By Jane Porter
Male-run businesses are 3.5 times more likely to surpass $1 million in sales than their female-run counterparts and only 2% of women-owned companies ever break the million-dollar mark, according to a 2014 report by Ernst & Young. “Women start businesses at nearly twice the rate of men, but far fewer of them actually scale,” says Kerrie MacPherson, a partner principal at Ernst & Young who oversees the EY Entrepreneurial Winning Women Program, which selects and mentors 12 promising women business leader a year.
For Phyllis Newhouse, founder of Xtreme Solutions, an IT services company that focuses on ethical hacking, figuring out a way to meet her company’s goals was a big challenge. Last year, around the time Newhouse was chosen for the Winning Women Program, her business was poised to scale from 400 to 1,200 employees and needed to figure out a way to grow so quickly. “It looked very terrifying,” says Newhouse, who despite a 22-year career in the military, had never scaled such a global operation in so short a period of time. Newhouse used the connections and guidance she got at the Ernst & Young program to inform her business decisions.
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