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Enterprising Women to Launch Foundation at March Awards Event

Friday, February 11, 2011  
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Enterprising Women to Launch Foundation at March Awards Event

After more than three years of input from thought leaders in the women’s entrepreneurship community, Enterprising Women is launching a nonprofit Foundation to promote philanthropy among women business owners.

The Enterprising Women Foundation will be officially launched at a reception on the evening of March 10, 2011 during the Enterprising Women of the Year Awards at the Boca Raton Resort in Boca Raton, FL. All proceeds from ticket sales for this special reception will benefit the new Foundation.

"Many members of the Enterprising Women Advisory Board and other successful women entrepreneurs have told us through the years that they would like a vehicle for philanthropic giving related to women’s entrepreneurship. Because the magazine has a wide range of support from so many individuals and associations in the women’s business community, many have said we are an ideal and trusted vehicle for launching a Foundation that can serve the entire women’s business community,” Enterprising Women Publisher/CEO Monica Smiley, said.

"So many women give back to the women’s business community, volunteering to support the associations that promote the growth of women’s businesses, and mentoring and giving back to other women in business in a variety of ways. Many have indicated that when they sell their businesses or finalize their estate planning, they would like to give back through a Foundation that is in line with their lifelong interests of supporting women’s entrepreneurship,” Smiley said. "That said, you don’t have to wait until you sell your company or pass away to give. We hope that all women entrepreneurs in our community will want to give generously on an annual basis,” she added.

The Enterprising Women Foundation has set a goal of raising its first $1 million by March 2012. "We would like to celebrate that accomplishment at next year’s Enterprising Women of the Year Awards Celebration,” Smiley said.

She noted that the Foundation is seeking 25 Enterprising Women Foundation Ambassadors who will each agree to give or raise $25,000. In addition, the Foundation is seeking a matching donor to help meet its first year million dollar goal.

Since each Ambassador will be able to raise those funds in any creative way she chooses, with administrative support from the Foundation (as long as it meets the legal requirements required by a nonprofit Foundation), some have already begun planning fundraisers. Francine Manilow, president of Chicago-based Manilow Suites, was quick to sign on as a Foundation Ambassador and her first fundraiser is already creating a buzz.

As a member of the Chicagoland Chamber of Commerce, Francine had an opportunity at the Chamber’s Burnham awards dinner last November to place the winning auction bid on "The Sportsman’s Dream Package.” Though the audience at the dinner was 98 percent male, she says it took a woman to grasp the PR value of the package.

Now Francine is making the most of her winnings by creating a new auction package that she is putting out for bids. Proceeds will be split between the new Enterprising Women Foundation and the Women’s Business Development Center in Chicago. Francine was the first certified WBE to sponsor the Chicagoland Chamber of Commerce Golf Outing in 2010 and she is an avid sports enthusiast and golfer. Several members of Chicago’s professional sports teams have stayed at her upscale, short-term apartments while they searched for permanent residences.

The "Manilow Suites Sports Auction Package” will feature the priceless opportunity to throw out the first pitch at the April 11 Chicago White Sox/Oakland game at U.S. Cellular Field, as well as two top-drawer seats at the game itself, and two free nights at a Manilow Suites.

The minimum bid, which is $2,000, can be submitted to <> . The bidding process will close on Friday, April 1 at noon central time. Information about the prize package is available at <> or by calling 312-819-0050.

Smiley has indicated that planning is already underway for a Foundation fundraiser this fall in New York City chaired by Enterprising Women Foundation Ambassador Susan Phillips Bari, formerly president of the Women’s Business Enterprise National Council (WBENC) who now has a successful New York City-based real estate business. Women entrepreneurs in other parts of the country are also excited about exploring creative ways to raise funds for the new Foundation. "Look for dates and announcements in the coming months about EWF fundraisers around the country,” Smiley said.

"As we enter our second year in 2012, we will begin awarding grants to projects that are in line with our mission of empowering women and supporting the growth of women’s entrepreneurship in the United States and around the globe,” Smiley added.

For more information about the Enterprising Women Foundation Launch on March 10, inquire about becoming a Foundation ambassador or to donate to the Foundation, please contact the Enterprising Women Foundation, 1135 Kildaire Farm Rd., Suite 200, Cary, NC 27511, email: <> or call 919-674-6640.

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