your market, what are your costs.

Entrepreneur Gina Stern used "Count Me In." She was able to take her idea of putting spas in airports from a $800,000 business to $1.2 million in 12 months. Now she's hoping to pass along the advice.

"Don't think about how far it's going to take you to get there or how long that road is. Just get up and start walking in that direction," said Stern.

Although every business plan is different, there's one bottom line that applies to everyone, never give up on your dream.

With a little help from other women, Endline will pursue her dream of taking her profits from a half-million to a million in less than a year.

Businesses with less than a quarter million in revenues can apply for the program.

 

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