A powerful force for the advancement of women and girls, Ner Merlino has developed numerous joint campaigns and programs to mobilize and act on millions of people. She is the creator, founder and president of “Take Our Daughters and Sons to Work”. Count Me In.. Originally founded in 1999. CountMeIn (CMI) is the world’s first online microrender, pioneering a unique model that combines business pitch competition, mentoring, education and access to female entrepreneurial financing. Today, in response to the increasingly challenging business environment brought about by COVID-19, and coupled with protests to support Black Lives Matter, Count Me In brings products, services, and businesses to new safety, health, and racial justice. Meet your obligations.
Below is a Q & A for women’s eNews (WeN) with Nell Merlino.
WeN: WeN: Why did you launch Count Me In at this time?
Merrino: In 1999, I founded the Count Me In organization after noticing the market gap. This is a lack of support for female business owners who have already gone through the startup phase. Staying small is certainly not a bad thing, but I felt that more opportunities and resources could help people who want to reach the next level.
I think people are aware that at this moment we need to help each other when it comes to renewing now through Count Me In Revival. As business women, we already knew it — that’s why many of us started our business first. But I think the same creativity and sensibility as our products and services must be shared throughout the business world.
Today, Count Me In supports women in businesses in a variety of industries, from language translation services to companies that provide medical tests to patients, and provides financial support through contests and grant programs.
WeN: WeN: How was this launch similar / different from the launch of the day that took my daughter and son to work?
Merrino: The same is a common theme of helping women and girls who one day become women, take good care of themselves, and are valued by society in the business world.
When I created “Take Our Daughters and Sons to Work” in 1993, I really wondered what would happen if every girl had the opportunity to understand what her parents were doing outside the house. For many girls, it was watching what the mother and father did outside the house. At that time, it was not standard for girls to appear at work with their parents, and far fewer women played a role in the business world.
It’s a long way to go, but women are, of course, active in the workplace and are more accepted than ever as employees as well as entrepreneurs. For me, the difference from launching “Count Me in Revival” from “The Day to Take My Daughter and Son to Work” is that women play all sorts of roles in the workforce and the company. It’s about allowing women to grow bigger and stronger, rather than being seen first. ..
WeN: WeN: What do the Count Me In grant recipients want to win?
Merrino: We are pleased to be able to provide grants to help 19 outstanding female entrepreneurs adapt and prosper in the COVID-19 economy. There has never been a better time for women to lead the business and support each other. The founders of Smart & Sexy and Curvy Couture, who provided a $ 250,000 grant, are a good example of the power women entrepreneurs have to help lift each other towards the common goal of success. Together as a community, we have survived the Great Recession on 9/11 and prospered. Faced with these new obstacles, we are undoubtedly continuing to innovate and grow our business with the help of the community, including the support of grants awarded.
WeN: WeN: Are there specific areas of focus that your organization supports, and why?
Merrino: We are committed to working with female entrepreneurs who own and operate small businesses in all areas. Looking at the recent 19 women who have been awarded grants, there is a very diverse corporate group covering different industries. You will find representatives from consulting, legal services, agriculture, manufacturing, retail sales, and many other sectors involved in Winners and Count Me In Revival.
WeN: WeN: How was the result so far?
Merrino: The response to Count Me In Revival was overwhelming at the 2200 female-owned companies that were interested in applying for a grant. Eventually, 444 companies submitted their applications. The 19 grant winners awarded on July 31, 2008 are now adapting and growing in these difficult times, leveraging the grant and CMI Revival Awards business, finance and communication coaching. I am.