March 20, 2019

(New York, NY)—WEConnect International announced today that they will be partnering with UN Women to support the implementation of the flagship program Stimulating Equal Opportunities for Women Entrepreneurs. The flagship aims to create both a demand for goods and services supplied by women-owned businesses by fostering gender-responsive public and private procurement, and a robust supply by addressing the gender gap in access to entrepreneurial skills and finance.

UN Women and WEConnect International will anchor their joint work in the Women’s Empowerment Principles to increase the number of signatories, and to also integrate signatories into WEConnect International’s corporate members’ supply chains. Additionally, UN Women and WEConnect International will promote gender-responsive procurement so companies source more from women’s enterprises to enable their growth.

WEConnect International CEO and Co-Founder, Elizabeth A. Vazquez, met with United Nations Under-Secretary-General and Executive Director of UN Women, Phumzile Mlambo, at the UN Headquarters on Friday to formally sign the Memorandum of Understanding. The signing ceremony capped off the first week of the 63rd Commission on the Status of Women, the UN’s largest gathering on gender equality.

“WEConnect International was founded on a vision to create a world in which women have an equal opportunity to generate wealth and drive the sustainable prosperity of their communities,” says Vazquez. “Together with UN Women, our partnership will continue to support women’s business enterprises by generating market-access opportunities that help level the global playing field and close the gap in gender-inclusive sourcing.”

WEConnect International and UN Women have a history of collaboration on the UN Secretary-General’s High-Level Panel on Women’s Economic Empowerment where Mlambo and Vazquez served as members. The work of WEConnect International further supports the mandate of UN Women to support the Women’s Economic Empowerment Principles and advance the achievement of the Sustainable Development Goals 5 and 8.

WEConnect International

WEConnect International is a corporate-led, global non-profit organization that helps women-owned businesses succeed in global value chains. WEConnect International identifies, educates, registers, and certifies women's business enterprises based outside of the U.S. and then connects them with large buyers.  WEConnect International members represent over US$1 trillion in annual purchasing power and a commitment to supplier development and inclusive sourcing. The result is a network of corporate buyers working with women business owners based in over 100 countries that are learning, collaborating and winning new business.

UN Women

UN Women is the United Nations entity dedicated to gender equality and the empowerment of women. A global champion for women and girls, UN Women was established to accelerate progress on meeting their needs worldwide.  UN Women is the host of the Women’s Empowerment Principles Secretariat, which is responsible for coordinating the 2,000 + signatories and offering knowledge products and actional recommendations so companies can implement the Principles.

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Sarah Priddy

WEConnect International

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