Launches #Rise2theChallenge Campaign on International Women’s Day

WASHINGTON, DC, March 8, 2021—In honor of International Women’s Day, WEConnect International kicks off its #Rise2theChallenge campaign that urges its 110+ multinational buying organizations to publicly commit to a specific spend target or relevant project to advance opportunities for women-owned businesses around the world.

WEConnect International’s 110+ members include large corporate, multilateral and government organizations that collectively source over $1 trillion worth of products and services annually. The #Rise2theChallenge campaign gives members one year to set their commitment level.

WEConnect International will track, aggregate, and share the commitment amounts periodically throughout the year and celebrate the final amounts next year on International Women’s Day, March 8, 2022.

“Women represent a third of the world’s private businesses, are half the population and they make or influence 85 percent of all purchasing decisions,” said Elizabeth A. Vazquez, CEO and Co-Founder of WEConnect International, a non-profit that helps women-owned businesses compete in the global marketplace by connecting them with large organizations that can buy their products and services. “We must all act with urgency to connect more buyers with women suppliers and measure our impact and share the quantifiable, bold actions that will yield results for decades to come.”

WEConnect International research has documented that while one-third of all privately owned businesses in the world are owned by women, those same businesses earn less than one percent of large corporate and government spend with suppliers on average globally.

“We recognize the massive market failure that makes women invisible as suppliers in global value chains.  We also know it can be fixed with long-term vision, leadership, and courage because it’s a smart business decision for our members that know women will be the dominant source of economic growth in the near future,” said Vazquez. “Although increasing from one percent of global supplier spend to two percent seems small, it will make a multi-billion dollar difference for organizations that spend $20 billion or more annually with suppliers. Imagine the multiplier effect that could occur with numerous large buyers accepting the challenge.”

According to research on gender parity in business conducted by several organizations:

The #Rise2theChallenge campaign focuses on women’s economic empowerment to accelerate progress toward the United Nation’s Sustainable Development Goal (SDG) 5 of Gender Equality.

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 110 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 120 countries. WEConnect International 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. WEConnect International provides certification in almost 50 countries that represent over 60 percent of the world’s population.

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