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ELIZABETH A. VAZQUEZ

Social Entrepreneur, WEConnect International

Washington, D.C.

@WEConnection


Tell us about your professional background.

As the CEO and Co-Founder of WEConnect International, I get to work with the largest
corporations in the world and support their efforts to buy more products and services
from women-owned businesses. I get to spend time on the ground with our local
representatives in 17 countries and listen to the visions of the most inspirational
entrepreneurs in the world. I get to open doors between buyers and sellers and work
with passionate parters from the public sector and private sector to help make business
connections every day. The opportunities for impact are limitless. I love my job!

What is the best career advice you ever received and from whom?

My mentor Virginia Littlejohn encouraged me to see women as victors and not victims.
Every day, I see firsthand the innovative solutions women are developing locally and
globally. Helping to ensure that women have an equal opportunity to deliver those
solutions has been a very fulfilling career choice.

How do you relax, unwind and recharge?

Family time is when I recharge and celebrate unconditional love. I especially love quiet
dinners with myhusband and much-needed pedicures with my daughter.

What inspired you to dedicate your career to women’s empowerment?

My mom and her sisters were all single moms who worked very hard to provide for all
of us. It was overwhelming for them at times, and I saw early on how important it was to
get more money into the hands of the people who were directly responsible for protecting,
feeding and educating children. Entrepreneurship is not the answer for everyone, but for
many it is a critical path to prosperity and to job creation for others.

Do you have a secret weapon for workplace productivity?

Find the best people and give them the authority they need to do their work and the
credit they deserve for their contributions. All team members have to be passionate about
their mission.

Answer this question from Tomoko Ogura, April’s Up Close & Notable featured
member: If you could only have one job for the rest of your life, what would it be?

I would keep the job I have now but with the additional resources needed to
maximize impact.

What question would you ask another Woman of Note?

What will be your legacy?