June 24, 2020


ONLINE, June 24, 2020 — IFC, a member of the World Bank Group, partnered with WEConnect International to host a virtual roundtable on June 24: “COVID-19 Crisis Response: Strategies for Supporting Small and Medium Enterprise (SME) Suppliers in the LAC-Andean Region.” The roundtable is WEConnect International’s sixth joint event held with IFC since announcing its partnership in November of 2018. The IFC-WEConnect International partnership is financed by the Women Entrepreneurs Finance Initiative (We-Fi).

“We stand with women business owners during this crisis,” said Elizabeth A. Vazquez, CEO and Co-Founder of WEConnect International. “We look forward to supporting corporate representatives to come up with actionable strategies to support SMEs in the LAC-Andean region accessing corporate value chains.”

Corporate leaders learned about the impact of COVID-19 on corporate value chains at the event and shared strategies to support SME suppliers, including women, affected by the pandemic.

Findings on the WEConnect International global survey of 600 women-owned SMEs and 35 member buyers were explored, focusing specifically on solutions for the LAC region. Participants from corporations shared their successful strategies, challenges and plans to address the continuing crisis.

To learn more about the roundtable, contact Nicolas Picard.

About IFC
IFC—a sister organization of the World Bank and member of the World Bank Group—is the largest global development institution focused on the private sector in emerging markets. IFC works with more than 2,000 businesses worldwide, using their capital, expertise and influence to create markets and opportunities in the toughest areas of the world. In fiscal year 2019, IFC invested $19.1 billion, including $10.2 billion mobilized from other investors. IFC comprehensive approach helps businesses innovate, build internationally competitive industrial sectors and create better jobs. For more information, visit www.ifc.org.

About WEConnect International
WEConnect International helps women-owned businesses succeed in global value chains. It identifies, educates, registers 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 qualified member buyers. For more information, visit our website.

About We-Fi
The Women Entrepreneurs Finance Initiative (We-Fi) is a collaborative partnership among 14 governments (Australia, Canada, China, Denmark, Germany, Japan, the Netherlands, Norway, the Russian Federation, Saudi Arabia, Republic of Korea, the United Arab Emirates, the United Kingdom and the United States), eight multilateral development banks and other public and private stakeholders. Housed in the World Bank Group, We-Fi seeks to unlock billions of dollars in financing to tackle the full range of barriers facing women entrepreneurs—increasing access to finance, markets, technology and mentoring, while strengthening policy and legal and regulatory frameworks. For more information, visit www.we-fi.org.