Women’s Empowerment

Women and girls face significant barriers to realizing their own potential. Shattering glass ceilings is no longer enough. Every barrier must be torn down and stay down, ensuring equality and sustainable change. We celebrate women and girls all over the world: empowering them, lifting their communities, and eliminating inequalities. Empowered women and girls are the key to the future.

Economic Empowerment

Economic Impact

We are committed to empowering women through economic opportunity and development.

Gender Equality


We are committed to doing our part to address equality for women.

Woman studying in library with book and computer
Woman Studying in Library


We are committed to ensuring access to women and girls globally.

Celebrating Women’s Entrepreneurial Spirit 

Mary Kay founded the Women’s Entrepreneurship Accelerator (WEA) as a driving force for promoting women’s entrepreneurship and economic participation worldwide. Together, with our partners, we committed to inspire, educate, and empower 5 million women around the world by 2030. The Women’s Entrepreneurship Accelerator has taken our mission of enriching women’s lives one step further. Through the inception of WEA, Mary Kay helped carve a new path of intervention for the private sector aligned with Sustainable Development Goal 17 (SDG 17): “partnerships for the goals.” 

Women Entrepreneurship has a Multiplier Impact in Advancing the SDGs.

Inspire, Educate and Empower 5 Million Women around the World by 2030.

How does WEA work?

WEA truly brings a new model of global sustainable impact focused on alleviating the most critical obstacles faced by women entrepreneurs through skill building, access to finance, networks and markets and local and global advocacy. Over the past four years, Mary Kay has powered a series of innovative and impactful programs and trainings cutting across national, cultural and language barriers.

BARRIER: Women still too often face many challenges to access and master the ever-evolving professional skillset to start or grow their business. 

SOLUTION: WEA has developed a robust series of free trainings developed by the best experts from academic and business fields to meet their specific needs. At the core of our portfolio is the WEA Online Certificate Programmedeveloped by International Trade Centre SheTrades. In 2023 International Telecommunication Union (ITU) launched a series of sectorial trainings on priority topics ranging from textile to green entrepreneurship and digital literacy, with more to come in 2024.

BARRIER: Companies founded solely by women garnered just 2.1% of the total capital invested in venture-backed startups in the US in 2022. Globally, women entrepreneurs face a US $1.7 trillion finance gap. 

SOLUTION: WEA provides them access to venture capital, loan opportunities, and investor networks. With more than 3,000 participants and more than 760 companies engaged, the Women’s Entrepreneurship EXPO led by UN Women in Europe and Central Asia has been so successful that it is going to be scaled to other regions.

BARRIER: Women-owned and led businesses must overcome multifaceted challenges hindering their participation in the global economy. 

SOLUTION: WEA introduces women entrepreneurs to local and global networking and market expansion opportunities through a roster of corporate partners, government agencies and financial institutions. In 2023, the WEA Digital Innovation Challenge for Women Entrepreneurs conducted by ITU received 250 applications from women-led startups from 54 countries.

BARRIER: Women entrepreneurs need an enabling ecosystem to thrive. 

SOLUTION: WEA serves as an advocacy platform, encouraging policy shifts and legal reform in support of women entrepreneurship at all levels. This includes in-country Women’s Entrepreneurship Development (WED) assessments with International Labour Organization (ILO), global advocacy for gender-responsive procurement (GRP) and inclusive supply chains with UN Women and UN Global Compact and participation in entrepreneurship alliances and action coalitions.


Through the Women’s Entrepreneurship Accelerator, we have created a robust platform that not only supports but celebrates the entrepreneurial spirit of women globally. Learn more about the work and impact of WEA since its inception. The Special Report details the various flagship programs and impact statistics of WEA, emphasizing its global reach and unique approach in addressing the core challenges faced by women entrepreneurs.