Wednesday September 10, 2014 from 12:00 PM to 1:00 PM EDT
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Julia Wright 
OWIT International 

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WEConnect International in Africa: Helping Women Entrepreneurs to Tap into the Global Supply Chain

WEConnect International helps women-owned businesses succeed in global value chains by identifying, training, registering, and certifying women's business enterprises based outside of the United States that are at least 51% owned, managed, and controlled by one or more women. WEConnect International connects them with opportunities to access business relationships, training and education that will promote access to multinational corporate supply chains. This webinar will highlight the work of WEConnect International in Nigeria and South Africa and the opportunities that exist for women entrepreneurs through the WEConnect network.


Liz Whitehead

  • Director of Women's Business Development
  • WEConnect International
  • Washington, D.C., USA

Liz manages global markets for WEConnect International, including maintaining global certification standards of women business owners and conducts training and outreach to this constituency. Previously, Liz worked for nine years at the Women Presidents' Educational Organization, most recently as the Executive Director of the Washington DC region, where she directed the certification operations for women business owners according to the standards set forth by the Women's Business Enterprise National Council (WBENC). Liz's educational background is in gender issues and economic development. She received her bachelor's degree from Dartmouth College and her master's in international affairs from Columbia University's School of International and Public Affairs.  



Dr. Nathalie Chinje 

  • Executive Director
  • WEConnect International in South Africa
  • Johannesburg, South Africa

Dr. Nathalie Chinje is the Executive Director for WEConnect International in South Africa. She is also the Founder and Director of UPbeat marketing, a marketing consultancy based in Johannesburg, South Africa which offers marketing and corporate social responsibility consulting as well as training services to local, regional, and global companies. Throughout her 14-year career, Dr. Chinje has gained practical experience in marketing acquired as an independent consultant and corporate employee in global companies. In addition, she has consulted to organizations across these three critical industries for the African continent; namely telecommunications, Retail/FMCG and Financial services. These companies have included, amongst others, Telkom mobile, MTN Group, Edcon group, Standard Bank, Metropolitan, L'Oreal, SAB Miller and Tiger Brands-just to name a few.

In addition to her professional endeavors, Dr. Chinje is a fully committed social citizen with a vision for a better Africa, and a better world. To bring this vision to life, she has created intra-Africa programs to promote trade within and amongst African countries, developed initiatives to encourage and promote the businesses of women entrepreneurs, and promoted education throughout the African continent.

Dr. Chinje holds a PhD in business management from Wits Business School in Johannesburg, South Africa. As part of her PhD studies she spent a year in North America, first at the HEC-Montreal, in Canada and then at Stern School of Business, New York University in the USA. Moreover, she graduated from the University of Stellenbosch business school in South Africa with a Master's in Business Administration (MBA) Degree, and has also completed an executive course on African leadership offered by the NEPAD Business Foundation and the Gordon Institute of Business Science (GIBS) at the University of Pretoria in South Africa. Dr Chinje is a Chartered Marketer.



Comfort Sakoma 

  • Executive Director
  • WEConnect International in Nigeria
  • Abuja, Nigeria

Comfort Avunze Sakoma is the Executive Director for WEConnect International in Nigeria. A social entrepreneur herself, she earned an Honors B.A. in Political Science and African Studies from the University of Toronto, Canada. She is fluent in both English and French, conversational in Hausa, and currently learning her native Gbagyi language. She was born in Niger State, Nigeria and emigrated to Canada with her family when she was only seven months old. She is a passionate advocator of the business case for investing in women and the importance of social entrepreneurship in the sustainable development of the African continent.



Members:  Free

Non-Members $40