(March 31, 2017) Michael Sheldrick, Global Director of Policy and Advocacy at the Global Poverty Project at Global Citizen, announced Laura Patiño Mejia as the winner of the Greatest Social Impact Award at the inaugural WEConnect International Gala on March 30, in Washington, DC. The award recognizes WEConnect International certified women businesses owners that have incorporated some form of social impact into their business models. Ana Guevara, Director for WEConnect International in Colombia, accepted the award on Laura’s behalf.
Laura has distinguished herself as an entrepreneur and leader, recognized for the social impact that her agri-business, Picados San Juan, has achieved by helping to revitalize a rural area once decimated by armed conflict and violence from 1998-2005. Her company provides natural, fresh produce while also creating employment and entrepreneurship opportunities for the most vulnerable segments of
the population. Today, her business proudly employs 53 people including 40 people who were previously displaced and 25 single moms.
Laura secured her WEConnect International certification in 2015 with guidance from Ana Guevara, who leads WEConnect International’s efforts in Colombia. With extensive experience in international trade and development, Ana is a respected figure in both government and business sectors and has been vital to growing WEConnect International’s network in Colombia.