WE Empower

First-of-its-kind global competition for women social entrepreneurs who are advancing the United Nations Sustainable Development Goals.

The WE Empower
UN SDG Challenge

Launched by the UN Secretary General, President of the World Bank and the Council of Women World Leaders at the UN General Assembly in 2018, the WE (women entrepreneurs) Empower UN Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) Challenge is the first-of-its-kind global competition for women social entrepreneurs who are advancing the UN SDGs and inspiring entire communities to create the world we want by 2030.

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 social entrepreneurs and business leaders can make toward the SDGs and solving the world’s greatest challenges.

In 2024, the WE Empower Challenge Awardees will participate in events surrounding the 79th UN General Assembly as well as connect with renowned business experts from around the world.

The WE Empower Challenge is co-convened by ASU Julie Ann Wrigley Global Futures Laboratory and Vital Voices Global Partnership

Andy Blair headshot

Andrea ‘Andy’ Blair
Co-Founder and Director of Business and Innovation, Upflow
New Zealand
2023 WE Empower Awardee (Asia-Pacific)

Karen Sempf headshot

Karen Sempf
CEO and Founder, Innova Nation

2023 WE Empower Awardee (Latin America and the Caribbean)

Susan Blanchet headshot

Susan Blanchet
CEO and Founder, Origen Air
2023 WE Empower Awardee (Europe, North America and Other)

Menna Farouk headshot

Menna Farouk
Co-Founder, Dosy

2023 WE Empower Awardee (Greater Middle East and North Africa)

Diana Mbogo headshot

Diana Mbogo
Founder, and Managing Director, Millennium Engineers Enterprises Ltd

2023 WE Empower Awardee (Sub-Saharan Africa)

2023 WE Empower Awardees

UN Secretary General António Guterres formally launched the inaugural WE Empower UN SDG Challenge at the 2018 UN General Assembly with the Council of Women World Leaders and World Bank President.
Learn more about the WE Empower Challenge and the experience of awardees

Our objectives


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


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 awareness and catalyze change among policy makers and financiers, of the contributions women entrepreneurs make in contributing to the SDGs and the legislative and the obstacles they still face, from legal discrimination to access to capital.

Lead partner spotlight

The WE Empower Challenge is supported by a number of fantastic partners.



BMO is a leading bank driven by a single purpose: to boldly grow the good, in business and life. Every day, they continue to set their sights higher, inspired by their purpose and energized by the opportunity to create positive change for the customers and communities they serve.

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P&G brands are trusted in millions of living rooms, kitchens, laundry rooms and bathrooms—and have been passed down from generation to generation. Over the course of 181 years, they’ve challenged convention, led innovation and helped shape culture. But no matter how much the company grows, they always keep themselves grounded in their deep-rooted purpose, values and principles. They’ve done it for over 66,000 days, and they don’t plan on stopping anytime soon.

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RELX is a global provider of information-based analytics and decision tools for professional and business customers, enabling them to make better decisions, get better results and be more productive.

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