Skip to Content

The 2020 WE Empower UN SDG Challenge application is now closed. Awardees will be announced on July 17, 2020. The WE Empower Challenge is co-led by Vital Voices and Arizona State University. These organizations are committed to do more to advance racial justice. For more information about these commitments, please see Vital Voices President and CEO Alyse Nelson’s open letter and ASU President Michael Crow’s open letter.

The WE Empower UN SDG Challenge

The WE Empower Challenge is a global business competition for women entrepreneurs and social entrepreneurs who are advancing the United Nations Sustainable Development Goals and inspiring entire communities to create the world we want by 2030.

Five awardees from around the world are selected to receive an all-expenses-paid trip to New York City, NY during the UN Global Goals week (September 18-27, 2020) to engage in high profile events with UN officials and to participate in a series of tailored trainings by leading and supporting partners.

WEEmpower Logo

Our Objectives


Honor innovative women entrepreneurs who are supporting and achieving the SDGs through sustainable business practices and inspiration for others to follow suit.


Invest in the most inspiring and transformational women entrepreneurs – providing access to seed capital, unique trainings, capacity building, a network of their peers, visibility and credibility for their work.


Ignite awareness among a global community of stakeholders of the valuable contribution women entrepreneurs can make in contributing to the SDGs and the obstacles they still face.

Our Partners

A special thank you to WE Empower lead partners for generous support of the UN SDG Challenge!

  • ASU
  • AT&T
  • Bank of America
  • BMO
  • GroYourBiz
  • Hawaii Tropical Botanical Garden
  • Ladol
  • P&G
  • Saїd Business School,
    University of Oxford
  • Salesforce
  • UN Foundation
  • Vital Voices
  • World Bank

Global Goals Week

Alyse Nelson, President and CEO of Vital Voices Global Partnership, and Amanda Ellis, Executive Director for Hawaii and Asia-Pacific with ASU’s Julie Ann Wrigley Global Institute of Sustainability and former UN Ambassador for New Zealand, welcome the 2018 winners of the WE Empower Challenge to New York City for United Nations Global Goals Week.

WE Empower at United Nations Global Goals Week

Highlights from the 2018 launch event with the UN Secretary General, President of the World Bank and High Commission for Human Rights.