Two South Florida women business owners are on their way to growing million-dollar enterprises — something just 1.8 percent of women entrepreneurs nationwide have achieved — as a result of winning the national Make Mine a Million $ Business competition in New York City.
Among the 30 winners nationwide: Alejandra Bigai, owner of Romanicos Chocolate, a gourmet chocolate shop and factory in Miami, and Michelle Villalobos, owner of MIVISTA Consulting, which creates skill-building workshops, seminars and events for individuals and organizations.
The Make Mine a Million $ Business program, an initiative of Count Me In for Women’s Economic Independence and American Express OPEN, is designed to help women entrepreneurs strengthen their vision, build their strategy and take their businesses to $1 million and more in revenue.
For Bigai, being a successful entrepreneur is a mixture of good ideas, passion, drive and tools to succeed. Bigai knows a bit about recipes: “We make chocolate the way it is meant to be — healthy, beautiful and delicious, “ she says.
To her, tools mean education, and as a Make Mine a Million $ Business program awardee, she and Villalobos received six-months of free coaching and business education in Count Me In’s Business Accelerator Program, among other prizes. “When you are an entrepreneur it’s in your genes to push and push but if you don’t have the right tools maybe you are pushing in the wrong direction,” says Bigai.
Villalobos, who founded the Women’s Success Summit, said the accelerator program includes intensive weekly coaching sessions, homework and goal-setting. “So many of us get caught in this situation where we create something and we are the ones running around doing everything. The idea is this will teach us how to outsource, delegate, automate, systemize and scale it up.”
Villalobos and Bigai first competed with their two-minute elevator pitches. After becoming finalists for their pitches, they then had to submit a rigorous set of financials and goals, and were selected as winners.
More information about the Make Mine a Million $ Business: www.makemineamillion.org.