WECREATE Women's Entrepreneurship Centers

Fact Sheet
Office of the Spokesperson
Washington, DC
February 13, 2015

Women’s Entrepreneurial Centers of Resources, Education, Access, and Training for Economic Empowerment (WECREATE) is an initiative of the U.S. Department of State to establish physical entrepreneurial community centers in safe and centralized locations for women to gain access to the essential resources required for starting or growing businesses. The Centers will build the capacity of established and emerging women business owners and will support them as they transition from operating in the informal economy to formally registered companies, which generate momentum for measurable economic and societal change. Each Center will be tailored to address country-specific barriers facing women entrepreneurs, and will be designed to advance gender equality in entrepreneurship through various programs, tools, and events. The Centers’ collaborative approach convenes key players to develop an entrepreneurial ecosystem in a culturally sensitive and safe environment to support women’s economic empowerment.

WECREATE Centers will give women access to:

  • Tailored, experiential education, among other tools and resources
  • Trained mentors who will help women entrepreneurs overcome business challenges
  • Capacity building through educational programs, accelerated strategies to access finance and markets, innovation, and bootstrapping techniques
  • Technology and education on how to use technology for business
  • A safe environment to develop a business
  • Sector-specific programming (e.g. agriculture, manufacturing, information technology)
  • Networking opportunities
  • Continual personal support for business growth
  • Childcare services that enable women to more freely participate in Center activities
  • Resources on the prevention of and response to gender-based violence
  • Programming to engage men and boys as partners in supporting women’s economic participation

WECREATE is funded through the Secretary’s Full Participation Fund and through public-private partnerships with the U.S. Department of State and private sector partners who also implement and sustain the selected centers. The first WECREATE center launched in Pakistan on February 13, 2015. WECREATE Centers are currently being developed in Zambia, Kenya, Cambodia and Vietnam, with others expected in the future.

For further information, please contact Tanya Hiple at HipleTL@state.gov or at (202) 647-4189.