“Connect to Success” Launched Self-Certification Process

Ambassador Sherman addresses the audience. (Photo: US Embassy Lisbon)
Ambassador Sherman addresses the audience.

“Connect to Success”, a program sponsored by the U.S. Embassy, which aims to strengthen the Portuguese economy by supporting the growth of women owned businesses (“WOBs”), introduced its self-certification process and MBA consulting initiative on September 15 at the Luso-American Foundation (FLAD).

Once certified, WOBs will be eligible to apply to participate in any of the Connect to Success programs, including its MBA consulting initiative, corporate mentoring program, business oriented workshops, and access to discounted professional services. The MBA consulting initiative offers WOBs an opportunity to address a specific business challenge by teams of MBA students over the duration of a semester, and for the students to apply their newly acquired business and consulting skills to real projects, and thereby gaining practical experience and insight. Helena Szrek, Assistant Professor of the University of Porto, the first university to participate in the MBA consulting initiative, discussed the university’s program which is expected to be offered in the spring.


From left, Maggie Berry, Embaixatriz Kim Sawyer, FLAD's chaiman Vasco Rato, and Ambassador Sherman. (Photo: US Embassy Lisbon)
From left, Maggie Berry, Embaixatriz Kim Sawyer, FLAD’s chaiman Vasco Rato, and Ambassador Sherman.

Embaixatriz Kim Sawyer, the architect of the Connect to Success program, explained that her own business in the U.S. had benefitted from a similar entrepreneurial program. She noted that self-certification is the first step to gain access to any to the program’s components. WEConnect International’s Executive Director for Europe, Maggie Berry, explained how the self-certification process works. Self-certification for WOBs can be done online through this link: https://weconnectinternational.org/en/register/enetwork WEConnect International is an organization which helps educate, register, and certify women’s business enterprises based outside of the U.S.

Ambassador Robert Sherman highlighted the importance of this project as a means to strengthen the Portuguese economy, and appealed for more corporations to join the corporate consulting program, adding that a greater number of mentors will allow for more WOBs to be supported.