WASHINGTON, DC, June 19, 2020 – The Women Entrepreneurs Finance Initiative (We-Fi) partnered with WEConnect International to enable 75 women-owned businesses from developing economies to participate in WEConnect’s International Day networking event.
The event, on June 22, brought together member buyers and certified women-owned businesses from all over the world. Due to the virtual nature of the event, WEConnect International provided greater access than ever before to networking and business coaching with procurement representatives and women business owners in Africa, Asia, Europe, the Americas and the Middle East. Lightning Talks were delivered by expert women business owners and corporate executives who delivered tips and tricks for adapting to today’s dynamic business environment.
“As we prepare for International Day, I would like to call on buyers, suppliers and strategic partners to step up for transformational change to rebuild global business for good as we emerge from the current pandemic crisis,” said Elizabeth A. Vazquez, CEO and Co-Founder of WEConnect International. “We know that companies and governments proactively investing in supplier diversity and inclusion will reap major dividends.”
The current pandemic will continue to challenge the global economy as buyers and suppliers shift from battling Coronavirus to recovery. Women-owned businesses will be a critical engine for economic growth and job creation.
Earlier this year, WEConnect International launched a COVID-19 Survey, with responses collected from almost 600 Women-Owned Businesses globally. Not surprisingly, 87 percent of those surveyed have been affected negatively by COVID-19 with 90 percent experiencing a decrease in sales and revenues. Many of them adjusted their products or services to remain relevant in the changing economic climate and are trying to secure financing so that they can stay operational. That challenging business climate and depreciating currencies meant the many women would not have been able to attend this important networking event without the support provided by We-Fi.
“In the midst of the coronavirus pandemic, as women entrepreneurs in the developing world find their hard-won gains eroding, we need to connect women-led businesses with corporations and investors to increase their chances not only to survive but also to emerge stronger from this crisis,” said Wendy Teleki, We-Fi Head. “We-Fi is therefore pleased to partner with WEConnect to support the inclusion of women entrepreneurs from emerging markets on its International Day. Rebuilding partnerships and connections will be key as we build a more equitable society which offers full economic opportunities to women.”
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 The Women Entrepreneurs Finance Initiative (We-Fi) is a multilateral partnership that supports women-led businesses (WSMEs) in developing countries. We-Fi’s partners include 14 donor governments, six multilateral development banks as implementing partners and numerous other stakeholders in the public and private sector around the world. https://we-fi.org/