WEAmericas Initiative

June 6, 2018

 

The Women Entrepreneurs in the Americas (WEAmericas) International Visitor Leadership Program (IVLP) is ECA’s flagship initiative for women entrepreneurs from the Western Hemisphere.  The State Department launched WEAmericas in 2012 to support women’s economic advancement in the Hemisphere.  Since its founding, the program has brought more than 140 women from 25 Latin American and Caribbean countries to the United States to hone their leadership abilities and entrepreneurial skills, build networks, and create strategies for successful enterprises.  This year’s WEAmericas program will take place from September 23 to October 11.

Since their participation in the IVLP, WEAmericas program alumni have expanded their businesses, opened new U.S. and global markets, received business leadership awards, and participated in Global Entrepreneurship Summits. The ties they have forged with other entrepreneurs and with business organizations and networks in their countries and across borders have enabled them to continue advancing their own enterprises and those of other women in their communities.

Among their crowning achievements is the WEAmericas NGO, which alumni launched in Santiago, Chile, in 2016. Its Mujeres Apoyan Mujeres (Women Assisting Women) tool helps empower women in the workplace by providing mentoring services and networking and marketing opportunities. The WEAmericas NGO is organizing a summit in Merida, Yucatan State, Mexico, on September 26-27, 2019. The NGO is collaborating with the U.S. Consulate, the Yucatan State government, and the Yucatan Entrepreneurship Institute to bring together program alumni and business leaders from Mexico and throughout the Western Hemisphere to share their knowledge and strategies for success, and to strengthen economic and cultural bonds in the Hemisphere.