About the Author: Robert D. Hormats serves as Under Secretary of State for Economic, Energy, and Agricultural Affairs.
Yesterday, I joined Ambassador-at-Large Melanne Verveer of the Global Women's Issues, Assistant Secretary Jose Fernandez of the Bureau of Economic, Energy, and Business Affairs, and Special Representative Lorraine Harriton of the Office of Commercial and Business Affairs (CBA) at the Women's Business Enterprise National Council (WBENC) Award Luncheon. We presented awards to leading American corporations supporting women-owned enterprises. These 21 companies have made a priority of bringing in thousands of women-owned business into their supply chains.
Empowering women in commerce isn't just the right thing to do, it's also good business. These efforts help to promote the innovation, creativity, entrepreneurism, and expand opportunities that strengthen our economy.
The attendees were very receptive to the President's National Export Initiative, which will make it easier for businesses like theirs to thrive. Many of them will look to us in the CBA, and other agencies like the Small Business Administration (SBA) to find more certified women-owned enterprises overseas.
Through our work with the WBENC and WEConnect International, we can help sustain opportunities for women-owned businesses to grow at home and abroad.