Empretec is a United Nations programme established by UNCTAD's Division of Investment and Enterprise to promote the creation of sustainable small- and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs). Empretec works to support entrepreneurs to build innovative and internationally competitive SMEs.
Doha, Qatar - 24 April 2012
Melissa De León, founder of Panama Gourmet, a company which produces gluten-free foods, won the 2012 UNCTAD Empretec Women in Business Award. The prize honours businesswomen from developing countries who have founded successful firms, created jobs, and become role models in their communities.
The award was announced at a gala dinner Monday that was the culmination of a “Women in Development Day” staged on the third day of the UNCTAD XIII quadrennial conference. The prize also marked the conclusion of the UNCTAD World Investment Forum. The forum was held in Doha and overlapped with the beginning of UNCTAD XIII.
Second prize went to Patricia Paz Silva Giordani of Brazil, who founded the firm Moura e Paz - Soluções Ambientais, which provides the safe transport and treatment of dangerous industrial and medical waste for business clients in one of the poorest states in Brazil.
Third place was won by Rahda Kurdi of Jordan. Her company, Advanced Pharmaceutical Services, works as an association providing economies of scale to small pharmaceutical businesses so that they may compete with the large chains in the Jordanian pharmacy sector.
Read the full press release.
Watch a video with all the 10 finalists.