Empretec Women in Business Awards 2014 Ceremony

Date: 15 October, 2014
Time: 18:30 – 19:45
Location: Palais des Nations, Human Rights Council Room XX, 3rd floor
Moderator: Mr. Olivier Dominik (Radio Télévision Suisse) & Ms. Bisila Bokoko (Bisila Bokoko Embassy International)

Watch the video of the ceremony


The Empretec Women in Business Awards (E-WBA) are granted to three women-owned businesses that have benefited from the business development services of the Empretec programme – a pioneering UNCTAD programme for the promotion of entrepreneurship that operates in 36 countries.

The 2014 edition marked the 4th edition of the E-WBA and in line with the World Investment Forum’s theme, Investing in Sustainable Development, the awards ceremony highlighted the key role that women entrepreneurs have in contributing to sustainable development through job creation, innovation and strengthening local capacity. Two special recognitions were also given for green and social entrepreneurship.

The 10 finalists came from Africa, Latin America and the Middle East and work in a variety of sectors. They all shared a contagious passion for their work and are using their role as businesswomen to give back to their communities. They are:

  • Lorena Maria Eugenia Picasso (Argentina)
  • Kelly Dantas de Vasconcelos (Brazil)
  • Tracy Antoinette Douglas (Guyana)
  • Lina Jalil Khalifeh (Jordan)
  • Maya Sewnath (Mauritius)
  • Lara Cookey (Nigeria)
  • Thiane Diagne (Senegal)
  • Renay dan der Berg (South Africa)
  • Angelica Rumsey (Zambia)
  • Divine Ndhulukula (Zimbabwe)


  • Mr. Mukhisa Kituyi, Secretary-General of UNCTAD
  • H.E. Mr. Richard Espinosa, Coordinating Minister of Production, Employment and Competitiveness, Ecuador
  • H.E. Ms. Tarja Kaarina Halonen, Former President of the Republic of Finland
  • Ms. Aisha Alfardan, Vice Chairwoman of the Qatari Business Women’s Association
  • Mr. Michael Møller, Director-General, UNOG
  • Mr. James Zhan, Director, Division on Investment and Enterprise, UNCTAD
  • Mr. Roland Dominicé, CEO Symbiotics
  • Dr. Rama Mani, Performance Artist of the Spirit, Special performance on women’s empowerment
  • Video Message by Ms. Phumzile Mlambo Ngucka, Executive Director, UN Women

Background documentation