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The WE Empower UN SDG Challenge

The WE Empower UN SDG Challenge is the first-of-its-kind global competition for women social entrepreneurs who are advancing the UN Sustainable Development Goals and inspiring entire communities to act to create the world we want by 2030. The WE Empower Challenge honors innovative women leaders from around the world who are pushing the SDGs forward through sustainable business practices and inspiring others to follow suit. The opportunity recognizes their innovative work and provides Awardees with capacity-building training sessions and opportunities to connect with an unparalleled global network to advance their enterprises. This program elevates and showcases the valuable contribution women entrepreneurs and business leaders can make toward the SDGs and solving the world’s greatest challenges.

In 2021, the WE Empower Challenge Awardees will participate in events surrounding the 76th UN General Assembly as well as will connect with renowned business experts from around the world. Awardees will also participate in a dynamic pitch competition, hosted by fashion designer, activist and Vital Voices Board Member Diane von Furstenberg, to present their business for the opportunity to receive a $20,000 grant.

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Our Objectives

Honor

Honor innovative women entrepreneurs who are supporting and achieving the SDGs through sustainable business practices and inspiration for others to follow suit.

Invest

Invest in the most inspiring and transformational women entrepreneurs – providing access to seed capital, unique trainings, capacity building, a network of their peers, visibility and credibility for their work.

Ignite

Ignite awareness among a global community of stakeholders of the valuable contribution women entrepreneurs can make in contributing to the SDGs and the obstacles they still face.

Our Partners

A special thank you to WE Empower lead partners for generous support of the UN SDG Challenge!

  • ASU
  • Bank of America
  • BMO
  • GroYourBiz
  • Hawaii Tropical Bioreserve and Garden
  • Mary Kay
  • P&G
  • Saїd Business School,
    University of Oxford
  • Salesforce
  • UN Foundation
  • Vital Voices
  • World Bank

Latest News

Marisol Villalobos' eco-friendly agribusiness was inspired by a simple breadfruit

Marisol Villalobos' eco-friendly agribusiness was inspired by a simple breadfruit

“I dare you to begin. And to connect with other dreamers in action.” —Marisol Villalobos, founder of Amasar Marisol Villalobos, founder of Amasar, Puerto Rico 2021 WE Empower Finalist, Latin America & the Caribbean Marisol Villalobos discusses her regenerative agribusiness, spotlighting the bountiful Breadfruit and its impressive nutritional qualities that help support local food security, along with empowering...

Olufunto Boroffice leading innovative company allowing vulnerable communities to recycle waste and make a sustainable livelihood

Olufunto Boroffice leading innovative company allowing vulnerable communities to recycle waste and make a sustainable livelihood

"At Chanja Datti we promote and sustain the rights of our women in their communities and their homes by providing a means for financial freedom.” — Olufunto Boroffice, founder and CEO of Chanja Datti Olufunto Boroffice Founder and CEO, Chanja Datti Ltd Nigeria 2021 WE Empower Awardee, Sub-Saharan Africa The challenges of poverty, gender inequality and the...

WE Empower winners recognized for innovations in flood mapping technology

WE Empower winners recognized for innovations in flood mapping technology

Deadly floods have been submerging towns and cities across the globe, washing away people’s livelihoods and raising questions about why there are still so many people dying from catastrophic floods in 2021. Even in the Valley of the Sun, phones buzz with flash flood warnings as many roads and parks sit under feet of water during...

Global Goals Week

Alyse Nelson, President and CEO of Vital Voices Global Partnership, and Amanda Ellis, Executive Director for Hawaii and Asia-Pacific with ASU’s Global Institute of Sustainability and Innovation and former UN Ambassador for New Zealand, welcome the 2019 winners of the WE Empower Challenge to New York City for United Nations Global Goals Week.

WE Empower at United Nations Global Goals Week

Highlights from the 2018 launch event with the UN Secretary General, President of the World Bank and High Commission for Human Rights.