WASHINGTON, DC, September 10, 2019 – WEConnect International is delighted to announce the appointment of four new senior members of our growing global team of experts: Katie Farhat as the Vice President of Development, Patricia Langan as the Regional Director for Africa and the Middle East, Stephanie Fontaine as the Country Director for Canada, and Mrinalini Venkatachalam as the Regional Director for Southeast Asia and Oceana.
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE Contact: Emily Coccia
USAID AWARDS W-GDP GRANT TO WECONNECT INTERNATIONAL
Leveraging Digital Technology to Connect Women Business Owners to Markets for Inclusive Trade and Sustainable Economic Impact Grant
WASHINGTON, DC, August 26, 2019 – WEConnect International has partnered with USAID, SAP Ariba, Accenture, ExxonMobil Corporation, IBM, and the Procter & Gamble Company to leverage technology to help realize the commitment of the private sector to increase corporate spend with women-owned businesses around the world. This grant is part of the United States Women’s Global Development and Prosperity or W-GDP Initiative.
Recognizing the potential of women to help drive inclusive economic growth, the partnership will increase market access opportunities for women-owned businesses through the co-creation of a new global technology platform that will make it easier for buyers to find women suppliers, especially in developing countries.
Over the next three years, this new platform will not only make it easier for WEConnect International member buyers and sellers to find and connect with each other, women business owners will also be able to access relevant business opportunities and other critical business resources, partner networks, business tools, and training on how to scale and, in turn, grow their local economies.
“This exciting new partnership will help to ensure more women business owners in developing countries can leverage technology to access new markets and increase their local and global impact,” says Elizabeth A. Vazquez, CEO and Co-Founder of WEConnect International. “This Global Development Alliance with USAID, SAP Ariba, Accenture, ExxonMobil, IBM, and Procter & Gamble demonstrates the power of public-private partnerships in support of women’s economic empowerment and inclusive growth.”
About WEConnect International
WEConnect International helps women-owned businesses succeed in global value chains. It identifies, educates, and certifies women's business enterprises based outside of the U.S. that are at least 51% owned, managed, and controlled by one or more women, and then connects them with member 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 115 countries that are learning, collaborating and winning new business.
On June 24, 2019, WEConnect International hosted its 7th annual International Day, the only U.S.-based event for WEConnect International’s global partners to come together to network and actively source from each other.
In a sold-out room of over 250 attendees, the event kicked off the Women’s Business Enterprise National Council’s National Conference and Business Fair, which was attended by over 4,000 convention-goers.
International Day brought together over 80 corporate representatives representing 41 of the world’s largest corporations dedicated to inclusive sourcing, including expanding value chain opportunities to women-owned businesses.
For women’s business enterprises (WBEs) that are certified by WEConnect International (51% or more women-owned, managed, and controlled), the most important part of the day is the matchmaking session where they get to pitch their business face-to-face with large buyers.
One certified WBE noted to WEConnect International, “We got 20 corporate follow-ups from your event and another 33 from the WBENC business fair. So, it was a super, successful event for us.”
During its invitation-only corporate member meeting, WEConnect International’s global team shared the latest news from the organization’s work in Argentina, Australia, Bangladesh, Brazil, Canada, Chile, China, Colombia, India, Indonesia, Japan, Mexico, Nigeria, Peru, Singapore, South Africa, Turkey and several countries in Europe.
The event would not have been possible without the support of Intel, Johnson & Johnson, UPS, Marriott International, Freeport McMoRan, Bristol-Myers-Squibb, GlaxoSmithKline, Global Affairs Canada, Adient, and ExxonMobil. Through their long-time commitment and support, WEConnect International is able to put more money in the hands of women around the world to enhance communities and expand impact.
Take a look at the event's photo album.