WEConnect International Hosts First Business Forum in Costa Rica for Women Business Owners

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WEConnect International collaborates with the Inter-American Development Bank (IDB) and Walmart to support more inclusive global value chains.

Our work with the IDB in Latin America is evidence of a growing movement in support of women business owners and their access to markets.

Female entrepreneurship around the world has been experiencing positive growth. To support and strengthen the capacity of women to grow and create wealth and jobs as business owners in Costa Rica, WEConnect International is expanding its local efforts by identifying, certifying and facilitating connection with corporations interested in sourcing from women-owned businesses. WEConnect International is a nonprofit organization with a corporate network representing over US$700 billion in annual purchasing power.

The first business forum of WEConnect International in Costa Rica was held on December 7th, from 08:30 to 12:30 hrs. The forum included international experts, top executives of multinational corporations and small and medium size women-owned companies. Multinational corporations such as Walmart, IBM, HP, and UPS participated in the event.

With support from the Inter-American Development Bank (IDB), Walmart and other local partners, WEConnect International plans to support more than 600 women entrepreneurs in Chile, Costa Rica and Peru in order to facilitate their integration into value chains and their access to larger markets.

The IDB office in Costa Rica highlights the importance of women entrepreneurs accessing global markets. "These networks are used by women to strengthen their ability to grow as business owners. Certainly, female entrepreneurship will continue to rise to share experiences among themselves and to be contacted with large corporations or government agencies."

Elizabeth A. Vazquez, CEO and Co-Founder of WEConnect International noted, "Our work with the IDB in Latin America is evidence of a growing movement in support of women business owners and their access to markets. We know that when women start and grow businesses they create jobs, help the economy and improve communities."

About WEConnect International
WEConnect International, a corporate-led non-profit, helps build sustainable communities and economic growth by empowering women business owners to succeed in global markets. WEConnect International has since 2009 provided certification, resources, mentoring, and peer and corporate connections to businesses based outside the United States that are at least 51 percent owned, managed and controlled by one or more women. WEConnect International corporate members represent $700 billion in annual purchasing power and are true pioneers in inclusive sourcing and global supplier development: Accenture, Alcatel-Lucent, AT&T, Boeing, Cisco, Coca-Cola, Cummins, D.W. Morgan, Dell, Dun & Bradstreet, Ernst & Young, ExxonMobil, Full Circle Exchange, GlaxoSmithKline, Goldman Sachs, HP, Hospira, IBM, Intel, Interpublic Group, Johnson Controls, Johnson & Johnson, Manpower, Marriott International, Microsoft, Motorola Solutions, Pfizer, PG&E, RBS, Verizon, Walmart and WellPoint. Learn more at http://www.WEConnectInternational.org

About the IDB
The IDB is the main source of multilateral financing and expertise for sustainable economic, social and institutional development in Latin America and the Caribbean. The IDB Group is composed of the Inter-American Development Bank, the Inter-American Investment Corporation (IIC) and the Multilateral Investment Fund (MIF). The IIC focuses on support for small and medium-sized businesses, while the MIF promotes private sector growth through grants and investments, with an emphasis on microenterprise.

Partnering with clients, the IDB seeks to eliminate poverty and inequality, and promotes sustainable economic growth. The Bank supports clients in the design of projects, and provides financing, technical assistance and knowledge services to support development interventions. The IDB focuses on empirical evidence for making decisions and measuring the impact of this project to increase its development effectiveness.

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Rebecca Hamilton
WEConnect International
+1 202 419 3186
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