The International Women Entrepreneurial Challenge was established in Barcelona in 2007, with the goal of connecting small & mid-size women business owners globally – those who are already in the global marketplace & want to expand or are ripe to get into the market and learn from other women leaders.  Also, an important aspect of IWEC awardees is their commitment to Corporate Social Responsibility programs in mentoring, board participation, community outreach, sustainability, etc.

The Barcelona Chamber of Commerce, Federation of Chambers of Commerce in India/FLO and Manhattan Chamber of Commerce originated this initiative along with The US State Department and all were quickly joined by The Cape Chamber of Commerce. Each year a new country/chamber is added to the roster and currently we have representation from chambers from countries such as: Spain, US, India, Sweden, Peru, Bolivia, Central Asian countries, Turkey, Pakistan, Afghanistan, Azerbaijan, South Africa and other African countries.  Each of the chambers may chose up to three awardees to participate annually. In addition, several women’s business associations & global business organizations are engaged with IWEC and also nominate one awardee: Women Presidents Organization, WeConnect International, Taiwan Women’s Entrepreneurs Association, International Trade Center, Association of Business Women from Serbia, Bahrain Business Women’s Society, and United Succes. The location of our 2018 Annual IWEC Conference will be on the campus headquarters of China Europe International Business School in Shanghai China from Sept. 9-12th. The theme is “Connecting Women Businesses Globally:  Discovering Opportunities in Asia.”

The awardees and chamber executives are invited to participate in the annual conference to receive their award and to network and share best practices.  Conferences to date have been held in Barcelona, New York City, New Delhi India, Cape Town South Africa, Lima Peru, Stockholm Sweden, Istanbul and Brussels, Belgium and Seattle, Washington/US.

Why should you apply?

If chosen, you have the opportunity to:

*gain further international recognition for your business

*network with potential strategic partners and clients

*share and learn from best practices to help your business grow globally

*share your corporate responsibility/mentorship programs and learn of others from awardees

*connect with a network of other awardees/chambers and be a part of the IWEC family

The Awards Criteria:

  • Must be a woman-owned, for-profit business and must be actively involved in importing or exporting goods or services or be a successful company ready to begin global business
  • Applicant must be majority stakeholder of the company (or if handed down through a family, a woman must be the president, CEO or managing director for at least three years) actively involved in the day-to-day running of the business
  • Business must be a for-profit entity in services or manufacturing (excluding performing arts)
  • Business must be in existence at least three years
  • Business must have a minimum annual revenue equivalent to US $1.5 millionApplicant agrees to be involved with IWEC by:
    •  becoming active participants in the IWEC network:
      • attending the annual conferences
      • participating in other activities designed to promote the goals of IWEC and your company
        • using local press & social media
        • inviting other successful women business owners to participate in the conferences
        • interacting with your chamber or woman’s group to promote the IWEC brand and network
        • making introductions to corporations to become IWEC Partners
        • potentially make a financial contribution to IWEC to support the organization’s growth or having your company become an IWEC partner
  • Company must be run ethically that express our values and standards that guide our conduct – must exhibit a commitment to honesty, fairness, objectivity and responsibility.
  • Must be able to attend the annual conference to accept the award.

Please email this application to: Nancy Ploeger

For more information, click 2018 IWEC Universal Awards Application



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