Here at Adafruit Women’s entrepreneurship day is every day, but worldwide we celebrate it on November 19th! WED founder and CEO Wendy Diamond shared her inspiration behind the holiday on Fortune.com
The inspiration behind Women’s Entrepreneurship Day (WED), which we mark this Thursday, came from my volunteer work with the Adelante Foundation in Honduras. There, I witnessed firsthand how empowering women financially has the power to transform a community. Just a single $100 startup loan—provided by one woman to help another—could make the difference for a mother who wants to send her children to school. Every woman and girl across the globe should be given the chance to follow their dreams—and letting female entrepreneurs help one another is an important step in making that a reality.
Of course, even before my experience in Honduras, I understood that women worldwide have historically been underpaid, undervalued, underrepresented, underfunded, and underestimated…and still are. I knew I had to play a role in trying to improve this situation.
Based on what I learned at the Adelante Foundation, I decided to focus my efforts on empowering women entrepreneurs around the globe by bringing them together for an educational event: Women’s Entrepreneurship Day. The first event convened on November 19th, 2014 at the United Nations in New York City. It included a conference, speakers, and the inaugural Women’s Entrepreneurship Day Pioneer Awards. An Education Philanthropy Pioneer Award was given to President Obama’s grandmother, Mama Sarah Obama, for her work in bringing gender equality to education in Kenya. Loreen Arbus, the first woman in the U.S. to head programming for a national network, received an award for her philanthropic work, as did financier Lynn Tilton. The panel discussions and program elements were streamed to 114 countries globally, and a powerful movement to inspire, empower, celebrate, and support female entrepreneurs was launched.