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Meet the 2018 Awardees

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Habiba Ali

“For me the WE Empower challenge has been a door opener. We struggled a lot prior to this year, but now it’s easier to reach out to collaborators. Upon winning the prize amount, this has helped us impact on the lives of over 5000 people.”

Ali founded Nigerian company Sosai, which brings renewable energy technologies to the most rural of users, improving access to clean, affordable energy and providing clean water and better health outcomes.


Marta Del Rio

“The WE Empower Award exceeded my expectations in all aspects; from the incredible inspiring women we met, to the depth of the intense week we had in NY. It was empowering and it was the beginning of a journey. It is a life changing experience that has made me grow personally and as a business leader.”

Del Rio co-founded organic snack company MAIA to fight poverty and transform Peruvian agriculture, providing training and technical assistance to smallholder farmers and sourcing ingredients from them at a fair price.


Shimrit Finkel

“WE Empower was an extraordinary experience for me. Apart from meeting an amazing array of powerful inspirational women, it gave me a new mission: To take action beyond my specific ocean presentation task, to seek a broader vision, and use my strength and that of other women out there to make an impact on our globe.”

Finkel co-founded ECOncrete® in 2012. The Israeli company’s durable and environmentally sensitive concretes harness natural processes to enhance growth of carbon-absorbing marine life on coastal infrastructure.


Marijana Savić

“It was a wonderful experience-one of a kind! Thanks to the We Empower Award, and the whole process, I realized how much we achieved. More importantly, how many things we can improve. Meeting and exchanging with all the bold and extraordinary women made me more determined in our feminist fight for justice and equality for all.”

Savić founded Serbian NGO Atina to combat human trafficking and all forms of violence against women. Atina’s Bagel store provides financing, skills training and professional education to help victims in transition.


Hadeel Anabtawi

“It was one of my best experiences. The value of the WE Empower award was beyond the one week meetings in NY and beyond my expectations. The full program, including mentorship and the support, was of a great value for my business growth.”

Anabtawi founded The Alchemist Lab, whose educational programs, including Go Girls!, have reached more than 25,000 children in Jordan’s largest city, Amman, as well as remote villages and refugee camps.