Stephanie Kaplan Lewis Inducted into EY Entrepreneurial Winning Women Program

Boston, MA, Nov. 17, 2016 – EY announced today that Stephanie Kaplan Lewis, Co-Founder & CEO of Her Campus Media, has been chosen as one of 14 entrepreneurs inducted into the EY Entrepreneurial Winning Women™ 2016 North America class. EY Entrepreneurial Winning Women is an annual competition and executive education program that identifies high-potential entrepreneurs in the US and Canada seeking to scale their businesses — and then helps them do it. Program participants are among the top 2 percent of all women-led businesses in terms of company revenue.[1]

Lewis and her co-founders Annie Wang and Windsor Hanger Western met as Harvard undergraduates while running a student publication for Harvard women.  The publication soared in popularity with college women across the country who began asking for advice on starting something like it at their own schools.  Lewis, Wang, and Western decided to build something similar on a national level to serve college women everywhere, and won Harvard's business plan competition with their vision for Her Campus Media.

Seven years later, Her Campus Media has grown from an idea in a Harvard dorm room to a global media and marketing powerhouse with a multi-platform reach of 85MM+ monthly content views and chapters at 300+ colleges worldwide.

“I’m honored to be included in this year’s class of EY Entrepreneurial Winning Women and look forward to capitalizing on all that this incredible program has to offer in order to catapult Her Campus Media’s growth as we cement our position as the #1 brand in the female college space,” said Lewis.

Since its inception in 2008, Entrepreneurial Winning Women has spurred rapid growth among participating entrepreneurs. According to an independent impact assessment directed by the Babson College Center for Women's Entrepreneurial Leadership, 2014 revenue for participating companies was 54 percent higher than before they joined the program. Individual participants average 20 percent annual revenue growth, and can have up to 50 percent growth in their second year of participation. Winners also report increased confidence, growth goals, networks and more.

“This program helps bridge the gap for an area we call “the missing middle” – those second-stage women business owners whose companies have emerged from the start-up phase but face a crucial inflection point in their growth journey,” said Kerrie MacPherson, principal, Financial Services Office, and North America Entrepreneurial Winning Women executive sponsor at EY.  “By providing the right information, networks and guidance we’re able to help these talented women access growth capital, identify strong business advisors and put the processes in place to radically expand their companies.”

This year’s diverse class includes some of the most promising business leaders of today. They average $9.8 million in annual revenue, with an average three-year combined annual growth rate of 42 percent and an average of 45 employees. Half of the 2016 Entrepreneurial Winning Women helm companies in science, technology and math (STEM) industries, and one-quarter have immigrated to the United States.

Entrepreneurial Winning Women is evergreen, continuing to help its participants in the years that follow their initial selection. The program offers the entrepreneurs a like-minded community of ambitious women business leaders with common objectives, challenges and paths to growth. The relationships they establish with each other also serve to reinforce their efforts to scale, often getting the entrepreneurs through rough patches and creating opportunities for entirely new ventures with peer partners.

“The journey of the business visionary can be very lonely,” said Lisa Schiffman, Director, Brand, Marketing and Communications, Americas Growth Markets, Ernst & Young LLP and program founder. “Being selected for this elite program provides a vital shot in the arm to many of the entrepreneurs. That endorsement, along with tutelage in establishing advisory boards, positioning for growth capital with the right investors, building infrastructure and effective leadership teams and other how-to’s catalyze the scaling process for these companies.”

The panel of independent judges who selected the 2016 inductees included Pat Hedley, CEO, Path Ahead and advisory director, General Atlantic; Dr. Christina Lampe-Önnerud, CEO, Cadenza Innovation, LLC; Claudia Mirza, CEO and co-founder, Akorbi; and Don J. Morrison, CA, CPA, CIRP, ICD.D. The 14 members of the class of 2016 received an all-expenses paid trip to the EY Strategic Growth Forum® in Palm Spring, California, an invitation-only gathering of more than 2,000 executives representing high-growth companies. 

Entrepreneurial Winning Women is conducted in collaboration with several organizations that encourage the development of women-owned businesses, including the Women Presidents’ Organization (WPO), the Women’s Business Enterprise National Council (WBENC), the National Association of Women Business Owners (NAWBO), The Committee of 200 (C200), Golden Seeds, TEC Canada, the Kauffman Foundation and Babson College’s Center for Women’s Entrepreneurial Leadership. For more information on the program, visit ey.com/winningwomen.

For more information on Her Campus Media, visit www.hercampusmedia.com and www.hercampus.com

[1] “Force Multipliers: How three fundamental adaptations can help women entrepreneurs scale big, EY, 2014

About Her Campus Media

Her Campus Media is the #1 new media brand for the empowered college woman and 360-degree college marketing agency, reaching over 16 million users monthly. Major platforms include flagship site HerCampus.com, on-campus network of 300+ campus chapters, influencer network of 2,000+ millennial & Gen Z female influencers, annual proprietary tentpole programs College Fashion Week and Her Conference, bestselling book "The Her Campus Guide to College Life", and more.

Leveraging its digital, social, experiential, influencer and on-campus reach, Her Campus provides award-winning integrated marketing programs for clients including H&M, IKEA, Vera Bradley, Merck, and many more. Her Campus has been featured in The New York Times, Forbes, PR Week, CNN Money, Mashable & more, and was a winner in Harvard's business plan competition and MassChallenge (world's largest start-up competition), and was named to Entrepreneur magazine's Best Entrepreneurial Companies in America, Greater Boston Chamber of Commerce's Top Small Business of the Year, Forbes 100 Best Websites for Women and 10 Best Websites for Millennial Women among other accolades.

About EY’s Growth Markets practice

EY’s Growth Markets (GM) guide leading high-growth companies. Our multidisciplinary teams of elite professionals provide perspective and advice to help our clients accelerate the path to market leadership. SGM delivers assurance, tax, transactions and advisory services to thousands of companies spanning all industries. EY firms are the undisputed leaders in taking companies public, advising key government agencies on the issues impacting high-growth companies and convening the experts who shape the business climate. For more information, please visit us at ey.com/us/strategicgrowthmarkets, or follow news on Twitter @EY_Growth.

About EY

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