How to Buy From Women and Change Our World

 Buying For Impact: How to Buy From Women and Change Our World 

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“In this age of participation, companies and governments are investing in women as a fundamental business and economic growth strategy. We can all work to enhance the power of women’s economic inclusion, whether we create a network of committed resources and expertise to tackle regional issues or leverage supply chains to expand market opportunities for women entrepreneurs. This book shares an astonishing collection of innovative applicable practices that companies, governments, and women entrepreneurs can take to decrease barriers and increase opportunities to expand women’s economic participation, ultimately allowing women to grow their incomes and contribute to the well-being of their families and all of society.”

– From the Foreword by Melanne S. Verveer, Ambassador-at-Large for Global Women’s Issues, U.S. Department of State


Table of Contents


Forward by Melanne S. Verveer

Prologue by Joan N. Kerr

Chapter One - The Power of Women

Chapter Two - The Potential of Women Business Owners

Chapter Three - Creating Shared Value through Supplier Diversity and Inclusion

Chapter Four - The Power of Corporations as Buyers

Chapter Five - The Power of Corporations as Catalysts

Chapter Six - The Power of Governments

Chapter Seven - The Power of the Development Community

Chapter Eight - Positioning Your Company for Sustainable Growth

Chapter Nine - How to Grow a Women’s Business Enterprise

Chapter Ten - Call to Action

About the Authors

Appendix - About WEConnect International






 About Authors

Elizabeth A. Vazquez is the President, CEO and Co-Founder of WEConnect International, a corporate led non-profit that helps to empower women business owners to succeed in global markets. She is a serial social entrepreneur and world leader in global supplier diversity and inclusion.

Ms. Vazquez is the co-author of a new book, “Buying for Impact, How to Buy from Women and Change Our World.” The book includes information on women business owners and ways to support and leverage their potential to create a more sustainable and inclusive global economy.

As the CEO of WEConnect International, Ms. Vazquez is responsible for the vision, mission delivery, organizational growth for impact, and partner development in every region of the world. The WEConnect International network is active in countries that represent over 50% of the world population, and the corporate network represents over US$700 billion in annual purchasing power.

WEConnect International Members are true pioneers in global supplier development and inclusion, with a clear interest in buying more from women's business enterprises: Accenture, Alcatel-Lucent, Apple, AT&T, Cisco Systems, Cummins, D.W. Morgan, Dell, Dun & Bradstreet, Ernst & Young, ExxonMobil, Full Circle Exchange, GlaxoSmithKline, Goldman Sachs, Hospira, HP, IBM, Interpublic, Johnson & Johnson, Johnson Controls, Manpower, Marriott International, Microsoft, Motorola Solutions, Pfizer, PG&E, Royal Bank of Scotland (RBS), Sodexo, The Boeing Company, The Coca-Cola Company, Verizon, Walmart, WellPoint, Wyndham Worldwide, etc.

Ms. Vazquez sits on several Boards of Directors, including the Global Banking Alliance for Women, is an Advisor to the Clinton Global Initiative, and is a Member of the U.S. Department of State’s International Council on Women’s Business Leadership Subcommittee on Access to Markets. She has been a speaker and conducted trainings in numerous countries on globalization, value chains, international trade, diversity and inclusion, social sustainability, women's entrepreneurship, technology, and corporate and government sourcing policies and practices.

As CEO and Co-Founder of TradeBuilders, Ms. Vazquez works with corporate and government leaders on Internet-based “Virtual Trade Missions” and other trade events in countries such as Canada, Chile, Cyprus, India, Israel, Germany, Malaysia, Singapore, the UK and the U.S.

As the former Executive Director of Quantum Leaps, a global non-profit dedicated to the growth of women owned businesses, Ms. Vazquez received the WBENC Applause Award for exceptional accomplishments that expand opportunities for women's business enterprises.

Ms. Vazquez has been interviewed by NPR, BusinessWeek, Washington Post, Wall Street Journal, Forbes, DiversityInc, IndustryWeek, Women in the World, Kiplinger, Talk America Radio, Darshan TV, WomensRadio, Washington Business Journal, EY "Groundbreakers", Toronto Globe & Mail, India Abroad, Supply & Demand Chain Executive, My Purchasing Center, MBE Magazine, and many other media outlets.

Ms. Vazquez was born in Mexico and has a Master of Arts in Law and Diplomacy from the Fletcher School at Tufts University, where she studied development economics and international negotiation as a Woodrow Wilson Fellow. She also completed graduate seminars at Harvard Law School and the Kennedy School of Government, the Heinz School of Public Policy and Management at Carnegie Mellon University, and Sookmyung Women’s University in South Korea.



Andrew J. Sherman is a Partner at the global law firm of Jones Day. He focuses his practice on issues affecting business growth for companies at all stages, including developing strategies to leverage intellectual property and technology assets, as well as international corporate transactional and franchising matters.

He has served as a legal and strategic advisor to dozens of Fortune 500 companies and hundreds of emerging-growth companies. For over 25 years, he has worked with companies in the areas of strategic planning, growth strategies, distribution channels, technology development, and mergers and acquisitions.

He has written over twenty books on the legal and strategic aspects of business growth, franchising, capital formation, and the leveraging of intellectual property. He also has published many articles on similar topics and is a frequent keynote speaker at business conferences, seminars, and webinars. He has appeared as a guest commentator on CNN, NPR, and CBS News Radio, among others, and has been interviewed on legal topics by the Wall Street Journal, USA Today, Forbes, U.S. News & World Report, and other publications.

He has served as an adjunct professor in the MBA programs at the University of Maryland for over 25 years and at Georgetown University for over 15 years.