Council on Scaling Women-owned Businesses

A new report by the Council on Scaling Women-Owned Businesses has found breaking down barriers to new markets and capital is essential for women-owned businesses to survive and thrive.


How to Rebuild Global Business for Gooda special report underwritten by Moody’s Corporation and TD Bank Group and led by WEConnect International, identifies a key insight into the ecosystem of support for women business owners. It outlines a global strategy to support inclusive economic growth during and after COVID-19 by leveraging the power of women-owned businesses as innovators and job creators.

According to the report, when women succeed as business owners because of better access to both markets and capital, everyone benefits – employees, families, communities and the global economy:

  • Small and growing women-owned businesses are one of the most significant drivers of innovation and job growth in both developed and emerging markets.
  • When women gain access to finance and increase their sales, they invest their income in better health, welfare and education for their households and communities.
  • Closing the gender disparity gap would add trillions of dollars to global GDP.
  • The report details approaches to help women-owned businesses grow by reducing existing barriers and improving economic empowerment through data disaggregation, strategic partnerships, procurement opportunities, financing opportunities, research and education.

More business education and knowledge sharing will also reduce risk bias against women business owners, improve inclusive investing and inclusive sourcing practices and minimize market-level social, legal, political and tech barriers, the report found.

“Connecting access to markets with access to capital was identified by Council members as a major pain point for growth-oriented women-owned businesses. Stakeholders must work together to tackle both critical challenges at the same time if we want to rebuild global business for good,” said Elizabeth A. Vazquez, CEO and Co-Founder of WEConnect International.


Reshape Tomorrow

Reshape TomorrowTM is a global financial inclusion initiative for small business owners to promote greater prosperity and opportunity at every level of the market. WEConnect International is partnering with Moody’s Foundation to further its mission. Through dedicated programs to build business owners’ capacity to finance their growing businesses from right where they are, Reshape Tomorrow is advancing women business owners around the world.

Read More

Council member insights

We invite you to explore the insights provided by Council members on the work of the Council and the relevance of supplier diversity and inclusion.

Watch the videos

Council Members

Subject matter experts have dedicated their time to serve on the Council in order to build a global strategy to address the linkages between access to markets and access to capital.

Julie Baker

Head of Enterprise and Community Finance

Natwest Group & RBS

Emily Bishop

Responsible Sourcing & Supplier Diversity Lead


Harvey Butler

Global Head of Supplier Diversity


Laura Didyk

Vice President and National Lead, Women Entrepreneurs, Business Development


Javette Hines

Director, SC Supplier Senior Group Manager and Head of Supply Chain Development, Inclusion and Sustainability


Arlene Isaacs-Lowe, Council Chair

Global Head of Corporate Social Responsibility and President, Moody’s Foundation


Mary Ellen Iskenderian

President and CEO

Women's World Banking

William Kapfer

Global Head of Supplier Diversity

JP Morgan Chase

Kathryn Kaufman

Managing Director for Global Women’s Issues

U.S. International Development Finance Corporation

Charlotte Keenan

Head of the Office of Corporate Engagement International and Global Head of 10,000 Women

Goldman Sachs

Heather Mae Kipnis

Entrepreneurship Lead, Gender Business Group

International Finance Group

Rachael McKenzie

National Manager Business Initiatives, SME Banking & Connect Now

Westpac Business Bank

Anoushka Mehta

Head of Gender Lens Finance, Americas & Global Relationship Banker, Public Sector


Inez Murray

Chief Executive Officer

Financial Alliance for Women

Charlotte Nellist

Vice President, Head of Global Contract Strategy and Execution

American Express

Sandra Orgu

Gender Specialist

Access Bank PLC

Michal Pillay

Supplier Diversity Manager

Absa Group Limited

Chantal Pitre

National Manager, Women Entrepreneurs

TD Bank Group

Berna Tüzüner

Senior Manager, Women Banking Development

Turkish Economy Bank

Elizabeth A. Vazquez

CEO and Co-Founder

WEConnect International

Have more questions?

Emily Coccia

Vice President of Special Projects