The underlying mission of IWEC remains immutable: to empower successful businesswomen and enable them to expand their business reach into new markets and geographies, granting them unique networking and mentoring opportunities along the way.
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.
Identifying the need for a platform to connect and empower businesswomen, IWEC was founded in 2007 by the Barcelona Chamber of Commerce in partnership with the Federation of Indian Chambers of Commerce and Industry Ladies Organization (FICCI-FLO), the Manhattan Chamber of Commerce and The Cape Chamber of Commerce.
With the US Department of State joining the effort, the inaugural Awards event took place in Barcelona in February 2007, celebrating female entrepreneurs from Asia, Europe and the United States. With a growing list of awardees, participants and conference hosts over the following years, IWEC was able to expand its footprint and impact across Asia, Europe and the Americas.
Over the next years, IWEC developed into a recognized, international nonprofit organization headquartered in New York City providing educational tools for business growth as well as mentoring and serving as a connector of women-owned businesses.
As IWEC continues to grow, our goal is to bring on board additional global chambers and women’s groups as well as participants from every continent to extend our network of international women business owners and enrich the reserves of knowledge and business practices shared by women all over the world.