unctad.org | Women in Business Awards 2018 – finalists announced
Women in Business Awards 2018 – finalists announced
06 July 2018

​Ten women entrepreneurs hailing from Africa, Latin America and Asia have made the shortlist, with the winner to be named at UNCTAD’s World Investment Forum in October 2018



The finalists of the sixth Empretec Women in Business Awards have been announced by UNCTAD.

The awards celebrate exceptional businesswomen who have benefitted from UNCTAD's global entrepreneurship training network, Empretec, and become role models for their outstanding achievements in running micro and small businesses.

The winners will be announced on 25 October at the World Investment Forum, taking place at the Palais des Nations in Geneva, Switzerland, 22-26 October 2018.

More than 50 nominations were submitted by Empretec centers from 19 countries. The 10 finalists were selected by a panel of experts based on the innovation, leadership and impact on their communities the nominees demonstrated

UNCTAD Women in Business Awards

Since its launch in 1988, the Empretec programme has trained and motivated more than 400,000 entrepreneurs in more than 40 countries.

The 2018 finalists (in alphabetical order, by country) are:

  • Rosana Marques (Brazil): Ouseuse, swimwear and lingerie

  • Rocio Castro Fernandez (Ecuador): Momoa, clothes for breastfeeding mothers

  • Ndey Fatou Njie (The Gambia): TiGA, swimwear products

  • Chandra Vadhana (India): Skill development, training, assessments and human resources consulting

  • Lama Sha'sha'a (Jordan): International Robotics Academy, education for 6-16-year-olds in robotics and science, technology, engineering and mathematics

  • Uneiza Ali lssufo (Mozambique): ConsMoz Lda - Building Mozambique Limited, construction

  • Barbara Ofwono Buyondo (Uganda): Victorious Education Services, kindergarten through primary school education

  • Ana de León (Uruguay): Ruta 10 Upcycling, up-cycling design company (bags, accessories from recycled materials)

  • Rina Arráez (Venezuela): Inversiones Alces 1012 C.A., handmade accessories from recycled materials

  • Leah Diana Mitaba (Zambia): Butterfly Initiatives, cooperative for the production of vegetables and fruits

Thanks to the sponsors of the awards, the winner and two runners-up will win the chance to attend an executive course in digital marketing by IMD Lausanne, mentoring by the MBA Business School in Grenoble, France, and a watch by Delance of Switzerland among other gifts.

The UNCTAD World Investment Forum is the pre-eminent global platform for investment and development. The forum devises strategies and solutions for global investment and development challenges and facilitates multistakeholder collective action to stimulate investment in development. The forum offers a unique opportunity to influence investment-related policymaking, shape the global investment environment, and to network with global leaders in business and politics.

In 2018, the World Investment Forum will bring more actors to the table including philanthropists, impact fund heads and other sustainability pioneers. More than 5,000 investment stakeholders are anticipated to converge in Geneva for the event, which will consist of some fifty events.

These include a grand opening, the Global Leaders Investment Summit, the Global Investment Game Changers Summit, ministerial roundtables, conferences, private sector-led sessions, TED-style presentations, high-profile stakeholder roundtables, networking events, an Investment Village and awards ceremonies including the Empretec Women in Business Awards 2018.

Previous winners of the Empretec Women in Business award include:

  • 2016: Tran Thi Viet , Viet Tranf Handicraft, Vietnam

  • 2014: Lina Jalil Khalifeh, SheFighter, Jordan,

  • 2012: Melissa de Leon, Panama Gourmet, Panama,

  • 2010: Beatrice Ayuru Byaruhanga, Lira Integrated School, Uganda

  • 2008: Sana Zaal Burgan, Med Grant, Jordan.


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