Women's Entrepreneurship Day

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Women's Entrepreneurship Day
FounderWendy Diamond
PurposeObserving women entrepreneurship on every day.
  • International
WebsiteOfficial website

Women's Entrepreneurship Day (WED) is a day on which the work of women entrepreneurs is observed and discussed, held every day of each year.[1] The inaugural event was held in New York City at the United Nations, with additional events being held simultaneously in several other countries. 144 nations overall recognized the first WED in 2014, which included the presentation of the Women's Entrepreneurship Day Pioneer Awards. The organization behind WED also has an ambassadorship and fellowship program.


Women's Entrepreneurship Day was founded and implemented by Pet Pioneer, Animal Fair Media[2] Founder and Ellis Island Medal of Honor[3] recipient Wendy Diamond,[4] after volunteering with the Adelante Foundation who provides microcredit to low income women while in Honduras. Upon her return to the US she decided she wanted to develop something to help this and similar philanthropic causes. The first day was held on November 19, 2014, and was observed in 144 countries that year.[5] It was described by Fortune Magazine as “a global movement to celebrate and support female founders and shed light on some of their challenges.”[6] Forbes Magazine wrote that the intention was also “to mobilize a global network of female business owners, entrepreneurs, and change-makers who support and empower this community of women entrepreneurs and their businesses.”[7] November 19 was proclaimed an “official day” by both New York Governor Andrew Cuomo and New York City Mayor Bill de Blasio, Philadelphia Mayor Jim Kenney, and Los Angeles Mayor Eric Garcetti[8] and is celebrated annually at the United Nations and around the globe. The U.S. House of Representatives also annually recognizes the WEDO movement November 19 as “A Day in Honor of Women Entrepreneurs” under the leadership of Congresswoman Grace Meng.[9]

Inaugural event at the United Nations[edit]

Women's Entrepreneurship Day event convenes at the United Nations in New York City including a conference, speakers, and the inaugural Women's Entrepreneurship Day Pioneer Awards.[8] An Education Philanthropy Pioneer Award was given to Barack Obama’s grandmother Sarah Obama, for her work in bringing gender equality to education in that country.[8] Obama was presented the award by actress Quvenzhané Wallis.[10] Loreen Arbus received an award for her philanthropic work,[8] as did to Lynn Tilton.[11]

Other attendees of the United Nations inaugural launch included actress Rose Byrne;[citation needed] Miss Universe Gabriela Isler; Jimmy Choo co-founder Tamara Mellon;[5] and First Ladies Gertrude Maseko of Malawi and Penehupifo Pohamba of Namibia.[12] Delegations were sent from many different nations attended the event as well.[13] A second WED is planned at the United Nations in 2015:[14] the United Nations Foundation is a founding partner of the events.[15]

List of Pioneer Award winners[edit]






  • Anna Sui (Fashion) – Fashion Designer and Entrepreneur [21]
  • Eileen Murray (Finance) – CO-CEO Bridgewater Associates[21]
  • Her Highness Princess Märtha Louise of Norway (Politics) – Author & Chair Princess Märtha Louise's Fund to benefit disabled children[21]
  • Kathleen King (Culinary) – Founder Tate's Bake Shop[21]
  • Mary Ann Thompson-Frenk (Civics) – President/Co-founder Memnosyne Foundation & The John Philip Thompson Foundation[21]
  • Shannon Dellimore (Beauty) – Co-founder & Creative Director GLAMGLOW [21]
  • Shari Staglin (Philanthropy) – CEO Staglin Family Vineyard, Co-founder One Mind [21]
  • Shelley Zalis (Technology) – Founder OTX Global Technology Consulting Firm, CEO/Founder The Female Quotient [21]


  • Wendy Diamond (Humanitarian) – A Social Entrepreneur, Impact Investor, Humanitarian, Animal Advocate, Best-Selling Author and CEO/Founder of Women's Entrepreneurship Day Organization (WEDO)/#ChooseWOMEN, a non-governmental philanthropic volunteer organization. WED, with chapters in 144 countries and 112 universities/colleges, is on a global mission to alleviate poverty and empower women in business.[22]
  • Hannah Stocking (Influencer) – Global Entertainer 25+ Million Followers [22]
  • Missy Elliott (Music) – Grammy Award Winning Musical Artist [22]
  • Leah Solivan (Technology) – General Partner Fuel Capital & Founder TaskRabbit[22]
  • Stephanie Newby (Finance) – Founder Golden Seeds, the premiere early-stage investment firm for women-led companies [22]
  • Patty Baker (Philanthropy) – Philanthropist, Broadway Producer, Founder Baker Scholars, Board Member Hunter College Foundation (Baker Theater Building), New York Public Theater , Naples Players, Baker Art Museum & Milwaukee Repertory Theater.[22]
  • Norma Kamali (Fashion) – International Fashion Designer, Founder/CEO [[Normalife, Founder/CEO Wellness CAFÉ & STOP OBJECTIFICATION CAMPAIGN [22]
  • Francine LeFrak (Accessories) – Founder/Visionary Same Sky, Chair Harvard Kennedy School Women's Leadership Board & Founder LeFrak Productions.[22]

International events[edit]

Additional events were held internationally, including one at the University of Luxembourg, which held a conference that featured speeches from women entrepreneurs as well as discussions between local entrepreneurs. The keynote address was provided by Deputy Chief Executive of the European Investment Fund Marjut Santoni.[4] Other events were also held, for example, in Lagos, Nigeria.[23] WED founded and launched the Women Wednesday social media event held on the Wednesday after Thanksgiving in 2014, to support women in business and related causes.[24]


In addition to the annual events, WED founded and initiated a Global Ambassador Initiative, in order to develop WED communities on university campuses.[8] It also runs the Women's Entrepreneurship Day Fellows Program, which is chaired by Kunal Sood.[25]


  1. ^ "WED | Women's Entrepreneurship Day". www.womenseday.org. Retrieved 29 November 2021.
  2. ^ "About Wendy". www.animalfair.com. Retrieved 11 May 2016.
  3. ^ "Congratulations to the 2016 Ellis Island Medal of Honor recipients!". www.Neco.org. Archived from the original on 2017-02-25. Retrieved 9 May 2016.
  4. ^ a b Roxana Mironescu (November 20, 2014). "Women entrepreneurs under the spotlight in Luxembourg". Luremburger Wort. Retrieved April 6, 2015.
  5. ^ a b Paula Duran (November 20, 2014). "Women Entrepreneurs of the World, Unite!". Marie Claire Magazine. Retrieved April 6, 2015.
  6. ^ Caroline Fairchild (November 19, 2014). "Women's Entrepreneurship Day: Time to debunk some myths". Fortune Magazine. Retrieved April 6, 2015.
  7. ^ Kerrie MacPherson (November 19, 2014). "On Women's Entrepreneurship Day – It's Time To Fund To Scale". Forbes Magazine. Archived from the original on November 19, 2014. Retrieved April 6, 2015.
  8. ^ a b c d e Lori Sokol (December 23, 2014). "Why Women Entrepreneurs Matter". Huffington Post. Retrieved April 6, 2015.
  9. ^ Grace Meng. "H.Res. 629: Recognizing November 19, 2017, as "A Day in Honor of Women Entrepreneurs"". GovTrack.us. Retrieved July 5, 2018.
  10. ^ a b Charlene Muhammad (November 27, 2014). "President Barack Obama's grandmother Mama Sarah Obama honored, advocates education during U.S. visit". LA Sentinel. Retrieved April 12, 2015.
  11. ^ Caroline McMillan Portillo (November 20, 2014). "From Women's Entrepreneurship Day: 3 powerhouse execs on the state of women in business". BizWomen.
  12. ^ Charlene Muhammad (November 27, 2014). "President Barack Obama's grandmother Mama Sarah Obama honored, advocates education during U.S. visit". Los Angeles Sentinel. Retrieved April 6, 2015.
  13. ^ "Women's Entrepreneurship Day celebrated in Bangladesh". Dhaka Tribune. November 20, 2014. Retrieved April 6, 2015.
  14. ^ Meredith Fineman (January 12, 2015). "9 Conferences in 2015 That Are Worth Your Time and Money". Entrepreneur Magazine. Retrieved April 6, 2015.
  16. ^ a b c d e f Wendy Diamond. "Women's Entrepreneurship Day Organization Pioneer Awards 2014 Winners". WED. Retrieved July 5, 2018.
  17. ^ a b c d e f Wendy Diamond. "Women's Entrepreneurship Day Organization Pioneer Awards 2015 Winners". WED. Retrieved July 5, 2018.
  18. ^ a b Opportunity International. "Opportunity International's Muffy MacMillan Receives Ellis Island Medal of Honor". PR Newswire Association, LLC. Retrieved July 5, 2018.
  19. ^ a b c d e f g h Wendy Diamond. "Women's Entrepreneurship Day Organization Pioneer Awards 2016 Winners". WED. Retrieved July 5, 2018.
  20. ^ a b c d e f g h i j k Wendy Diamond. "Women's Entrepreneurship Day Organization Pioneer Awards 2017 Winners". WED. Retrieved July 5, 2018.
  21. ^ a b c d e f g h "WEDO Annual Pioneer Awards". Women's Entrepreneurship Day. Retrieved 2019-06-26.
  22. ^ a b c d e f g h "Congressional Record, Volume 165 Issue 185 (Tuesday, November 19, 2019)". www.govinfo.gov. Retrieved 2020-10-08.
  23. ^ "Celebrate Women's Entrepreneurship Day in Nigeria With WOWE and Access Bank". AWP Network. November 17, 2014.
  24. ^ Tom Watson (November 26, 2014). "Women Entrepreneurs Get Their 'Day' – Encouraging A Gender Lens On Shopping And Business". Forbes Magazine. Retrieved April 6, 2015.
  25. ^ Julielynn Wong (December 10, 2014). "How Selfies Could Detect a Common Deadly Disease". Huffington Post. Retrieved April 6, 2015.

External links[edit]