SAN FRANCISCO -- With women-owned businesses in this country growing at twice the rate of all other firms in the United States, more and more women are taking the leap into entrepreneurship and learning the benefits of owning a business.
In addition to creating the necessary jobs that have significantly strengthened our economy, many of these women are finding ways to give back and contribute to their communities.
The Women Presidents' Organization (WPO), in partnership with American Express OPEN, the small business division of American Express, and 100 Black Men of America will together be recognizing and celebrating some of these trailblazing women of color in San Francisco, New Yorkand North Carolina.
The regions were chosen from 93 prominent WPO chapters and 116 Chapters of 100 Black Men of America to find the most deserving honorees. The Achievement Award will be presented to entrepreneurial women of color for their contributions to their communities and for the economic impact their businesses make nationally.
"The 100 Black Men of America applauds the great contributions and achievements of the Women Presidents' Organization. We at the 100 focus on improving conditions in which the youth we mentor can thrive personally, educationally, and professionally. Organizations like the WPO serve to continue the work of the 100 by promoting advancement of underrepresented entrepreneurs in all industries.
The women honored in San Francisco, New York and North Carolina are great entrepreneurs, leaders, trailblazers, and supporters of their local communities. We are very excited to join with American Express OPEN® to recognize and salute these women's great contributions and achievements," said Albert E. Dotson, Jr., Chairman of the Board 100 Black Men of America, Inc.
"The honorees are a group of powerful women entrepreneurs who come from every industry and have made a significant economic impact in their community," said Marsha Firestone, Ph. D., president and founder of the WPO. "We are pleased to partner with 100 Black Men of America and American Express OPEN to recognize the successes of these businesswomen and to honor their achievements. They are exceptional role models for aspiring leaders everywhere."
"Women play a pivotal and undeniable role in the landscape of American business. Women-led businesses are essential building blocks to the economic future of this country, and greatly contribute to our society with their innovation and forward thinking. We, at American Express OPEN, are thrilled to partner with the Women Presidents'
Organization, and 100 Black Men of America in recognizing the key contributions women entrepreneurs continuously make every day to our economy and communities," said Karen-Michelle Mirko, Director of Consumer Advocacy at American Express OPEN.
All eligible candidates were recruited by WPO Chapter Chairs and local chapters of 100 Black Men of America. To be qualified for this honor and as a WPO member, businesses are required to be owned or led by a woman and have reached annual revenues of at least $2 million (or $1 million for a service based industry).
All companies will be honored at special receptions in their respective regions. The first reception will be held in San Francisco, June 7, 2011 at the City Club of San Francisco. New York and North Carolina receptions will be held in the fall of 2011.