News

September 23, 2019

INTEGRATING WOMEN BUSINESS ENTERPRISES IN GLOBAL VALUE CHAINS 
8TH WECONNECT INTERNATIONAL ANNUAL FORUM IN MEXICO
WEDNESDAY, SEPTEMBER 25TH, 2019

 

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE      

MEXICO CITY, CDMX, September 20th, 2019 – A record number of large corporations will attend the 8th WEConnect International Annual Forum in Mexico on September 25th, 2019 at the Sheraton Maria Isabel hotel in Mexico City to engage with Mexican women-owned businesses to increase their access to global value chains.

September 10, 2019

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.

“We are thrilled that with our tremendous growth in 2019, we are able to welcome such successful and remarkable leaders to continue to strengthen and amplify our work and impact,” says WEConnect International CEO & Co-Founder Elizabeth A. Vazquez. “The combined talents of this team, along with our community of passionate stakeholders, has us poised for continued expansion as we work to connect our member buyers with women-owned businesses seeking access to local and global market opportunities.”

IMG 2283Katie Farhat is a fundraiser and global corporate social impact engagement specialist. Having started her career firmly in the publishing and ad-tech startup scene in NYC, she has spent the last 5 years building a network and experience focused at the intersection of storytelling and social impact. "I am grateful for the opportunity to work with cross-sector partners to drive growth for WEConnect International and help scale the movement to empower women entrepreneurs in global value chains," says Katie. "I look forward to leveraging my experience and passion for pioneering innovation in impact storytelling and stakeholder engagement alongside some of the world's most visible brands in the effort to accelerate impact in women's economic inclusion." Katie specializes in building business cases for consumer-facing advocacy and connecting corporate-supported initiatives with NGO campaigns.

 

patriciaBio 300x285Patricia Langan has served various leadership roles at Save the Children, International Youth Foundation, Making Cents International, and the consultancy Consulting for a Better World, where she has led strategy, capacity building, and fundraising for global and local non-profits, foundations, governments and corporations in Asia, the Middle East, Latin America, Africa, Europe, and the former Soviet Union. “I’ve met innovative and energetic women-owned businesses over 20 years working in Africa and the Middle East. Too few of them sell to global buyers or even to each other. Building on WEConnect International’s accomplishments in these dynamic economies, I look forward to working with WEConnect International staff, corporate members, women-owned businesses, and government partners to grow our footprint with quality so more women-owned businesses in Africa and the Middle East succeed in global value chains,” says Patricia.    

 

Stephanie Fontaine HeadshotStephanie Fontaine, A well-known leader in the supplier diversity community, has spent the last 6 years working closely with entrepreneurs, corporations, non- profit organizations, and government to increase procurement opportunities for diverse suppliers. As a business owner herself, Stephanie knows the importance a small gesture can make, and she has long been committed to empowering others through the sharing of knowledge and connections. Following a decade in the corporate world, where she held operations, sales, and procurement roles, Stephanie went on to assist some of North America’s largest corporations to fulfill their objective of a more diversified supply chain. “I’m thrilled to start this new journey with WEConnect International in Canada. It’s an amazing opportunity for me and my team to serve a community we know well and value tremendously. We have exciting plans for Canada and I invite all women-owned businesses, corporations, and partners to join forces with us and claim their role in this powerful global network,” says Stephanie.

 

MinnieSquareMrinalini Venkatachalam, has been a part of the WEConnect International team for over a year and with experience spanning over a decade, Mrinalini has worked to bridge the gap between unmet social needs and service providers, giving large corporations, government agencies, community organizations, and social enterprises the platform to create measurable social impact. “Women are a significant economic entrepreneurial force whose contributions to local, national, and global economies are far-reaching. I am honored to be given the opportunity to play a larger role in enabling women-owned businesses in Southeast Asia and Oceana to scale through structured market access,” says Mrinalini. Serving as a thought leader in the role gender equality plays in achieving a more sustainable world for everyone, the expansion of her role will help WEConnect International continue to build a strong infrastructure in Asia.

 

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.

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For media inquiries please contact:

Emily Coccia | Vice President of Marketing and Communications, WEConnect International | This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.

August 25, 2019

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE                                     Contact:  Emily Coccia

                                                                                  Phone:  1-202-810-6019

                                                                                  Email:  This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.

 

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.