Trestle Group Foundation Partners with WEConnect International to Empower Women Entrepreneurs in Emerging Economies

Zurich, Switzerland – September 27, 2011 – Trestle Group Foundation today announced a new partnership with WEConnect International to increase access to women entrepreneurs in emerging economies and benefit from WEConnect’s ability to certify women owned business.

By providing Trestle Group Foundation’s human capital executive support to women entrepreneurs in emerging markets, and certifying their businesses through WEConnect, increased opportunities are created for these businesses to gain new clients and customers.  New clients will enable these entrepreneurs to create both economic and social change.  Through more employment opportunities fueled by new business, local communities will realize economic benefits.  Through increased success, women entrepreneurs will gain more recognition in their communities, become involved in new networks and have a stronger position in the business ecosystem to generate social impact.

“A key challenge for our Foundation is identifying qualified women entrepreneurs to support,” says Trestle Group Foundation Managing Director Dana Brice Smith. “Engaging WEConnect’s global network will significantly help us identify high-potential women-led businesses to support.”

“Gaining access to new clients and customers is one of the greatest challenges for women entrepreneurs in emerging markets,” says Sue Lawton, Director for Education and Innovation, WeConnect International. “Through the support provided by Trestle Group Foundation’s human capital, combined with our certification process, we are able to open new channels of business opportunities for women entrepreneurs in emerging markets.”


 About WEConnect International

WEConnect International is a not-for-profit organization that is opening doors to new supply chains. Led by corporate members, it registers and certifies firms that are at least 51% owned, managed and controlled by women and connects them with the growing global demand from corporations and the public sector for diverse and innovative suppliers. Complying with the standards set in the US by WBENC (Women’s Business Enterprise National Council) WEConnect is now active in Canada, Europe, India, China, Peru, Chile, Turkey and its program continues to expand globally.

The organization actively partners with corporations, associations, governments, women entrepreneurs and their supporters to accelerate the growth of women-owned businesses.

In addition to registration and certification, WEConnect International delivers education and training programs for women business enterprises to help them bid successfully on procurement contracts.

Corporate Members include:

Accenture, Alcatel-Lucent, AMEX, Apple, AT&T, Boeing, Capital One, Cisco, Clifford Chance, Cummins, Dunn & Bradstreet, Ernst & Young, Exxon Mobil, Goldman Sachs, Hewlett Packard, IBM, Intel, JPMorgan, Manpower, Marriott, MasterCard, MSD, Motorola, National Grid, PG&E, Pfizer, RIM, RBC, Staples, UBS, Verizon, Wal-Mart.

To learn more about WEConnect International, please visit:

About Trestle Group Foundation

Trestle Group Foundation is an innovative nonprofit organization dedicated to creating and expanding sustainable economic opportunities in emerging economies by supporting high potential women-led businesses.

Guided by the belief that entrepreneurship fuels the engine that drives economic opportunity, growth and social progress, Trestle Group Foundation works to empower women entrepreneurs in emerging economies.

Corporate Sponsors include:

A-connect, Gübelin, Hexaware Technologies, IBM, IUCN, Microsoft, PepsiCo, Symphasis, UBS and Voices for Innovation.

To learn more about Trestle Group Foundation, please visit:

Contact Information

Trestle Group Foundation contact:

Dana Brice Smith

Managing Director

Trestle Group Foundation

+41 43 500 17 43

[email protected]

Sue Lawton

WEConnect International contact:

Director for Education and Innovation

WEConnect International

+1- 240-676-7364

[email protected]