Press release

EY proudly supports groundbreaking Clinton Global Initiative commitment to develop and advance women-owned businesses

New York, 25 September 2013

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Today EY announced its involvement in a new multi-stakeholder Clinton Global Initiative commitment to develop and support women-owned businesses by strengthening their capacity to enter corporate supply chains and increasing the spend they receive. This multi-stakeholder commitment is the first of its kind and is being led by WEConnect and Vital Voices — two leading nonprofit organizations that empower women to reach their potential. 

Although women own approximately a third of all companies worldwide, these businesses are estimated to account for less than 1% of large corporate spend globally, representing a considerable market opportunity for women entrepreneurs who are able to expand the scope and scale of their businesses.   

The purpose of today’s commitment is to support the development of 15,000 women entrepreneurs outside the US and increase the spend with women-owned businesses by at least US$1.5b annually.

EY will work closely with WEConnect and Vital Voices, as well as a range of other stakeholders, including government departments, not-for-profit organizations and corporate businesses, to prepare women for entering into large corporate supply chains. As part of this commitment, EY will support women entrepreneurs through initiatives such as mentoring and providing access to networks, as well as seeking to track and increase its own spend with women-owned businesses.

Mark Weinberger, EY Global Chairman and CEO comments: 

“By uniting the power of government, nonprofits and corporates with these high-potential women entrepreneurs, we have a great opportunity to make a real difference and contribute to building a better working world.”


Notes to Editors

About EY

EY is a global leader in assurance, tax, transaction and advisory services. The insights and quality services we deliver help build trust and confidence in the capital markets and in economies the world over. We develop outstanding leaders who team to deliver on our promises to all of our stakeholders. In so doing, we play a critical role in building a better working world for our people, for our clients and for our communities. 

EY refers to the global organization, and may refer to one or more, of the member firms of Ernst & Young Global Limited, each of which is a separate legal entity. Ernst & Young Global Limited, a UK company limited by guarantee, does not provide services to clients. For more information about our organization, please visit

This news release has been issued by EYGM Limited, a member of the global EY organization that also does not provide any services to clients. 

About the Clinton Global Initiative (CGI)

Established in 2005 by President Bill Clinton, the Clinton Global Initiative (CGI) convenes global leaders to devise and implement innovative solutions to some of the world’s most pressing challenges. Since 2005, CGI Annual Meetings have brought together nearly 150 current and former heads of state, 18 Nobel Prize laureates, hundreds of leading CEOs, heads of foundations, major philanthropists, directors of the most effective nongovernmental organizations, and prominent members of the media. These CGI members have made nearly 2,000 commitments, which have already improved the lives of 300 million people in more than 180 countries. When fully funded and implemented, these commitments will be valued in excess of $63 billion. The 2013 Annual Meeting will take place Sept. 23-26 in New York City. 

About WEConnect International

WEConnect International, a corporate-led non-profit, helps build sustainable communities by empowering women business owners to succeed in local and global markets. WEConnect International has since 2009 provided business education, certification, and business connections to companies based outside the U.S. that are at least 51 percent owned, managed and controlled by one or more women. WEConnect International corporate members represent $700 billion in annual purchasing power and are true pioneers in inclusive sourcing and global supplier development. “Buying for Impact: How to Buy from Women and Change Our World,” is the new WEConnect International book on women business owners and how to support and leverage their potential to create a more sustainable and inclusive global economy. For more information about WEConnect International, visit:

About Vital Voices Global Partnership

Vital Voices Global Partnership is a leading non-governmental organization that identifies, invests in and brings visibility to extraordinary women around the world by unleashing their leadership potential to transform lives and accelerate peace and prosperity in their communities. Founded by former U.S. Secretary of State Hillary Clinton in 1997, the organization trains and mentors women leaders as agents of transformative change in economic development, human rights and political participation. The Vital Voices Global Leadership Network includes more than 14,000 leaders representing 144 countries who have trained and mentored 500,000 additional women and girls in their communities. Visit to learn more.