The WE Empower UN SDG Challenge

A Global Business Competition

for women entrepreneurs who are advancing the UN Sustainable Development Goals and inspiring entire communities to act to create the world we want by 2030.

The WE Empower UN SDG Challenge is the first-of-its-kind global competition for social entrepreneurs who are advancing the UN Sustainable Development Goals and inspiring entire communities to act to create the world we want by 2030. The WE Empower Challenge honors innovative women leaders from around the world who are pushing the SDGs forward through sustainable business practices and inspiring others to follow suit. 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 entrepreneurs and business leaders can make toward the SDGs and solving the world’s greatest challenges. 

In 2021, the WE Empower Challenge Awardees will participate in events surrounding the 76th UN General Assembly as well as will connect with renowned business experts from around the world. Awardees will also participate in a dynamic pitch competition, hosted by fashion designer, activist and Vital Voices Board Member Diane von Furstenberg, to present their business for the opportunity to receive a $20,000 grant. 

To learn more about WE Empower, our partners and the 2021 Awardees, please visit this website. 

Meet the 2021 WE Empower: High-level Judges

Sheryl Adkins-Green

Chief Marketing Officer, Mary Kay

Habiba Ali

Founder, Managing Director and CEO, Sosai Renewable Energies, 2018 WE Empower Awardee

Hadeel Anabtawi

Founder, The Alchemist Lab, 2018 WE Empower Awardee

Aida Bakri

Founder and Managing Director, ADS Insight

Anita Bhatia

Assistant Secretary-General and Deputy Executive Director, UN Women

Elizabeth Cousens

President and Chief Executive Officer, United Nations Foundation

Sue Dopson

Interim Dean, Saïd Business School, University of Oxford

Sarah El Battouty

Founder, ECOnsult, 2020 WE Empower Awardee

Valrie Grant

Managing Director, GeoTechVision, 2020 WE Empower Awardee

Julie Hansen

Global Executive Advisor, Salesforce

Christelle Kwizera

Founder and Managing Director, Water Access Rwanda, 2019 WE Empower Awardee

Leah Lizarondo

Co-founder and CEO, 412 Food Rescue, 2019 WE Empower Awardee

Dan Lutkenhouse Jr.

President and Executive Director, Hawaii Tropical Bioreserve & Garden

Barbara Mowat

President & Founder, GroYourBiz Ltd. & Creator/Producer, EXCELerate Conferences

Mavis Nduchwa

Founder and CEO, Kalahari Honey, 2020 WE Empower Awardee

Stéphanie Oueda Cruz

Head of Diversity and Inclusion, IDB Invest

Alison Price

Founder and Managing Director, SoilCyclers, 2020 WEEmpower Awardee

R Ramanathan

Senior Vice President, Tata Consultancy Services , Former Mission Director, Atal Innovation Mission

Laura Reinholz

Director of BMO for Women, BMO Financial Group

Joanna Rice

Vice President of Finance, Match Group

Pam Seagle

Global Manager for Women’s Programs, Bank of America

Danielle Sharaf

Founder, Switch, 2020 WE Empower Awardee

Carolyn Tastad

Group President – North America and Chief Sales Officer, P&G

Julie A. Wrigley

Co-Chair, Julie Ann Wrigley Global Futures Laboratory Board, President, Wrigley Investments