The awards celebrate exceptional businesswomen who have benefitted from UNCTAD's global entrepreneurship training network, Empretec, and have become role models due to their outstanding achievements in running micro and small businesses. Since its launch in 1988, the Empretec programme has trained and motivated more than 350,000 entrepreneurs in more than 37 countries.
The winners will be named on 21 July 2016 at the World Investment Forum, held during the fourteenth United Nations Conference on Trade and Development (UNCTAD14) in Nairobi, Kenya, on 17–22 July 2016.
More than 50 nominations were submitted by Empretec centers from 23 countries this year. The 12 finalists were selected by a panel of experts based on the nominees showing innovation, leadership and impact in their communities.
The 2016 finalists (in alphabetical order, by country) are:
Maria Andrea Nallim (Argentina)
Reciclarg Recycling Technology recycles technology waste from companies to achieve a more sustainable and environmentally-friendly use of technology products.
Bonou Née Zanou Berthe (Benin)
The Akpakpa pediatric clinic provides a complete range of healthcare services, including consultation and hospital services for children up to 17 years old.
Mayra Holguin (Dominican Republic)
Programa Buenos Negocios promotes entrepreneurship and small and medium enterprises in the media (including radio and television production) and management industry events. The firm also runs "Birth of an entrepreneur", an internationally award-winning reality radio show for entrepreneurs which has concluded its second season to great success.
Lidia Isabel Toaquiza Velasteguí (Ecuador)
Pachigen produces organic cosmetics to original, exclusive formulae, and a wide range of compact medical masks for all skin types. All ingredients are organically grown, 100% free of synthetic additives, preservatives and petroleum.
Fatou Saine Gaye (Gambia)
Gayenjorro Hair Plus provides vocational training to 280 young people in various marketable skills, such as hairdressing, beauty cosmetology, massage therapy, catering, tailoring, information technology, animal husbandry, carpentry, masonry and agriculture.
Gladys Ramos Ramires (Guatemala)
Artisan Cosmetic Bhoga produces cosmetics that are 100% natural and is the first company in Guatemala to use cereals, sea salt, dried herbs and pure vegetable oils as ingredients.
Dr. Vinaya Shetty (India)
VIN Management Consultants provides training, coaching and counseling to various organizations. By focusing on individual and organizational development, the company enables better quality service from various organizations and public institutions such as the police.
Aline Wong (Mauritius)
L’Inattendu manufactures original textile products designed for women, men and children. The company employs 75 employees, 95% of whom are women. The firm has put in place several efforts to empower its employees to achieve the well-being of their families and the socio-economic development of the villages where they live.
Joyce Kyalema (Uganda)
Josmak International offers a variety of organic pumpkin products distributed on the national market. The sustainable agricultural practice has been adopted by 80 rural female pumpkin growers and substantially reduces land degradation.
Julia Graciela Crescini (Uruguay)
Oway Sports manufactures specialized technical sportswear and accessories for athletes. It is ISO 9001 certified for ensuring environmental sustainability. It sponsors emerging athletes and promotes sport as a means of helping people with disabilities and integrating them in their communities.
Viet Tran (Viet Nam)
Viet Trang Handicraft provides high quality natural fibers that are hand-woven by artisans, most of them women. The company provides 100% eco-friendly sustainable handicraft products made from local seagrass in combination with water hyacinths, corn leaves and banana leaves.
Brenda Omba Kayumba Lacey (Zambia)
Katcey Construction Limited provides a complete design and construction service to the private and public sectors in Zambia for construction purposes. It is one of few Zambian construction companies focusing on green construction, using local materials and compacted-soil or kiln-fired clay bricks where possible.
Previous winners of the Empretec Women in Business award include:
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