WE Empower UN SDG Challenge 2023 for Women Social Entrepreneurs ($20,000 grant)

Deadline: April 16, 2023

Applications are open for the WE Empower UN SDG Challenge 2023. The WE (women entrepreneurs) Empower UN SDG Challenge is the first-of-its-kind global competition for women social entrepreneurs who are advancing the UN Sustainable Development Goals and inspiring entire communities to create the world we want by 2030.

The WE Empower Challenge honors innovative women leaders from around the world who are pushing the SDGs forward through sustainable business practices and inspiring others to follow suit. The opportunity recognizes their innovative work and provides Awardees with capacity-building training sessions and opportunities to connect with an unparalleled global network to advance their enterprises. This program elevates and showcases the valuable contribution women social entrepreneurs and business leaders can make toward the SDGs and solving the world’s greatest challenges.


  • In 2023, the WE Empower Challenge Awardees will participate in events surrounding the 78th UN General Assembly as well as connect with renowned business experts from around the world.
  • Awardees will also participate in a dynamic pitch competition, hosted by fashion designer, activist and Vital Voices Board Member Diane von Furstenberg, to present their business for the opportunity to receive a $20,000 grant.


To be eligible to enter this competition, applicants must meet all of the following criteria. Finalists will be required to provide evidence of sales (i.e. tax returns and/or audited financial records).

  • You are a woman entrepreneur with lead decision making ability in a business or organization.
  • Your business/organization has been in operation for more than three years.
  • You employ at least three full time staff (or full time equivalent).
  • Your business/organization generates at least $75,000 USD in annual sales or revenue.
  • You are proficient in spoken and written English.
  • You are at least 21 years old.
  • You are available to travel to New York, NY and participate in all events from Monday, September 18 through Saturday, September 24 2023 (COVID-19 travel restrictions permitting) and if necessary, you are able to participate in a virtual program from August through October 2023.

Evaluation Criteria

Applicants will be assessed based on a variety of factors, including the following considerations.

  • Commit to the entire week of the in-person program (travel permitting) or a virtual program held from August through October 2023 – no exceptions.
  • Applicant’s business or organization has a substantial impact on the SDGs and a clear vision for how their business will create the future we want in 2030.
  • Help shape the community dialogue about women’s advancement and the SDG’s in their region, and wield the influence necessary.

Applicants with more than one business or organization, complete the application regarding the business/organization that you would like to focus on during this Global Challenge opportunity, if you are selected to participate in the program.


Applications will close on April 16, 2023 at 11:59PM EST.

The successful awardees will be notified by June 30, 2023 and will receive the opportunity to travel to New York City, New York (NY) during the UN Global Goals/Climate week September 16 – 23, 2023 (COVID-19 Travel restrictions permitting) to participate in a series of tailored trainings contributed by leading and supporting partners and engage in high-profile events with UN Officials.

Click here to apply

For more information, visit WE Empower UN SDG Challenge.