Karen Barbour named one of Ernst & Young LLP’s 2009 Entrepreneurial Winning Women

October 22, 2009 - Baltimore, MD

Karen Barbour named one of Ernst & Young LLP’s 2009 Entrepreneurial Winning Women™

Nine Winners Selected across the US

The Barbour Group, LLC, a surety bond and commercial insurance agency, today announced that Karen Barbour  was one of nine female entrepreneurs selected to participate in the Ernst & Young Entrepreneurial Winning Women program designed to accelerate the growth of high‐potential businesses founded by women entrepreneurs. The winners were selected from a competitive list of women entrepreneurs residing across the US by a diverse group of independent judges.

As a winner of the program, Karen Barbour will receive complementary participation in the Ernst & Young Strategic Growth Forum, which takes place November 11‐15, 2009 in Palm Springs, CA. The Strategic Growth Forum, dubbed by Forbes.com as one of the "Seven Get‐Ahead Executive Retreats," is a prestigious gathering of high‐growth, market‐leading companies. More than 1,300 leaders of the nation's most successful companies, along with investors and advisors, gather with exemplary entrepreneurs to share growth strategies and discuss current economic challenges.

In addition to participation in the Strategic Growth Forum, the Entrepreneurial Winning Women will take part in a customized program designed to build and foster critical relationships, enhance leadership skills and expand business know‐how.

“I plan on meeting with the top CEOs of our nation to gain advice and guidance on how to develop other products and services for our clients that will enable them more bonding capacity and profitable backlogs.  We want to offer business solutions to help build generational wealth for our clients.  To have this opportunity that Ernst & Young is providing is an honor.  It will open doors wide to new communication and new ideas for The Barbour Group, LLC,” said Karen Barbour.

“Experienced role models and access to business‐building networks are critical for women entrepreneurs looking to accelerate their company’s growth and success,” said Maria Pinelli, Americas Director, Strategic Growth Markets, Ernst & Young LLP.  “Through the Ernst & Young Entrepreneurial Winning Women program, we aim to give outstanding female entrepreneurs the tools and networks they need to grow their businesses.”

The Ernst & Young Entrepreneurial Winning Women program is conducted in collaboration with several women’s entrepreneurship organizations including the Women’s Presidents Organization, Women’s Business Enterprise National Council, Babson College and its Center for Women’s Leadership, Wharton School of The University of Pennsylvania, and the Committee of 200.

The Barbour Group is a commercial insurance and bonding agency specializing in construction bonds and related services. As the first woman‐founded surety agent in the state of Md., The Barbour Group provides bonding and insurance to contractors for projects located throughout the US and internationally. The company has initiated, authored and driven landmark legislation in Maryland and on Capitol Hill to open up the barriers to bonding faced by many small business contractors. The Barbour Group has been named among the Top 100 Minority Business Enterprises in 2006 and 2008, with Barbour awarded the U.S. SBA Maryland Person of The Year Award in 2008.

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