CTAM Contest Helps Businesswomen Grow

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Female entrepreneurs in 11 markets will have a chance to win a year’s worth of cable business services, the prize in a CTAM-sponsored “Digital Growth” contest.

The contest is the first activity in the Cable & Telecommunications Association for Marketing’s “Cable Means Business” initiative, which is designed help operators publicize their business-services products, especially to small- and medium-size enterprises.

The contest is co-sponsored by Ladies Who Launch, a media company providing resources and connections for women who own or are planning on opening businesses.

The sweepstakes is a test which CTAM hopes to expand upon as part of a larger public-relations plan around the initiative in 2009, said senior vice president of communications and marketing Anne Cowan. This year’s CTAM Summit in Boston will include a panel for business-services analysts.

Next year, the initiative will include outreach to business journals and CTAM will help launch a speakers series to help business owners in selecting services.

A contest targeting businesswomen was selected because participating operators indicated that segment of the community is underserved and because women have a harder time getting funding and other resources to begin their businesses, said Cowan. This year’s participants and markets include Comcast. in Atlanta, Chicago, Minneapolis/St. Paul and Philadelphia; Cox Communications in Orange County, Calif., and Rhode Island; Charter Communications in Worcester, Mass.; Time Warner Cable of Cleveland-Akron and Columbus, Ohio; Suddenlink in Greenville, N.C.; and Insight Communications in Louisville, Ky.

To qualify for the contest, entrants must write a 250-word essay about the opportunities and challenges of entrepreneurship, with an anecdote describing how a business could benefit from better telecommunications services. Entrants must work in the participating systems and be a part of a business owned or co-owned by a woman.

In addition to the business services, Ladies Who Launch will provide winners with access to a virtual-business roundtable discussion. Winners will be featured at the venture’s Web site, www.ladieswholaunch.com. Winners will be judged by local panels, with a grand prize winner for each geographic market.

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