PHILADELPHIA (CBS) – Hundreds of businesswomen were meeting in Philadelphia today to compete for a chance to break into the big time.

The event aims to increase the number of million-dollar businesses owned by women.

One of the attendees, Mary Scheetz (below right), has had a lot of success with her Bucks County-based consulting business.  But now, she says, she’s ready to take it to the next level.

scheetz mary side loeb Female Business Owners Compete In Philadelpha For Expansion $$$

(Business consultant Mary Scheetz. Credit: Pat Loeb)

“I’m competing to be one of the 50 and make over a million dollars in the next 18-36 months — and I am ready,” she said today.

At an event called “Make Mine A Million,” Scheetz was among the 200 women competing for a package of services designed to turn small businesses into large ones.   It’s staged by a nonprofit started by businesswoman Nell Merlino (wearing pink jacket in top photo), who says her goal is to level the playing field.

“There is serious inequality in the world, and until women are making and having the opportunities and the confidence to grow big businesses, that’s never going to change,” she told KYW Newsradio today.

Merlino says women own 29 percent of businesses in the country but only two percent of them earn a million dollars or more.

“As long as 70 percent earn $50,000 or less in revenue, we’re not going to get anywhere because we’re not going to have the cash to be players,” she says.

Reported by Pat Loeb, KYW Newsradio 1060

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