August 24, 2018


SINGAPORE — 13 August 2018

WEConnect International is pleased to announce that its Women’s Business Enterprise (WBE) Certification is now available in Singapore to women-owned businesses that are ready to scale and grow in global value chains. WBE Certification offers a formal verification for businesses that are at least 51% owned, managed, and controlled by one or more women. WEConnect International’s certification is recognized by its 80 corporate members, primarily Fortune 500 companies, that have committed to sourcing more from women-owned businesses globally. These corporations represent over $1 trillion in annual purchasing power.

On August 23, 2018, WEConnect International will publicly launch in Singapore with an event hosted at the American Chamber of Commerce and sponsored by WEConnect International corporate members ExxonMobil and Johnson & Johnson.

“Across the globe, women continue to earn, on average, less than one percent of the money spent on suppliers by large corporations and governments,” says WEConnect International CEO & Co-Founder Elizabeth Vazquez. “Our coalition of global partners, government allies, corporate members, and women business owners are integral to bridging that gap.”

According to studies*, 27% of business owners in Singapore are women and, while local women entrepreneurs have the potential to boost the economy and create more than 170,000 jobs in four years’ time, Singapore is missing out on a potential boost to the economy by not addressing the challenges facing women who want to start a business.

“Big market opportunities are often kept behind closed doors in the private sector,” says Cecile Gauthier from Lime Agency, Singapore’s first WEConnect International certified Women’s Business Enterprise, “With WEConnect International working hand in hand with large corporations to pave the way for women owned businesses, not only do we have the platform to showcase our services to important potential markets, but large corporates also have the avenue to get access to new vendors, integrating quality services and the agility of smaller structures.”

“Supplier Diversity is important for Johnson & Johnson,” says Vincent Mous, Senior Regional Director for J&J. “It reflects our credo: supporting our communities, and also is good for business in bringing in diverse ideas and capabilities.”

ExxonMobil’s Global Sustainable Procurement Manager, Nancy Swartout, noted, “ExxonMobil joined WEConnect International in 2011 and they have become a strategic partner in our efforts to engage with women owned businesses globally. ExxonMobil has found that having an inclusive and diverse supplier base brings value to our business. ExxonMobil has significant operations in Singapore and we are excited that WEConnect International will help connect us to these women entrepreneurs.”

To attend the launch event and for other media enquiries, please contact Mrinalini Venkatachalam: mVenkatachalam@weconnectinternational.org (+65 81235818)

About WEConnect International

WEConnect International is a global network that works with multinational corporations and multilateral organizations to generate market-access opportunity for women’s business enterprises in over 100 countries. Visit the website here.

* Mastercard Index of Women Entrepreneurs (MIWE) 2018 and 2017 study conducted by Development Economics and YouGov on behalf of Facebook