Ernst & Young LLP announced that Ayeshah Abuelhiga, founder & CEO of Mason Dixie Foods, a better-for-you American comfort food brand offering clean-label breakfast sandwiches and biscuits, is one of the 20 women founders from companies selected for the EY Entrepreneurial Winning Women North America Class of 2022.
Celebrating its 15th anniversary this year, the program selects high-potential women entrepreneurs and connects them with the advisors, access, and resources they need to continue to grow and scale their businesses. By engaging in the program, participants receive tailored executive education and introductions to the massive EY global entrepreneurial ecosystem, as well as the Winning Women community around the world.
“I am ecstatic about the opportunity to be accepted into the program and to receive strategic growth planning support from an organization with the level of expertise that EY has,” said Mason Dixie Foods’ Founder Ayeshah Abuelhiga. “Only 1% of US businesses reach $10M and as a business who has not only exceeded that threshold, but also grown over 300% year over year, having the support and insights provided by the EY Winning Women program will help equip us for the next big leap and ensure our continued success as we strive to be a leader in our trade.”
The Class of 2022 comprises 18 fast-growing companies led by women across Canada and the U.S., touching an array of industries. Members of the Class of 2022 are diversified in their missions and industries but share the common thread of focusing on social good and sustainability issues, such as disabilities and workplace equity, specialized care, organic food, and environmental waste recycling. Others look to create efficiencies and solve universal business problems with technology solutions in healthcare, education, staffing, and more. The founders chosen for the program showcased exceptional business acumen, effectiveness, innovation in designing solutions, and a determination that helped them stand out among their peers.
“The past year has been filled with economic ups and downs, including lasting impacts of the pandemic and unprecedented social change,” said Maranda Bruckner, EY Entrepreneurial Winning Women North America Program leader. “These entrepreneurs effectively navigate challenges and scale profitable, high-growth companies while demonstrating the grit, drive, and resilience needed for ongoing success. They are rewriting rules and reshaping markets,” Bruckner said. “We have no doubt that these women will continue to change the world.”
The Entrepreneurial Winning Women North America program serves women business owners who are founding CEOs of any US or Canadian privately held company that is 10 years old or younger. Company revenues typically range from at least $2M to as much as $30M annually. On an ongoing basis, Entrepreneurial Winning Women take part in additional workshops, conferences and training sessions. The Entrepreneurial Winning Women program participants become part of a global peer community, which includes more than 900 Entrepreneurial Winning Women entrepreneurs in 48 countries and on every continent.
“Women are a tremendous driver of the economy, and we must empower and help these entrepreneurs thrive,” said EY Americas Solutions Leader Cheryl Grise, who also serves as the EY Entrepreneurial Winning Women North America Executive Sponsor. “Not only does empowering women founders lead to a more inclusive and prosperous society, but it also spurs innovation across the economy. Over the last 15 years, the Entrepreneurial Winning Women program has worked to address systematic gender-based hurdles that often face women business owners,” Grise said. “With the right access, women have proven they can scale and reinvent, innovate and excel in their respective industries. This community is an awe-inspiring one, and we are so honored to be able share their stories and help them on their journey to the top.”
“When we celebrate these Entrepreneurial Winning Women, we encourage the future health of our economy and society,” said Lee Henderson, Americas EY Private Leader. “Through providing access to the organization’s far-reaching entrepreneur network, training and resources, we are committed to helping these founders create jobs, break boundaries, and lead by example. We welcome these entrepreneurs to the EY family. We cannot wait to see all the great things that you will continue to do for businesses, your communities and our overall economy.”
The Class of 2022 will be officially recognized in November during the Strategic Growth Forum, one of the nation’s most prestigious gatherings of high-growth, market-leading companies.
Mason Dixie Foods is a better-for-you American comfort food brand offering a selection of clean-label breakfast sandwiches, biscuits, and scones. All goodies are made from scratch using only fresh, real dairy and they are free from artificial ingredients, preservatives, and additives. Mason Dixie Foods is certified minority and LGBTQ+ owned and managed and its products can be found at retailers nationwide.