The International Women's Entrepreneurial Challenge (IWEC) Hosts 9th Annual Conference In Brussels, Nov. 6-9, Celebrating Outstanding Global Businesswomen

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The Brussels Enterprise Commerce & Industry welcomed a group of successful women entrepreneurs from Africa, Asia, Europe, Middle East, Australia and North and South America to celebrate the Ninth Annual International Women's Entrepreneurial Challenge Conference (IWEC) on November 6-9th. Every year, IWEC recognizes the breakthroughs, achievements and thought leadership of women business owners from across the globe, and this year they will present awards to 42 successful women entrepreneurs from 21 countries.

The industries represented by the awardees include computer software, manufacturing, agricultural business, waste management, engineering, health services, skin care, travel, shipping and freight forwarding, education and many other enterprises. The firms led by these women and past IWEC awardees account for over US$25 billion dollars in combined revenue, with over 125,000 employees worldwide. During the conference, they will engage other business women, chambers and past awardees for trade, networking and business opportunities.
This year’s honorees hail from The Netherlands, Peru, Spain, South Africa, the United States, India, Turkey, Iran, Jordan, Pakistan, Zimbabwe, Azerbaijan, Taiwan, Canada, Colombia, Nigeria, Bahrain, Bangladesh, The Philippines, Sweden and Belgium.

IWEC’s mission is to develop a global business network for successful women business owners, helping them gain and expand access to international markets by presenting a platform for the exchange of knowledge, experience, connectivity and to promote dialogue among women entrepreneurs and business leaders throughout the world.

This year’s conference theme is “Connecting Women Businesses Globally: Building a Viable Future”. The conference will feature welcome remarks by BECI and IWEC’s leadership, several keynote speakers including Cristina Gallach, UN Under-Secretary-General for Communications and Public Information, panel discussions on the challenges facing global women’s entrepreneurship and ways to influence and increase growth in women’s business, and corporate social responsibility, among other key topics. The conference will end with an extended tour of Brussels and Bruges, to showcase the many attractions and the beauty of the country.

United States Awardee: Beatriz (Betty) Manetta, President & CEO of Argent Associates, Inc., and Asociar LLC . “I am very pleased to be accepting the 2016 IWEC Award at the conference in Brussels. I am looking forward to learning more about the challenges and successes of other women business owners from all over the world. Also, I am hoping to make new business contacts and wonderful new friends,” said Ms. Manetta. Manetta serves on the board of the US Hispanic Chamber of Commerce (USHCC), Greater Dallas Hispanic Chamber of Commerce, the Women’s Business Council Southwest, and the Dallas/Fort Worth Minority Supplier Development Council. These Chambers and Councils enable our Women Entrepreneurs to succeed and grow in their respective business field. They provide the access, the tools and the support that women entrepreneurs need as we continue to highlight the strength of women in business, especially the work they do to support their communities.

The International Women’s Entrepreneurial Challenge Foundation (IWEC) is a 501c (3) registered nonprofit organization based in New York City. As a global initiative, it provides networking, educational and mentoring opportunities for successful female business owners helping them gain and expand access to international markets. IWEC’s work is supported by the U.S. Department of State.

IWEC understands that providing access, resources, and support to help enable the success of female entrepreneurs is key to ensuring women’s economic participation, driving global economic growth, and closing the gender gap. Therefore, it presents a worldwide forum for the exchange of knowledge, experience, and connectivity among women business owners, setting the stage for new opportunities and joint ventures, and promoting social dialog among women entrepreneurs and business leaders
More information on IWEC can be found online at Follow IWEC on Twitter: @iwecawards. Learn more about The Brussels Commerce and Industry (BECI) at

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Hilda Rayas

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