WeXchange, a forum designed to advance the work of high-impact women entrepreneurs from Miami, Latin America and the Caribbean, is back for its second year. Organized and led by the Multilateral Investment Fund, a member of the Inter-American Development Bank, with $40,000 of support from the John S. and James L. Knight Foundation, the forum will be held from Dec. 11-12 at Miami Dade College.
Investors and women entrepreneurs who focus on Latin America or the Caribbean are encouraged to apply to attend WeXchange 2014. The event aims to empower women entrepreneurs, promote them as role models and help them connect to expand their networks and build impact. It will feature networking opportunities with investors, coaching sessions, workshops, and a pitch competition, in which 6 pre-selected finalists present their business ideas to a jury of international experts.
“Our research and experience show that women in Latin America and the Caribbean are highly motivated to start businesses and can be just as successful as their male counterparts, but face many barriers related to limited access to finance and weaker networks,” said Susana Garcia-Robles, principal investment officer of the MIF’s Early Stage Equity Group, in a news release. “WeXchange is seeking to break down those barriers by building a powerful community for dynamic women entrepreneurs. We are very much looking forward to returning to Miami — the most important city for doing business in and with Latin America and the Caribbean — for the second WeXchange forum.”
Research conducted by MIF, such as its WEGrow study of high-growth women entrepreneurs, show that women entrepreneurs tend to face more challenges than men in the region, mostly due to the lack of strong networks, which can limit access to capital. Other research such as the Global Entrepreneurship Monitor’s 2012 Women’s Report found that women-owned businesses attract less than 5 percent of venture capital funds worldwide.
Support for WeXchange programs is part of Knight Foundation’s efforts to invest in fostering an entrepreneurial community in South Florida. “By helping to propel the work of women entrepreneurs in Miami, WeXchange is providing some of the main assets they need to scale and grow — strong networks, access to investors, as well as mentorship and support opportunities,” said Matt Haggman, Knight Foundation program director for Miami.
Visit www.wexchange.co for more information and to register.
Posted Nov. 20, 2014