StartupNation and VerticalResponse Spotlight Leading Moms in Business for Mother’s Day

First Annual Contest Ranks America’s Top Mom-Owned Businesses and the Extraordinary Women Behind Them

SAN FRANCISCO, CA – May 4, 2009--(BUSINESS WIRE)--StartupNation, a leading business advice and networking site for entrepreneurs, and VerticalResponse, Inc., a leading provider of email marketing, surveys and postcards for small business, are unveiling the leading mom-run businesses across the US – with the top ten each receiving 1,000 free emails from VerticalResponse. The national competition, which selected and ranked by popular vote the top 200 moms in business, honors the achievements of mothers running successful businesses they have built from the ground up. Well over 600,000 votes were cast in support of several thousand contestants. Winners include a disabled vet whose disability checks didn’t meet her needs as a single mom, so she learned the ins and outs of Internet Marketing and wrote a book to teach others the same; moms who started businesses to supplement family income in the down economy or in response to family tragedy, which required them to stay at home; and moms who saw their own needs reflected in others, and launched business around breastfeeding accessories, pregnancy cravings, and other realities unique to women. The complete Top 200 Winners list is available on StartupNation’s website at www.startupnation.com/leading-moms-2009.

According to the Center for Women’s Business Research, there are 10.6 million women-owned businesses in the United States generating $2.5 trillion in annual revenue. With women starting businesses at nearly twice the rate of men, it’s no surprise that mothers make up the fastest growing segment of new business owners.

"Let’s face it, it’s not easy to run and grow a business while also juggling a family, home and self – particularly during today’s tough economic times," said Rich Sloan, co-founder and chief startupologist of StartupNation. "The goal of this contest was not only to honor these often overlooked heroes of American entrepreneurship, but also to inspire other mothers throughout the country to turn their great ideas into innovative and profitable businesses. I hope these winners will encourage the next generation of moms in business to start it up!"

Mom entrepreneurs today embody leading trends in the business world, including working from home, flexible work schedules, social media marketing, mobile connectivity, green workplaces and use of outsourcing as an efficiency strategy. The Top 200 Leading Moms in Business shines a spotlight on these exceptional businesses and the dynamic women behind them. Truly innovative, marketing-savvy, recession busting businesses fill the ranks of the winners.

"We’ve been an enthusiastic proponent of this contest, because the women voted as the top 200 Leading Moms in Business are precisely the types of people at the core of the American economy, where small business makes up the vast majority of companies," said Janine Popick, founder and CEO of VerticalResponse. "Bravo to them for having faced the challenges presented by the current economic climate, by leveraging the resources they have as mothers to start and run successful and creative businesses."

StartupNation launched the first annual Leading Moms in Business Competition in January with Title Sponsor VerticalResponse to recognize the achievements of mom entrepreneurs across the US. Winners were selected and ranked according to public votes accumulated from January through March, 2009. The elite Top 200 win bragging rights, promotional opportunities and support from StartupNation, and digital winner’s emblems recognizing their achievements as the Leading Moms in Business. The top 10 will receive 1,000 free email credits from VerticalResponse to help grow their businesses.

About StartupNation

StartupNation provides over 175,000 pages of business advice and networking for entrepreneurs and serves millions of entrepreneurs annually. StartupNation is a free service founded by entrepreneurs for entrepreneurs with the intention of providing a one-stop shop for entrepreneurial success, including blogs from a host of experts, podcasts, webcasts, eBooks, award-winning step-by-step advice, networking, and more

About VerticalResponse

VerticalResponse, Inc. is a leading provider of self-service email marketing and direct mail services empowering businesses of all sizes to create, manage and analyze their own direct marketing campaigns. VerticalResponse’s flagship product, which allows customers to deliver sophisticated yet easily deployed email campaigns, is the most intuitive and affordable Web-based direct marketing solution available. VerticalResponse is headquartered in San Francisco, California. For additional information, please visit www.verticalresponse.com.

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