On November 19, Prosper for Purpose produced the second Women’s Entrepreneurship Day (WED) Cleveland, with 150 women and men in attendance, up from 125 last year. We were supported by an amazing group of partners and volunteers.
I am often asked why I agreed to serve as Cleveland’s WED ambassador. The short answer is that I want to give back to my local community. For a few years, Prosper did that through our 12 Months of Giving program, where we worked with a different nonprofit each month. But during that time, I became increasingly aware of another group that needed support: the start-up sector, especially female entrepreneurs.
As a Certified B Corp, Prosper meets the highest standards of verified social and environmental performance, public transparency, and legal accountability to balance profit and purpose. We’re held accountable by the nonprofit B Lab and must be recertified every three years. There are now more than 2,700 Certified B Corporations accelerating a global movement of business as a force for good so that we can build a more inclusive and sustainable economy. And that means more women must be empowered.
Because here’s what we know: society’s most challenging problems cannot be solved by government and nonprofits alone. So Certified B Corp businesses like ours are working toward reduced inequality, lower levels of poverty, a healthier environment, stronger communities, and the creation of more high-quality jobs with dignity and purpose.
So WED, founded in New York by Chagrin Falls native Wendy Diamond, aligns very much with our focus on helping clients achieve social or environmental impact. But WED is NOT a client, it’s a pro bono project. We want to help more women start and scale businesses because when women prosper, families prosper. When women prosper, communities prosper.
And WED itself was created to achieve social impact and is in direct support of the United Nations’ Sustainable Development Goal 5: To achieve gender equality and empower all women and girls. And to provide women and girls with equal access to education, health care, decent work, and representation in political and economic decision-making processes in order to fuel sustainable economies and benefit societies and humanity at large.
If you have any questions about how you can apply to be a WED ambassador for your community, feel free to contact me.