A recap of the WE Empower UN SDG Challenge: Pitch Night

Vital Voices Global Partnership
3 min readSep 27, 2023

The 2023 WE Empower UN SDG Challenge is a global competition for social entrepreneurs who are advancing the UN Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) and inspiring entire communities to take action in creating a more sustainable world we desire by 2030.

Photo of President & CEO Alyson Nelson, Diane von Furstenberg, panelist, and past & present awardees

Pitch Night hosted by DVF Studios is one of the most highly anticipated and exciting aspects of the WE Empower program. On the evening of September 20, five awardees from different world regions traveled to New York City during the convening of the 78th UN General Assembly to share their innovative stories and solutions on a global stage.

The awardees received training and coaching in order to deliver their pitches and highlight how their particular experiences influenced them to become leaders in the field of producing high-impact solutions to advance the SDGs. Following their pitches, an esteemed panel of experienced judges questioned each Awardee about their businesses, and the winner was determined by a live ranked-choice vote from in-person and online attendees.

Pitch Night Awardees [L-R]: Menna Farouk; Karin Sempf; Susan Blanchet; Diana Mbogo; Andrea “Andy” Blair

This year’s winner of Pitch Night was Menna Farouk, Founder of Dosy, who received a grant of $10,000 for her business focused on creating freedom of transportation for women in Egypt and beyond. Dosy is an online platform through which women book scooter and bicycle classes with a female instructor in their neighborhood. Dosy trains and teaches women and girls to ride bikes and scooters, allowing them the mobility to go to work and school.

“For me, learning to ride was liberating. It has helped heal a wound shared by every woman in a conservative society — a repression we grow up with, being told we are only safe when accompanied by a man,” the Pitch Night winner stated.

We Empower: Pitch Night live-stream

2023 WE Empower Awardees:

Menna Farouk, Co-Founder, Dosy; (Egypt)

Karin Sempf, CEO and Founder, Innova Nation; (Panama)

Susan Blanchet, CEO and Founder, Origen Air; (Canada)

Diana Mbogo, Founder and Managing Director, Millennium Engineers Enterprises Limited; (Tanzania)

Andrea ‘Andy’ Blair, Co-Founder and Director of Business and Innovation, Upflow; (New Zealand)

Thank you to our 2023 We Empower Partners: Bank of Montreal, Competent Boards, Diane von Furstenberg, G5 Collective, GroYourBiz, Hawaii Tropical Bioreserve & Garden, Julie Ann Wrigley Global Futures Laboratory at ASU, Match Group, P&G, RELX, Salesforce, UN Foundation, and World Bank.

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Written by the Communications Team at Vital Voices

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Vital Voices Global Partnership

Invest in Women. Improve the World. | Vital Voices invests in women leaders who are solving the world’s greatest challenges.