In 2021, Empower a Billion Women topped the list of Austin’s fastest-growing companies on Inc Magazine’s list.
Ingrid Vanderveldt founded the company in 2013 and launched a healthcare business to supply personal protection equipment in response to the COVID-19 pandemic.
Vanderveldt announced last week that she had sold EBW Cares Distributors to Shield Manufacturing, based in Alpharetta, Georgia. She discussed the deal at her SXSW presentation Friday titled “Be The One: Unlocking the $28 Trillion SHEconomy with AI” at the Hilton Downtown Hotel. And Alison Bagwell, CEO of Shield Manufacturing, attended the event. Bagwell is an engineer formerly with Kimberly Clark. She has more than 50 patents and has used the bulk of them to drive more than $500 million in sales over the last decade, according to a news release.
“While the deal remains private, it is estimated to be valued at over $100 million,” according to a news release. The companies first focus will be building its cleanroom glove facility in Sandersville, Georgia, which is expected to produce over 2.2 billion gloves annually in its Phase I. Shield cleanroom gloves will serve pharmaceutical, medical device, biotech, chip manufacturing, and other controlled professional lab environments.
Vanderveldt created Empowering a Billion Women to reach one billion women across the globe and help them start and scale ventures through mentorship, education, and community. Vanderveldt is a former Entrepreneur in Residence of Dell and has led ventures and initiatives that combined have driven over $1 billion in impact reaching over 700 million people worldwide, according to Vanderveldt.
When she heard a statistic from the United Nations that it would take 300 years for gender parity, she thought she needed to do more. She said she wanted to use technology to build a bridge, break down doors, and transform lives.
So she’s launching SHEconomy.com, a metaverse world built on technology, blockchain, and using artificial intelligence and machine learning, Vanderveldt said.
“The word Sheconomy was first coined in 2007,” according to Frost & Sullivan. “It refers to a new economy driven by the increase in female consumers in industries like tourism, healthcare, food, beauty and wellness, culture, media, and entertainment.”
“Together, we can move the needle,” she said. “We can create the new future we want to see.”
Vanderveldt said it’s impossible to do big ideas without a team, so she has partnered with Cristina Diaz, founder of Minero, and Bobby Henebry, founder of HBCC LLC and Elway Capital LLC.
“As a technologist myself, it’s easy to think we can make all kinds of things happen with data, but we need relationships, and we need to bring people together, “ Vanderveldt said.
Today, 84 percent of women and diverse leaders running businesses don’t make over $100,000 in revenue annually; only 3 percent will get over $1 million, and .003 percent will get over $10 million, Vanderveldt said.
The SHEconomy World will bring people together in the virtual world to make real-life connections, Vanderveldt said. It will launch in November, she said. She said the focus would be on helping women connect to corporations and investors to move the needle of their progress as entrepreneurs.