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Entrepreneur-You Women's Business Competition Accepting Applications

TROY (WWJ) -- Applications for the second annual Entrepreneur-You business plan competition are now being accepted to identify the best and brightest women-owned businesses or women with business ideas. Winners will receive cash prizes and in-kind services.

The two-page application is the first step in the competition. It requests basic information about the business or idea. Applicants can enter in one of three competition categories:

This competition category is open to women-owned high-growth businesses or start-ups.
Includes start-ups and scale-ups
Has annual revenue of less than $500,000
Has potential and entrepreneur desire for eventual sale or exit
$25,000 would launch or grow business
Entry deadline Aug. 7

A lifestyle business is set up and run by its founders with the primary aim of sustaining a particular level of income, or to provide a foundation from which to enjoy a particular lifestyle. Lifestyle businesses are often created to exercise personal talent or skills, achieve a flexible schedule, work with other family members, remain in a desired geographic area, or for personal expression.
Includes start-ups and scale-ups
Has annual revenue of less than $100,000
Built on the personal passion or talents of the owner with no desire or plan to sell the business
Small, managed growth to fit into owner's life
$25,000 would launch or grow business
Entry deadline Aug. 13

Social enterprises are businesses whose primary purpose is the common good. They use the methods and disciplines of business and the power of the marketplace to advance their social, environmental and human justice agendas.
Includes start-ups or scale-ups
Has annual revenue of less than $100,000
Built around solving a social problem by creating an innovative and sustainable solution
Goal is social impact over financial gain
Could be a not-for-profit venture, social purpose business venture, or a hybrid organization
$25,000 would launch or grow business or enterprise
Entry deadline Aug. 13

Five finalists will be selected from each category to compete in the pitch portion of the competition to a carefully selected panel of judges. All 15 finalists will receive coaching prior to presenting their plans. The final pitches will be presented the morning of September 24, 2013 at the Walsh College Troy campus. This session is open to the general public.

Carolyn Cassin, president of the Michigan Women's Foundation, the lead organization for the competition, said in 2012, $40,000 in cash and in-kind services was awarded to three women entrepreneurs.

"This competition is an unprecedented opportunity for women to pitch their business ideas in front of female community leaders, investors and other business leaders for possible launch or growth within Michigan," Cassin said. "Along with cash prizes, the competition allows women to test their venture ideas and support the creation of viable businesses."

Applications, along with rules and guidelines, are available at

Entrepreneur-You is a collaborative initiative between Huntington Bank, Inforum, the Michigan Women's Foundation and Walsh College to help women become successful business owners. Among its various business-building activities, Entrepreneur-You conducts all-day workshops taught by leading business professionals, instructing women entrepreneurs about the resources necessary and available to open, run and grow a business. The initiative also includes a business planning contest that encourages women to create a working plan for their business that will set them on the path to success.

Founded in 1922, Walsh College offers upper-division undergraduate and graduate business and technology degrees and certificate programs at locations in Troy, Novi, Clinton Township, and Port Huron, as well as online. Walsh's business services division offers the Walsh Institute, designed to provide solutions for businesses through training, continuing education and consulting.

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