Nell Merlino is a change maker, award-winning advocate, and spokesperson for women and girls who continues to transform individual lives and organizations. A catalyst for progress, Nell has mobilized millions of people in movements to recognize girls’ potential with the creation of Take Our Daughters to Work Day, foster women’s economic empowerment through the non-profit she launched called Count Me In for Women’s Economic Independence and promoted a safe, sustainable world through her work with the YWCA Week Without Violence, Amnesty International and Earth Day.
Her work has sparked innovation in small business growth and raised millions of dollars for female focused organizations from corporations including American Express, Verizon and Walmart. Nell has provided commentary on every major news outlet in the U.S. and has generated over 2 billion media mentions.
In 2006 Nell launched Make Mine a Million $ Business with the support and leadership of Senator Hillary Clinton. There Nell lead her team to develop a pioneering system for thousands of women to pitch their micro-businesses to experts and peers who would guide them to over $1million in revenue. Since then thousands of women entrepreneurs in the US and around the globe have experienced the benefits of Make Mine a Million $ Business.
During Secretary Clinton’s tenure at the State Department, Nell served as a Pathways to Prosperity Envoy promoting women entrepreneurship by linking American women business owners with women business owners across Latin America. She helped developed Walmart’s Women’s Economic Empowerment program which spent $20 billion with female suppliers in the U.S. and trained millions of women farmers and first time retail employees globally. Nell also serves on the Jury for Cartier Women’s Initiative Awards that recognizes creative and sustainable women owned companies around the world.
Nell is the author of “Stepping Out of Line: Lessons for Women Who Want it Their Way in Life, in Love, and at Work” from Broadway Books, available on Amazon, and “Cracking the Glass Ceiling and Raising the Roof” in MIT Innovations Journal, Winter/Spring 2013.
A lifelong Democratic activist and operative, Nell grew up in Trenton N.J. where her father served in the state legislature. She lives in New York City with her husband, artist Gary Conger.