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NEW ORLEANS – September 6, 2023 – The Women’s Business Enterprise Council South (WBEC South), a regional partner organization of the Women’s Business Enterprise National Council (WBENC), hosts its annual WE Summit Awards & Scholarship Gala on September 20-21, 2023 at The Roosevelt New Orleans. More than 300 women business enterprises (WBEs), supplier diversity professionals and corporate buyers from across the nation are expected to attend the conference with the theme Go Beyond!

 “The WE Summit Awards & Scholarship Gala is a time when we celebrate women who break barriers and reach new heights in their industries,” says Phala K. Mire, President & CEO, WBEC South. “We look forward to recognizing outstanding WBEs and corporate partners across the region for their commitment to growing the organization.”

The event kicks off with WBE Forum Sessions on Wednesday, September 20th at 2:00 p.m. bringing together women across the region for best practices sharing, industry learnings and networking followed by a Taste of New Orleans Welcome Reception on The Roosevelt rooftop at 6:30 p.m.

On Thursday, September 21st, Breakfast of Champions at 9:30 a.m. features six finalists of the SPARK! regional pitch competition to share their innovative ideas in a live, in-person showcase. The top three qualifiers earn an opportunity to compete on the national stage at WBENC’s MOMENTUM Pitch Competition in November 2023 and a chance to win up to $50,000 in cash and prizes.

Breakout sessions for women business owners and corporate procurement professionals follow at 11:30 a.m. – 1:00 p.m. designed to inspire and empower women entrepreneurs to gain valuable insights into procurement opportunities in multiple industries. The lineup of experts will share their personal stories, offer practical advice and discuss strategies for success.

Thursday afternoon at 1:30 p.m. – 4:30 p.m. attendees will have the opportunity to Meet Her in the Marketplace ™ for one-on-one matchmakers with corporate buyers and visit with resource partners featuring programs for women entrepreneurs. Additionally, WBEs may connect and network with each other during the afternoon.

The evening concludes with the WE Awards Gala and Silent Auction at the historic Orpheum Theatre starting with a reception at 6:30 p.m. followed by dinner, awards presentation and dancing. Guests and supporters of WBEC South may donate silent auction items to fund the Candace Waterman WBE Scholarship Fund by visiting Givergy. These funds support women business owners with advanced management programs and capacity building initiatives.

Tickets to the Go Beyond: WE Summit Awards & Scholarship Gala are available on Eventbrite. Online registration is open until Friday, September 15th then participants may register onsite.

About Women’s Business Enterprise Council South

Headquartered in New Orleans, the mission of the Women’s Business Enterprise Council South (WBEC South), a regional partner organization of the Women’s Business Enterprise National Council (WBENC), is to advance and enhance business opportunities between corporations and women-owned businesses through a national certification program, education and professional growth opportunities. WBEC South facilitates the most relied upon certification program, WBENC Certification, for the states of Alabama, Louisiana, Mississippi, Tennessee and the Florida Panhandle.



Media Contact:

Julie Lilliston, Julie Lilliston Communications, LLC


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Award Nominations


Awards Celebration & Conference

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