Events Calendar

Amway Grand Plaza - 187 Monroe NW (map)


The Blast! Build Your Business Conference & Competition for Women


Amway Grand Plaza, 187 Monroe NW, Grand Rapids, MI 49503
Admission: $25.00

Thursday, March 15, 2012 - 6:00 to 8:30 p.m. and
Friday March 16, 2012 - 8:00 a.m. to 4:00 p.m.

For more information or to register email


Blast! Build Your Business Conference & Competition for Women –

Hundreds of women entrepreneurs from the Greater Grand Rapids area will gather for this one-of-a-kind professional development event and business growth competition designed to harness the power of confidence, control and community for women business owners. 

Participants will:

•    Pitch their businesses before a panel of judges for a chance to be included in the Blast! Business Accelerator Program, a year-long group coaching and training program of accountability and support to help participants reach $250,000 in annual business revenues; 
•    Participate in educational business growth workshops providing real world business information;
•    Hear from highly successful women entrepreneurs;
•    Connect with potential new clients, vendors and peer entrepreneurs from the local community.

To participate in the pitch competition, business should meet the following criteria:
•    Have annual business revenues of $50,000 to $150,000
•    Be at least 50% owned by a woman who is a U.S. citizen or legal resident
•    Have been in operation for at least two years
•    Be able to commit to participating in the program for the full year
•    Have no bankruptcies or liens within past five years
•    Have a business based in Kent, Ottawa or Muskegon Counties

Blast! Business Accelerator Program Timeline                          

January 2012
•    Blast! Business Accelerator Program of group coaching and training begins for awardees selected in the fall of 2011.
•    8 weeks of Pitch Parties begin for next round of participants

March 2012
•    Blast! Build Your Business Conference & Competition for Women is held on March 15 & 16.  Pitch winners are selected at this conference and then have 4 weeks to submit their financial documentation and references.

April 2012
•    18 Program participants are selected and announced.  They begin their year-long coaching and training program soon after.

What is Blast! Business Accelerator Program

Blast!  Business Accelerator Program is a business growth initiative for women entrepreneurs in the Greater Grand Rapids area.  It is an initiative of Count Me In for Women’s Economic Independence (CMI), the leading not-for-profit provider of resources, education and community for women entrepreneurs, in partnership with Grand Rapids Opportunities for Women (GROW) and funded by the W. K. Kellogg Foundation.   The goal of the program is to provide focused support, training, coaching and accountability to 30 Grand Rapids-area women-owned businesses, toward reaching the quarter-million dollar annual revenue mark.   The 30 women will be:

•    Divided into cohort groups and led by a professional facilitator in a curriculum of twice monthly, 75-minute group coaching and training conference calls. 
•    Provided with all of the tools and resources needed to systematically chart their revenue growth and put into action everything they are learning in the program. 
•    Expected to attend monthly in-person Meet-Ups to hear from selected speakers and network with potential customers, vendors and business peers.  

Over the course of one year, these 30 entrepreneurs will be guided to take that crucial step from just being in business to taking control and charting a course for maximum success.

To register for the Blast! Build Your Business Conference & Competition for Women

For more information –


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