The Million Woman Bailout

This is an article that was written by Nell Merlino – with permission I have added it here to my blog page.

How many women does it take to put a war-torn country back together again?

How many women does it take to put a war-torn country back together again?

In its second election since the genocide ended in 2003, women won 44 of the 80 seats in the Rwandan Parliament — it is by far the largest number of women in a national legislative body anywhere in the world. Out of one of the worst humanitarian crises in our lifetime, women have survived and emerged to lead the political, economic, and civic recovery of their country. A nation where women were shamed for speaking publically has now implemented a Constitutional mandate for 30% of Parliamentary seats to be filled by women, and they have been elected in even greater numbers.

How many men does it take to ruin a national economy and wreak havoc on millions of lives?

About 55 top dogs, if you keep track of all the similar faces who are being fired, filleted by Congress or carving up the bailout money. There isn't a woman among them; not a single major US financial institution is run by a woman. But there are dozens of men supported by armies in accounting firms, rating agencies and the Federal government, who all believed that there was a new way to make unbelievable piles of money — new ways for them to be big dogs on the Street and in the world, responsible to no one but themselves, all in step with the "boys will be boys" doctrine.

It just hit me like a ton of bricks reading accounts of the Paulson meeting with the nine big bank boys, who were reluctant to sign on to the bailout if their huge compensation packages had to be brought down to size. Does anybody else feel like the foxes are guarding the hen house? Like the hurricanes of recent years, Americans are facing another disaster, a man-made one this time, that will dramatically change millions of people's lives. This is a crossroads, where we can wait to be affected by the big decisions of a small group, or begin the work of recovery ourselves.

From my recent experience helping US women grow their businesses, I am convinced women will lead America out of the worst economic crisis since the Great Depression. Kept out, put out or having walked out of the "boys will be boys" boardrooms, C-suites or the dead end jobs we had propping up the fellas, women have started small businesses in record numbers — 10.5 million to be exact. Rather than depending on or hoping that the handful who caused this economic crisis will rescue them or bail them out, women are poised to grow their businesses and rescue the country themselves.

Exactly how many women does it take to generate the $700 billion in new revenue to replace the money used in the bailout, and create 4 million new jobs to replace the ones lost in the economic crisis?

It will take 1 million women. There are already 248,000 women entrepreneurs at $1 million or more in annual business revenue. In December, the not-for-profit Count Me In For Women's Economic Independence launch a historic initiative, the Make Mine a Million $ Business race, which will challenge the nation's women entrepreneurs to rebuild the national economy by setting and achieving their goals for business growth in one year. One thousand women have already pre-registered, and are the first to stand on the starting line of a movement which creates jobs and puts our country back on track with creativity, innovation, local green jobs, products and services that create real value. Women have walked for a cure to breast cancer, we have run for nations' highest offices, and in 2009, we will race to rebuild America's economy. Join us at

Money Seminar and What I Learned . .

Last week I attended a seminar called “Smart Women Finish Rich”. It was a very interesting seminar put on by a local bank, however not much here that I have not heard before. Although, sometimes just hearing it again is a good way to remind you to start doing something about your savings before it is too late.



Here are some interesting tidbits I learned:


Women own 9.2 million businesses


42% of households with assets greater than $600K are headed by women.


Women live 7 years longer than men.


The average age of a widow is 56 years old. And 25% of all widows go through their husband’s death benefit in 2 months or less.



This is both exhilarating and horrifying, especially the later part. – The good news is it is never too late to start saving for retirement. They used the Latte Factor®  to help you determine where you can find the extra money to save.  The concept is to write down what you spend all day long every day for a week. Do you stop at the coffee shop on the way to work and get a pastry and coffee? Do you eat lunch out every day? Do you stop by the snack machine in the middle of the afternoon? Just imagine how much you could save if you ate breakfast at home, brought a sack lunch and packed an extra snack? This extra $10 per day could add up to a million dollars by the time you are 65 and ready to retire!! Of course you would need to start saving this $10 per day before you turned 30 and do it diligently for the next 40 years. They suggest that at age 20 you should try to save $4.00 per day, at 30 you should save $11.00 per day, at age 40 -$30 per day and by the time you are 50, if you waited until then to start your nest egg, you will need to save $95 per day.



Don’t let the numbers scare you, especially in these hard economic times. Even a little bit each day can add up. It can be as simple as tossing your loose change in a jar at the end of the day, like Brendan Fraser did in “Journey to the Center of the Earth”. 

We have a rule in our house about money when it comes to our three boys. Half of every dollar that comes in to their hands, whether it is from birthdays or doing extra chores around the house, must go in to their savings accounts. It teaches them to be savers and to be thoughtful of how they spend the money that they do have. Hopefully by doing this we are helping them have a better future.