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2014 Fortune Most Powerful Women Summit

On October 6, 2014, more than 400 influential women from business, government, academia, philanthropy and the arts gathered in Laguna Niguel, California for the Fortune Most Powerful Women Summit, a three-day-long conference highlighting best leadership practices and offering networking opportunities for attendees.

Alongside the Summit, some of Goldman Sachs’ senior-most women partners hosted a panel discussion on how 10,000 Women and 10,000 Small Businesses are empowering female entrepreneurs around the globe. Panelists included Gary Cohn, President and Chief Operating Officer of Goldman Sachs, and Patricia Greene, Paul T. Babson Chair in Entrepreneurship at Babson College, as well as program graduates who spoke of how their program experiences had positively impacted their businesses’ growth.

Gary also presented the 2014 Goldman Sachs-Fortune Global Women Leaders Award to two entrepreneurs: 10,000 Women graduate Gircilene Gilca de Castro, owner of Alimex Soluções em Alimentação Ltda, a Brazilian corporate catering service, and Rehmah Kasule, President and founder of CEDA International, an organization that provides mentoring, leadership and entrepreneurship training to women and youth and who participated in the 2009 Fortune–U.S. State Department Global Women’s Mentoring Partnership Program. They were recognized for their commitment to mentoring disadvantaged women in their respective countries and will receive grant funds to expand these efforts. 

“Every day I see myself in these women, and I want to give them the resources they need for a more secure future,” said de Castro describing her efforts to impart valuable skills training to underprivileged women in her community.

In 2014, the 10,000 Women program served its 10,000th woman entrepreneur, and announced a new $600 million partnership with the International Finance Corporation to create The Women Entrepreneurs Opportunity Facility, the first-ever global finance facility dedicated exclusively to women entrepreneurs. The joint venture will enable approximately 100,000 women to access capital and grow their businesses.

Photograph by Kimberly Roberts/Fortune Most Powerful Women