IDRC Awards Grant to WEConnect International to Empower Women Entrepreneurs in India

WASHINGTON, DC, March 3, 2015 /CNW/ - Canada's International Development Research Centre (IDRC) today announced a CA$560,000 grant to WEConnect International in support of its new project, "Growing Women-Owned Businesses in India by Building on Private Sector Initiatives." The project will leverage the significant investments made by WEConnect International corporate members to develop a searchable database of women-owned businesses in India and in more than 80 other countries.

"We are very grateful for IDRC's leadership and support," said Elizabeth A. Vazquez, CEO and Co-Founder of WEConnect International. "In our short five-year history, WEConnect International has played a key role in women's economic empowerment on the ground in nearly 20 major markets. This grant will help build the ecosystem women-owned businesses require for sustainable and inclusive growth."

WEConnect International has been active in India since 2010 and is familiar with many of the obstacles facing the country's female entrepreneurs. Through this project, WEConnect International will collect, maintain, and analyze data on women-owned business in India, and help connect more than 500 enterprises to corporate value chains. The goal is for women-owned businesses to gain access to new markets and increase their economic productivity as employers and community leaders. Providing key stakeholders with intelligence on the real needs of women-owned businesses in India will help bridge knowledge gaps and lead to improved programs and policies.

"We expect that this project, working closely with private sector actors, will promote large-scale impact, first in India, and subsequently in a number of other developing countries. As part of Canada's foreign affairs and development efforts, IDRC supports innovative research such as this", said IDRC Program Leader, Arjan De Haan.

About IDRC
A key part of Canada's foreign policy efforts, IDRC supports research in developing countries to promote growth and development. The result is innovative, lasting solutions that aim to improve lives and livelihoods.

About WEConnect International
WEConnect International helps women-owned businesses succeed in global value chains.  It identifies, educates, registers, and certifies women's business enterprises based outside of the U.S. that are at least 51% owned, managed, and controlled by one or more women, and then connects them with qualified buyers.


SOURCE International Development Research Centre

For further information: Louise Guenette, Communications, IDRC, Email:,, Tel.: +1-613-696-2062; Cate Urban, Communications Manager, WEConnect International, Email:, Tel.: +1-202-810-6009


Organization Profile

International Development Research Centre

More on this organization

Custom Packages

Browse our custom packages or build your own to meet your unique communications needs.

Start today.

CNW Membership

Fill out a CNW membership form or contact us at 1 (877) 269-7890

Learn about CNW services

Request more information about CNW products and services or call us at 1 (877) 269-7890