Happy Women's Entrepreneurship Day, everyone! This is the second year that people have gathered, both literally and virtually, from all over the world to celebrate female entrepreneurs and their work, as well as discuss the challenges faced by female business owners, innovators, and leaders. Women’s Entrepreneurship Day (WED) was founded by Wendy Diamond, an animal welfare advocate and founder and CEO of Animal Fair. She told Forbes that she launched WED after volunteering in Honduras with Adelante Foundation. After witnessing how empowering the foundation’s microloans could be for business-minded women, she decided to do something to help women in business all over the world. She said, “It is about more than entrepreneurship, even business, as empowering a woman in business means that she will gain financial stability and help address poverty.” She adds, “It will help her gain confidence, as a woman who runs a company might be less likely to allow men to make decisions for her.”
Women’s Entrepreneurship Day is being celebrated in more than 140 countries, including the Ghana, Norway, Peru, Saudi Arabia, Kenya, and Australia, among many others. The day is anchored by a conference at the United Nations in New York, with many other cities around the world hosting their own events. Many have taken to social media to give a shout out to their favorite lady business owners and leaders.
Read on for four ways that people are celebrating awesome entrepreneurial women:
Women’s Entrepreneurship Day at the UN
Today hundreds of people are gathering at the UN in New York City to celebrate entrepreneurial women. Speakers and supporters include BareMinerals founder Leslie Blodgett, Craigslist founder Craig Newmark, Sen. Jeanne Shaheen of New Hampshire, and singer/songwriter Leona Lewis. If you’re not lucky enough to be in New York today, you can watch the WED event via live stream from the UN.
A WED Celebration in Atlanta that’s attempting to break records.
Cities and universities all over the world are holding WED celebrations, gatherings, and conferences today. In Atlanta, 100 Female Entrepreneurs, a business league for women, is holding a celebration for business-minded women at the Georgia State Capitol with the goal of hosting a record breaking gathering of female business owners. According to Black Enterprise, the organization’s goal “is to not only have a permanent space in the Guinness Book of World Records but to make a mark on the hearts of other female entrepreneurs around the world who may have ever felt alone.”
A Global Friendship, a nonprofit dedicated to “creat[ing] economic opportunities for women in developing regions around the world,” is celebrating Women’s Empowerment Day by encouraging all of us to participate in the #LunchForLiving campaign. To participate, you buy lunch, photograph it, donate the cost of your lunch to A Global Friendship, and post the photo of your meal on social media with the hashtag #LunchForLiving. The organization will put the money you donate toward helping women in developing regions start and grow their businesses in order to attain economic independence.
Participate in Women on Wednesday (December 2)
The minds behind Women’s Entrepreneurship Day have also named December 2 “Women On Wednesday” (or #WomenWOW), a day in which people are encouraged to shop at businesses owned by women. Diamond explained to Forbes, “Everyone knows a woman in their community who has a business, whether it’s a bakery or a tech company. It’s easy to support them.”