MK Advisors was founded in 2015, and since that time our vision has both expanded and focused. Our advisor network has continued to grow and we’ve been able to focus the business on incubations and scaling impact through our strategic partnerships. It’s this work that has earned our President & Owner, Michelle “MK” Merrigan, recognition as a 2022 International Women’s Entrepreneurial Challenge (IWEC) awardee.
We couldn’t be more honored to be receiving this recognition, but thought this would also be a great opportunity to tell you a little more about us, our founder, MK, and the IWEC Foundation.
How We Got Here
MK was born into a military family and experienced a turbulent upbringing, leading her to emancipation and leaving her unable to afford a traditional university education. Instead, MK became an intern for youth development through international aid programs. In her early twenties, she started a humanitarian aid nonprofit for at-risk youth that brought her to some of the world’s most remote environments. It is in these places that she witnessed the severe lack of resources: clean water and consistent energy.
Realizing she could make a big impact with very little effort, her passion was ignited and she began studying alternative power solutions through an online university. About halfway through her education, she landed a position with a renewable energy company and quickly took over the training operations for two dozen companies in the US, precisely at the time the clean energy incentives were coming into focus during the Obama administration. MK’s success in that position got her noticed by a $2bn private equity firm. Within two years, MK was managing a large multi-continent operation with the US Department of Defense being her most notable customer.
While the defense market proved to be a huge opportunity, MK’s passion was to bring energy, water, and other resilient resource solutions to the communities that so desperately needed them. MK Advisors was born with a focus on teaching communities how to acquire, manage and maintain energy & water resources themselves in a replicable and equitable model.
History of IWEC
IWEC’s mission is to connect and develop a global network of successful women business owners through working with international chambers of commerce and women’s business organizations. Headquartered in New York City, The IWEC Foundation’s reach encompasses women who are already in the global marketplace. Their ecosystem comprises over 47 chambers of commerce & women’s business organizations. The IWEC Foundation’s constituents represent some of the most influential businesswomen from the world’s most important emerging and established regions.
At the core of their work, they aim to recognize successful women business owners on a global scale. Each year IWEC’s chambers of commerce and women’s business affiliates choose successful women business owners from their network to honor and present them awards at their annual conference, which began in 2007 in Barcelona.
What This Award Means
The work we do is not for the accolades, the reason this award is so valuable is because of the platform, the pedestal, and the microphone the IWEC award offers. We are so passionate about the work that we do and making resource resilience a standard in all communities. We would do the work for free if we could. The IWEC recognition provides a platform that will amplify the awareness of our impact and the work of our partners around the world. For many in developing economies, access to international tools and resources is limited. Through our partnerships, we collaborate on the available solutions, organize collectively to access and implement those solutions, and then access funding and strategic finance to bring proven solutions to scale.
MK shared, “I have always yearned for women around the world to know the stories that I am privileged to see and experience – firsthand. I believe these stories of resilience and grit will beckon more people like me to come to the table to apply their toolkits – their expertise and their experience – to provide more people with the ability to transition from surviving to thriving. I know that pivot point quite well – it is from that place that empathy is born, and new tools are discovered.”
We are always looking for new partnerships and advisors to add to our network, if you’re interested in learning more about our work, please reach out. We’re excited for the future of MK Advisors and humbled to have received this recognition. You can catch us in Madrid, November 13 – 15 where we will be formally receiving the award. Join Us!