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2010 Recipient: Virginia Littlejohn

8 Oct 2010 6:29 AM | Anonymous

Virginia is co-founder, President and CEO of Quantum Leaps Inc a non profit global accelerator or women's entrepreneurship, based in Washington DC, which uses technology to develop and disseminate knowledge and facilitate the sharing of best practices.

She has been the OECD's Senior Advisor for Women's Entrepreneurship since 1995 and organized its conferences in Paris in 1997 and 2000 on women-owned small and medium enterprises. One important initiative announced in Paris was an agreement to create a Global Banking Alliance for Women where Virginia served as consultant to four leading banks in North America, Europe and Asia to incubate the Alliance.

In 2002 she launched Project Tsunami The goal was to make huge economic waves through women’s enterprise development. After the devastating tsunami in Southeast Asia in December 2004, she hosted a virtual policy forum to develop strategies to help women-owned businesses in the region get back on their feet.

She organized entrepreneurial training in the former Soviet Union in 1990, and helped the Center for International Private Enterprise (CIPE) launch and organize a 60-country conference on women’s entrepreneurship for developing and transition economies in 1997. Her company is also working with the Global Business Committee of the Women’s Business Enterprise National Council on an initiative to get women-owned businesses certified as 51% or more women-owned, so that they can be integrated into the global supply chain and the world of ecommerce, and become suppliers to Global 500 multinational corporations.

Ms. Littlejohn has organized numerous trade missions and trade events over the last several decades. In 1985, she helped organize the first women-owned-business trade mission in the world, between the United States and London, Frankfurt and Madrid. She has served as President of the National Association of Women Business Owners(NAWBO) in the U.S. 1984-1985, Vice President of the World Association of Women Entrepreneurs (Les Femmes Chefs d'Entreprises Mondiales, or FCEM). She is a judge for the Cartier Women's Initiative Awards, and for the Women in Business Awards for the UN Conference on Trade and Development (UNCTAD).She received the Lifetime Achievement Award from the US-China Women Business Alliance in 2007.She and Quantum Leaps are now working with the OECD on fostering women’s entrepreneurship in the Middle East and North Africa (MENA). Virginia is a global leader who continues to impact the entrepreneurial capabilities of women entrepreneurs by expanding markets worldwide and has made the World of Difference in the process.

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