Enterprising Women

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Company: Enterprising Women, Cary, NC USA
Entry Submitted By: MMI Public Relations
Company Description: Enterprising Women, with headquarters in Cary, N.C., is the nation’s only women-owned magazine published exclusively for women business owners that chronicles the growing political, economic and social influence and power of entrepreneurial women.
Nomination Category: Individual Awards Categories
Nomination Sub Category: Women Helping Women – Business

Nomination Title: Monica Smiley, Editor and Publisher

Describe for the judges the nominated individual's activities and accomplishments that provided support and assistance to other women since the beginning of July last year (up to 525 words):

Monica Smiley is editor and publisher of Enterprising Women, a national magazine that is considered the voice of entrepreneurial women worldwide. She also serves as CEO of Enterprising Women, Inc., the magazine’s parent publishing company. In the 14 years since she launched Enterprising Women, which now has more than one million readers in 185 countries, Monica has supported the unique needs of women entrepreneurs and business owners in the United States and internationally. The magazine facilitates the sharing of best practices among women business owners, and provides mentors and roles models for the next generation of women entrepreneurs.

Monica has worked closely with the Institute for Economic Empowerment of Women (IEEW) since its 2006 inception, and this year joined its board of directors. She has served as mentor and host with its Peace Through Business program (PTB), which graduated its first participants in 2008. PTB established women’s business centers in Rwanda and Afghanistan, assisting participants with business plans, providing financial literacy education and connecting women to potential markets to grow their businesses. Enterprising Women was a media sponsor of the program from the start, and she has for the past five years hosted participants for one week of their three-week visit to the U.S., where they complete an intensive, immersive educational and networking program.

In the summer of 2012, Monica welcomed into her home a Rwandan woman who had recently launched the country’s first online magazine for women. Drawing from her extensive experience in publishing, she was able to help the woman analyze her market, develop a marketing approach to pursue advertising revenue, and more fully develop her editorial content. In addition, Monica reviewed the woman’s business plan and guided her toward the next step of creating a print publication to complement the online version. Monica and her mentee appeared on a local midday TV show to share their story and highlight the PTB program, and the two have maintained this mentoring relationship ever since.

Also within the past year, Monica has stayed in touch with previous graduates of PTB, including one who operates a bed and breakfast as well as a fledgling fitness club, and one who has a furniture business in Rwanda. An Afghan woman who works with women farmers has also remained in close contact.

Monica’s passion for helping women is not confined to the parameters of a formal program. Throughout the past year, she has continued to mentor a young woman from China she met on a flight returning from Beijing in 2010. Monica considers herself the young woman’s American “mom,” and has delighted in offering advice and guidance on graduate school and job placement.

Additionally in the past year, Monica joined the governing board for the Athena PowerLink program’s new project for the Triangle, an international program that provides mentorship to women business owners.

Finally, in April, Monica celebrated the success of 50 accomplished women entrepreneurs from around the world, as her company hosted its 11th annual Enterprising Women of the Year Awards. Each honoree was recognized as a leader in her industry, for building a strong, financially healthy business, and for mentoring and supporting other women in business.

Provide a brief biography of the nominated individual (up to 125 words):

Monica Smiley, editor and publisher of Enterprising Women, a magazine for women business owners with more than one million readers in 185 countries, also serves as CEO of Enterprising Women, Inc., the magazine’s parent publishing company.

Co-owner and president of a marketing communications and publication consulting firm since 1984, Monica has more than 30 years of magazine publishing experience managing consumer and trade titles in industries as diverse as investing, photography, and health and beauty.

An advocate of open adoption, Monica is the mother of two adopted sons and step-mom to three grown children. She and her husband have four grandchildren.

A native of Michigan, Monica resides in Cary, N.C. She earned a degree in journalism and mass communications from Bradley University in Peoria, Ill.