If you would like to partner with Women’s Entrepreneurship Accelerator, please contact media@we-accelerate.com.

International Labour Organization (ILO)

The International Labour Organization (ILO) is a specialized UN agency created in 1919, in the wake of a destructive war, to pursue a vision based on the premise that universal, lasting peace can be established only if it is based on social justice. The main aims of the ILO are to promote rights at work, encourage decent employment opportunities, enhance social protection and strengthen dialogue on work-related issues. The unique tripartite structure of the ILO gives an

equal voice to workers, employers, and governments to ensure that the views of the social partners are closely reflected in labour standards and in shaping policies and programmes.

The ILO’s Women’s Entrepreneurship Development programme (ILO-WED) is part of the Small and Medium Enterprises Unit (SME) and has been running for close to two decades. ILO-WED works on enhancing economic opportunities for women by carrying out affirmative actions in support of women starting, formalizing and growing their enterprises, and by mainstreaming gender equality issues into the ILO’s work in enterprise development. Learn more: www.ilo.org

ILO will use its Women’s Entrepreneurship Development assessment methodology to identify gender-based inequality gaps that prevent women from starting their own businesses. The agency will make recommendations for governments and corporates on how to eliminate barriers to achievement.

© ILO / Crozet M.

International Trade Centre (ITC)

The International Trade Centre (ITC) is the joint agency of the World Trade Organization and the United Nations. ITC assists micro, small and medium-sized enterprises in developing and transition economies to become more competitive in global markets to contribute to sustainable economic development within the frameworks of the Aid-for-Trade agenda and the United Nations’ Sustainable Development Goals.

ITC’s SheTrades Initiative aims to connect three million women entrepreneurs and women-owned businesses to international markets by 2021. SheTrades works with governments, corporations and business support organizations to undertake research, shape enabling trade policies and regulations, facilitate financing, and expand access to public tenders and corporate supply chains.

ITC She Trades provides women entrepreneurs with a varied learning environment. In support of the Accelerator ITC She Trades is pioneering a 27 module online curriculum solely focused on women entrepreneurship available on its www.shetrades.com platform.

© ILO / Crozet M.

UN Global Compact (UNGC)

As a special initiative of the UN Secretary-General, the United Nations Global Compact is a call to companies everywhere to align their operations and strategies with Ten Principles in the areas of human rights, labour, environment and anti-corruption. Our ambition is to accelerate and scale the global collective impact of business by upholding the Ten Principles and delivering the Sustainable Development Goals through accountable companies and ecosystems that enable change.

With more than 13,000 companies and 3,000 non-business signatories based in over 160 countries, and 69 Local Networks, the UN Global Compact is the world’s largest corporate sustainability initiative — one Global Compact uniting business for a better world.

For more information, follow @globalcompact on social media and visit our website at unglobalcompact.org.

© ILO / Crozet M.

United Nations Development Program (UNDP)

UNDP works in about 170 countries and territories, helping to achieve the eradication of poverty, and the reduction of inequalities and exclusion. UNDP helps countries to develop policies, leadership skills, partnering abilities, institutional capabilities and build resilience in order to sustain development results.


In July 2017, the United Nations Development Program (UNDP) launched its first Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) Pilot Village targeting women’s poverty and sustainable development in Yunnan Province, China with support and funding from Mary Kay.

The site selected was Waipula, in Yongren County, Chuxiong Prefecture, Yunnan Province: Waipula is an impoverished village which was listed as a national traditional village protection project in 2016.

The SDG Pilot Village in Waipula is the first-of its-kind pilot program focused on entrepreneurship as a pathway to empowerment.

• The funds provided by Mary Kay for were invested in improvements to the village’s health-care system, cultural preservation efforts and overall business development in the village. Women were encouraged to engage in ecotourism that showcases their unique cultural heritage, such as ethnic Yi embroidery.

The SDG Pilot Village Project is the first village-level initiative to demonstrate how the SDGs can be successfully implemented locally in rural China. From 2017 to 2020, the initiative directly contributed to 12 of the 17 Sustainable Development Goals.

The Women’s Entrepreneurship Accelerator will work with UNDP, UN Women and partners towards scaling this initiative globally in 2022 and beyond.

© ILO / Crozet M.

UN Women

UN Women is the UN organization dedicated to gender equality and the empowerment of women. A global champion for women and girls, UN Women was established to accelerate progress on meeting their needs worldwide.

UN Women supports UN Member States as they set global standards for achieving gender equality, and works with governments and civil society to design laws, policies, programmes and services needed to ensure that the standards are effectively implemented and truly benefit women and girls worldwide. It works globally to make the vision of the Sustainable Development Goals a reality for women and girls and stands behind women’s equal participation in all aspects of life, focusing on four strategic priorities: Women lead, participate in and benefit equally from governance systems; Women have income security, decent work and economic autonomy; All women and girls live a life free from all forms of violence; Women and girls contribute to and have greater influence in building sustainable peace and resilience, and benefit equally from the prevention of natural disasters and conflicts and humanitarian action. UN Women also coordinates and promotes the UN system’s work in advancing gender equality.

UN Women will contribute to, promote and advocate for the Women’s Entrepreneurship Accelerator as part of the agency’s economic empowerment mandate.


Mary Kay

One of the original glass ceiling breakers and a visionary, Mary Kay Ash founded her beauty company in 1963 on the idea that women’s economic empowerment through entrepreneurship was a step toward gender gender equality.

Today Mary Kay Inc., is a leading advocate of women’s empowerment and entrepreneurship, a multibillion-dollar beauty company with millions of independent sales force members in nearly 40 countries.

Learn more at marykayglobal.com

In 2019, Mary Kay has incepted the Women’s Entrepreneurship Accelerator (WEA) initiative with 5 United Nations agencies, a multi-partnership solely focused on women entrepreneurship.

Through this unconventional and innovative multi-partnership of unique magnitude, Mary Kay is inviting our peers from the private sector to join forces with the Accelerator and drive change for women entrepreneurs across the globe.