Small Grants: Huge Impact

Three WEAmericas Small Grants awardees (from left) -- Founder and President of Comunidades de la Tierra Maria Pachecho (Guatemala), Board Member of Women Entrepreneurs Network Caribbean Yaneek Page (Caribbean), D.C. Director of Fundación Paraguaya Mary Liz Kehler (Paraguay) -- pose for a photograph at the U.S. Department of State in Washington, D.C., February 4, 2013. [State Department photo/ Public Domain]

About the Author: Roberta S. Jacobson serves as Assistant Secretary of State for Western Hemisphere Affairs.

Small grants: huge impact. That was the recurring theme of an inspiring event Ambassador-at-Large for Global Women’s Issues Melanne Verveer hosted earlier this week at the Department of State. As part of the WEAmericas initiative to support economic empowerment for women-owned businesses in the Western Hemisphere, we announced 25 small grants for organizations in 15 Latin American and Caribbean countries, as well as two regional projects. The Walmart Foundation and the Secretary of State’s International Fund for Women and Girls sponsored the grants.

We… more »

Colombia’s Women: Making Peace and Prosperity a Reality

Ambassador-at-Large for Global Women's Issues Melanne Verveer meets with Colombian woman entrepreneurs alongside the launch of WEAmericas. [State Department photo/ Public Domain]

About the Author: Melanne Verveer serves as the Ambassador-at-Large for Global Women’s Issues at the Department of State.

From warm and walled Cartagena to temperate and sprawling Bogota, Colombia is a country whose 46 million people represent the very definition of a nation redefining itself. I recently had the opportunity to spend a few days in Colombia, where Secretary Clinton launched WEAmericas, a new initiative focused on women entrepreneurs — one of the greatest drivers of economic growth. I also visited Bogota, where I spoke with government and civil society leaders on the global scourge of gender-based violence (GBV) and how we can better collaborate to prevent, respond to and address this issue.

More than 50 years of internal armed conflict has had a devastating impact on many of Colombia’s women. Nearly 80 percent of those displaced by the conflict are women and children. Only a small number… more »