(November 3, 2016) Last week WEConnect International in Chile hosted its annual forum in Santiago. The event was well-attended by approximately 130 people including government officials, corporate representatives and women business owners. We had the pleasure of hosting Gonzalo Gebara from Walmart, Andrea Goya from Sodexo, Javier Macchi from EY and Lorena Parra from GSD/ Merck, on our corporate panel. Their contributions to the discussion highlighted the work that WEConnect International is doing in Chile and showcased their corporations’ commitment to supplier diversity. We also offered a matchmaking session where more than 50 women business owners were able to connect directly with buyers from Walmart, Sodexo, Pfizer, Monsanto, and GSD/Merck.
Additionally, WEConnect International shared the preliminary results of our IDRC-funded project, “Enhancing the growth of women-owned businesses in Latin America and the Caribbean by building on private sector initiatives: How to improve data collection to transform knowledge on women-owned businesses into impact.” During this exclusive round-table, 18 participants from Latin American (LATAM) governments, LATAM think tanks, the corporate sector and multilateral organizations commented on WEConnect International’s data regarding women-owned businesses. All participants acknowledged there is a real need for more research since understanding the space of women-owned business in Latin America is an urgent economic imperative for inclusive growth.
We thank the corporations that participated in this important event and we look forward to working with other corporations interested in expanding and enhancing their supplier diversity program in Chile!
In photo (left to right): Belisa de las Casas, Regional Director of Latin America at WEConnect International; Natalia Piergentili, Undersecretary of the Economy of Chile; and Elizabeth A. Vazquez, CEO and Co-Founder of WEConnect International.