|Purpose||Observing women entrepreneurship on November 19th of each year.|
Women's Entrepreneurship Day (WED) is a day on which the work of women entrepreneurs is observed and discussed, held on the nineteenth of November of each year. The inaugural event was held in New York City at the United Nations, with additional events being held simultaneously in several other countries. 144 nations overall recognized the first WED in 2014, which included the presentation of the Women's Entrepreneurship Day Pioneer Awards. The organization behind WED also has an ambassadorship and fellowship program.
Women's Entrepreneurship Day was founded and implemented by Pet Pioneer, Animal Fair Media Founder and Ellis Island Medal of Honor recipient Wendy Diamond, after volunteering with the Adelante Foundation who provides microcredit to low income women while in Honduras. Upon her return to the US she decided she wanted to develop something to help this and similar philanthropic causes. The first day was held on November 19, 2014, and was observed in 144 countries that year. It was described by Fortune Magazine as “a global movement to celebrate and support female founders and shed light on some of their challenges.” Forbes Magazine wrote that the intention was also “to mobilize a global network of female business owners, entrepreneurs and change makers who support and empower this community of women entrepreneurs and their businesses.” November 19 was proclaimed an “official day” by both New York Governor Andrew Cuomo and New York City Mayor Bill de Blasio, Philadelphia Mayor Jim Kenney, and Los Angeles Mayor Eric Garcetti and is celebrated annually at the United Nations and around the globe. The U.S. House of Representatives also annually recognizes the WEDO movement November 19th as “A Day in Honor of Women Entrepreneurs” under the leadership of Congresswoman Grace Meng.
Inaugural event at the United Nations
Women's Entrepreneurship Day event convenes at the United Nations in New York City including a conference, speakers, and the inaugural Women's Entrepreneurship Day Pioneer Awards. An Education Philanthropy Pioneer Award was given to Barack Obama’s grandmother Sarah Obama, for her work in bringing gender equality to education in that country. Obama was presented the award by actress Quvenzhané Wallis. Loreen Arbus received an award for her philanthropic work, as did to Lynn Tilton.
Other attendees of the United Nations inaugural launch included actress Rose Byrne; Miss Universe Gabriela Isler; Jimmy Choo co-founder Tamara Mellon; and First Ladies Gertrude Maseko of Malawi and Penehupifo Pohamba of Namibia. Delegations were sent from many different nations attended the event as well. A second WED is planned at the United Nations in 2015: the United Nations Foundation is a founding partner of the events.
List of Pioneer Award winners
- Loreen Arbus (Philanthropy) – President of Loreen Arbus Productions, Inc.
- Shannon Schuyler (Social Responsibility) – Chief Corporate Responsibility and Purpose Officer of PricewaterhouseCoopers, LLP (PwC US), and President of the PwC Charitable Foundation, Inc.
- Tamara Mellon (Fashion) – Co-Founder of Jimmy Choo and Creative Director & Founder of the Tamara Mellon brand
- Dr. Jen Welter (Sports) – First woman to hold a coaching position in the NFL and linebacker for women's American football for 14 years 
- Heidi Messer (Technology) – Chairwoman and Co-Founder of Collective[i] and Founder of LinkShare 
- Leona Lewis (Music) – Grammy Award Nominee, British singer-songwriter, and Animal Welfare campaigner 
- Leslie Blodgett (Beauty) – Creator of bareMinerals, former CEO of Bare Escentuals, Board Member for Every Mother Counts, Stella & Dot, and SPANX 
- Martha "Muffy" MacMillan (Philanthropy) – Ellis Island Medal of Honor Recipient, Director on the board of Cargill, Inc., Director of the Cargill Foundation, Waycrosse, Inc., Boards of the American Federation of Arts, Global Minnesota, The Economic Club of Minnesota, and Walker Art Center, Chair of Opportunity International's agricultural-finance campaign 
- Joan Hornig (Accessories) – American jewelry designer and the founder of Joan Hornig Jewelry and Ellis Island Medal of Honor Winner 
- Kay Koplovitz (Finance) – Founder of USA Network and Syfy and the first woman to serve as network president in television history 
- Mindy Grossman (Philanthropy) – CEO of WeightWatchers and CEO and director of HSN and a member of the company's Board of Directors 
- Yue-Sai Kan (Business) – Emmy Award winning television host and producer, entrepreneur, best-selling author and humanitarian 
- Andrea Kerzner (Arts) – Daughter of Sol Kerzner, Founder and CEO of Lalela Project, Co-Creator of themoreweshare.com, Director of the Board of Kerzner International Holdings Limited 
- Angie Bastian (Culinary) – Founder, Angie's BOOMCHICKAPOP® 
- Bobbi Brown (Beauty) – CEO of Beauty Evolution and Former CEO & Chief Creative Officer of Bobbi Brown Cosmetics 
- Dorothy "Dottie" Herman (Business) – Co-Founder, President & CEO of Real Estate brokerage firm Douglas Elliman Real Estate, LLC
- Judith Ripka (Accessories) – Luxury Jewelry Designer & Founder of Judith Ripka 
- Sara Bareilles (Music) – Singer-Songwriter, 6-time Grammy Award Nominee, Waitress Writer/Composer 
- Sonia Gardner (Finance) – President, Managing Partner, and Co-Founder of Avenue Capital Group & Global Chair of the Board of 100 Women in Finance 
- Suzanne Lerner (Fashion) – President and Co-Founder of Michael Stars and Board Member of Women Thrive Alliance 
- Anna Sui (Fashion) – Internationally Renowned Fashion Designer and Entrepreneur 
- Eileen Murray (Finance) – CO-CEO Bridgewater Associates
- Her Highness Princess Märtha Louise of Norway (Politics) – Author & Chair Princess Märtha Louise's Fund to benefit disabled children
- Kathleen King (Culinary) – Founder Tate’s Bake Shop
- Mary Ann Thompson-Frenk (Civics) – President/Co-Founder Memnosyne Foundation & The John Philip Thompson Foundation
- Shannon Dellimore (Beauty) – Co-Founder & Creative Director GLAMGLOW 
- Shari Staglin (Philanthropy) – CEO Staglin Family Vineyard, Co-founder One Mind 
- Shelley Zalis (Technology) – Founder OTX Global Technology Consulting Firm, CEO/Founder The Female Quotient 
Additional events were held internationally, including one at the University of Luxembourg, which held a conference that featured speeches from women entrepreneurs as well as discussions between local entrepreneurs. The keynote address was provided by Deputy Chief Executive of the European Investment Fund Marjut Santoni. Other events were also held, for example, in Lagos, Nigeria. WED founded and launched the Women Wednesday social media event held on the Wednesday after Thanksgiving in 2014, to support women in business and related causes.
In addition to the annual events, WED founded and initiated a Global Ambassador Initiative, in order to develop WED communities on university campuses. It also runs the Women's Entrepreneurship Day Fellows Program, which is chaired by Kunal Sood.
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- Grace Meng. "H.Res. 629: Recognizing November 19, 2017, as "A Day in Honor of Women Entrepreneurs"". GovTrack.us. Retrieved July 5, 2018.
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- Wendy Diamond. "Women's Entrepreneurship Day Organization Pioneer Awards 2017 Winners". WED. Retrieved July 5, 2018.
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