February 21, 2019


WEConnect International will partner with International Finance Corporation (IFC), a member of the World Bank Group, to host a Roundtable Session today in Johannesburg, South Africa entitled “Proven Strategies to Increase Women SME Access to Corporate Value Chains in Africa.” The roundtable is WEConnect International’s first joint event held in Africa with IFC since announcing its partnership in November of 2018. The IFC-WEConnect International partnership is financed by the Women Entrepreneurs Finance Initiative, or We-Fi.

“Global supplier diversity and inclusion is a key strategy for corporations seeking to meet the needs of an increasingly diverse customer base while also capitalizing on innovative local talent identified through gender-inclusive sourcing,” says WEConnect International CEO & Co-Founder, Elizabeth A. Vazquez.

The Roundtable brings together global leaders interested in supplier diversity and inclusion for an engaging discussion about regional and global efforts to close the gap in gender-inclusive sourcing and increase market opportunities for women business owners. Participants will join expert-led discussions, learn about the business case for gender-inclusive sourcing, and share best practices with industry peers.

Following this afternoon’s roundtable event, WEConnect International will host its Fourth Annual Conference in South Africa on Friday, February 22nd. The event focuses on ‘Collaborating for Business Growth” and brings together over 200 women-owned businesses, corporate members, and supplier diversity professionals.

To learn more about the Roundtable or Annual Conference, contact WEConnect International.

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.

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 2018, they delivered more than $23 billion in long-term financing for developing countries, leveraging the power of the private sector to end extreme poverty and boost shared prosperity. For more information, visit www.ifc.org.

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.