FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE Contact: Ellen Snook, Women’s Initiative; 510-287-3116
    Maureen Futtner (on behalf of Melissa Rich)



Bay Area nonprofit for women entrepreneurs announces winners of 2011 competition

SAN FRANCISCO, CA – Melissa Rich, owner/founder/partner of local business InterSchola, has been named a Woman Entrepreneur of the Year in San Francisco. The award is given by Bay Area nonprofit Women’s Initiative for Self-Employment and recognizes women business owners in the Bay Area who:

Have been successful despite the barriers that exist for women business owners

Exemplify how business ownership and leadership is beneficial for women

Have a positive impact on the local community or the community at large

Advance their business through innovation.

In recognizing these businesses, Women’s Initiative celebrates the power of small businesses in transforming communities through job creation and economic revitalization. In fact, recent research from Women’s Initiative shows that their graduates created or retained more than 4,300 jobs in 2010 alone.

The Woman Entrepreneur of the Year Award recognizes these women entrepreneurs and their businesses for their leadership and positive contributions to their communities. Melissa Rich will be recognized at the Woman Entrepreneur of the Year Awards Ceremony on Thursday, October 27 at One Leidsdorff in San Francisco.

Approximately 600 businesses were nominated for the award throughout the Bay Area and more than 42 women will be honored with the Woman Entrepreneur of the Year in regions throughout the Bay Area. For more information about the awards and a complete list of winners, go to

About Women’s Initiative

For more than 22 years, Women’s Initiative for Self Employment has been providing low-income, high potential women with the business training, funding and ongoing support to start their own business and becoming financially independent. The women who go through our training significantly increase their income and assets while launching businesses, creating jobs and stimulating the local economy.

About InterSchola

InterSchola was established in 2004 to help school districts with surplus inventory realize the value of these assets while at the same time freeing up expensive storage space and valuable staff resources. InterSchola's unique model is designed to eliminate the headaches associated with surplus disposal by managing the public auction process from start to finish and ensures compliance with complex legal Education Codes. Items sold have ranged from pianos to portable buildings, from computers to cars, and from food service to facility equipment. InterSchola has returned millions of dollars to schools, districts and other local public agencies and has helped save countless more dollars previously spent on staff, storage and surplus disposal costs.


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