Women’s Empowerment International (WE) was founded in San Diego, California in 2003 with a meeting among friends and colleagues. This group of visionary women had an ambitious goal: to disrupt the cycle of poverty for women around the world, especially those experiencing extreme poverty and living in under-resourced, rural communities.
Together, in 2005, they launched WE as a 501(c)(3) nonprofit organization focused on funding microfinance programs that provided small, repayable loans to help women start modest, income-generating businesses. With their income, women would support themselves, be able to pay for their children’s education, strengthen their families, and slowly, strengthen their communities. In time, change is created for generations to come.
Today, Women’s Empowerment remains true to our founders’ vision.
WE was run entirely by volunteer board and committee members until 2016 when it was able to bring on its first executive director. Since then, the organization has grown to two staff positions and continues with a strong, passionate group of board members, committee members, and other committed volunteers. Over the last two decades, WE has provided nearly $2.1 million in funding for programs in seven countries, including the U.S. and Puerto Rico, Haiti, Honduras, Mexico, and Uganda. WE continues to fund microfinance programs and has expanded its support to include programs providing training, education, and practical, holistic support centered around women’s economic empowerment.
WE remains headquartered in San Diego, CA.
LEARN MORE ABOUT WHAT WE DO
Focusing on the most under-resourced communities, WE enables women entrepreneurs to build their job, life, and health skills, obtain small business loans, and launch sustainable income-generating enterprises that serve their families, villages, and communities. Find out how we partner with local organizations worldwide to create opportunities for women’s economic empowerment and help women overcome challenges of financial exclusion, lack of business or other training, and gender-based violence.