Washington, DC
June 30, 2022

WEConnect International Announces Its “Rise to the Challenge” Award Winners

Top Prize Awarded to Brazil’s Stoyan Energia Solar

Washington, D.C., June 30, 2022—WEConnect International announced the winners of its annual “Rise to the Challenge” Global Awards as part of its 2022 International Day, focusing on inclusive trade. This year’s “Rise to the Challenge” awards recognize those women-owned businesses that presented the most compelling stories of overcoming challenges to gaining market access—going beyond borders and breaking down barriers. There were nine sector winners from which the top global winner was chosen.

The top prize went to Brazil’s Stoyan Energia Solar for its pioneering transformation of solar energy around the world since 1998. Stoyan Energia Solar designs, facilitates and installs specialized photovoltaic solar energy solutions for clients across Brazil and Chile, as well as exports its panels to the United States. Stoyan Energia Solar also gives back to local communities by bringing power to those with limited access. As the winner, the company receives US$5,000 in cash and global exposure through a new WEConnect International advertising campaign. Stoyan Energia Solar also won the Sustainable Business and Energy Sector Award sponsored by Unilever.

“We are excited that this year’s global award winner is an innovative business that has gone beyond borders and broken-down barriers in such a stellar way,” shared Elizabeth A. Vazquez, CEO & Co-Founder of WEConnect International. “Stoyan Energia Solar and its CEO Catia Stoyan represent the balance of for-profit sustainable corporate solutions and the prioritization of giving back to disadvantaged communities that inspires our community of women-owned businesses and member buyers.”

The ceremony took place during International Day, WEConnect International’s premier global event of the year, designed to bring its certified and registered women-owned businesses together with its global member buyers for business learning and networking.

“We are honored to receive this award from WEConnect International,” exclaimed Stoyan. “Our company has grown at an annual rate of 25% since 2020, and we are looking to expand across Latin America. I believe that this recognition will help fast-track the process.”

Almost 200 women-business owners engaged in international trade applied for the nine sector awards—twice as many as applied last year. A jury of representatives from four of the world’s largest buying organizations assessed the video applications.

The winners of the other sector awards are:

  • Aliet Green (Indonesia) received the Agriculture, Food and Beverage Award presented by Bayer for its sustainable production of organic coconut sugar with novel technologies.
  • Extra Dimensions (Kenya) received the Engineering Award presented by ExxonMobil for its initiative to improve access to finance for women-owned businesses in engineering solutions and services.
  • SuperSeva Global Services (India) received the Facilities Management Award presented by CBRE for reaching global markets by tapping WEConnect International’s network to learn compliance requirements of global companies; this resulted in an HR outsourcing contract with a corporate client.
  • MAS Global Consulting (Colombia) received the Information Technology Award presented by Cisco for its agile software development and digital services tapping talent across Latin America.
  • Shanghai Qinghe (China) received the Manufacturing Award presented by Merck for its innovative use of artificial intelligence to develop photographic body measuring systems to cut the cost and time it takes to manufacture professional uniform supplies.
  • Dongguan Qsun Industries (China) received the Packaging Award presented by WEConnect International for its development of eco-friendly packaging for the high-end beauty industry.
  • E Waste Social (India) received the Supply Chain/Healthcare Award presented by Organon for its technology platform that ensures no garbage is dumped without first being recycled, thereby providing optimal resource management to sustainable cities around the world.
  • Stoyan Energia Solar (Brazil) received the Sustainable Business and Energy Award presented by Unilever for its creative use of battery driven solar power to bring electricity to remote regions.
  • Alisan Logistics (Turkey) received the Transportation and Logistics Award presented by UPS for its development of pioneering methods to dispose of hazardous materials without environmental damage.

In addition to the awards ceremony, WEConnect International’s 12-hour virtual event featured business networking activities, trainings and panel discussions with leading experts from around the world providing practical guidance and tips on international trade and business growth for attendees based in 34 countries.

About WEConnect International

WEConnect International is a member-led, global non-profit that brings motivated, large corporate, multilateral and government buyers together with qualified women-owned suppliers around the world. It works with over 160 multinational buying organizations, with over $1 trillion in annual purchasing power combined, that have committed to sourcing more products and services from women-owned businesses based in over 135 countries. WEConnect International identifies, educates, registers and certifies women’s business enterprises that are at least 51% owned, managed and controlled by one or more women. WEConnect International provides Women Business Enterprise certification in over 55 countries that represent 70% of the world’s population.

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