November 27, 2023

FROM KATE: How WMarketplace is Empowering Women Entrepreneurs in Ukraine on Giving Tuesday

By Susan Gates, Co-Founder & COO of WMarketplace

Giving Tuesday means a lot of things to different people. For many, it’s an opportunity to extend holiday shopping dollars to supporting non-profits in the neighborhoods and around the world. For others, it can mean service hours or donating a percentage of profits to a charity. This year for WMarketplace, it has a little bit of a different meaning: supporting women entrepreneurs in Ukraine.

Ukranian Woman holding hands
Kate Isler with her graduating class from the Goldman Sachs 10k Small Business program

When Kate and I launched the WMarketplace in 2020, our mission focused squarely on gender equity. We base our work around World Economic Forum numbers that track gender equity around the world and how long it is estimated to take until women reach full parity with men. The current estimate is 131 YEARS. Which means our kids will never see gender equity. This isn’t just the stubbornly persistent pay gap that we are all familiar with, it’s equal representation in politics, equal access to education and healthcare and economic equality. We know that when women have equal access to all of these areas, the world will be a better place for everyone.


Rather than getting discouraged by the persistent and stubborn equality gap, we are doing everything we can to accelerate closing it – in the U.S. and around the world. Kate and my shared history of building our careers in international business has opened doors globally to our ecommerce accelerator and led to the creation of our current efforts to support women entrepreneurs in Ukraine. With the support of a multinational corporate sponsor in Ukraine, we have provided access to the U.S. market through our nation-wide online marketplace and practical ecommerce skills workshops to make sure they are ready to sell in the U.S.

Rather than getting discouraged by the persistent and stubborn equality gap, we are doing everything we can to accelerate closing it – in the U.S. and around the world.

But the most direct impact we have had is by providing a direct cash grant to the business that was part of the sponsorship. This grant wasn’t tied to a competition or to a specific business activity. We trust that entrepreneurs know what they need to grow their businesses. Seeing the reaction to receiving the grant confirmed what we already know: even small cash grants can have a big impact for small businesses.


While this activity may not fall within the usual definition of “Giving Tuesday”, it is how we believe we can have the most immediate impact on businesses who are struggling to survive under extremely challenging conditions. We know that if these businesses can continue to stay afloat, and even grow, they will better be able to support their families, hire more employees, and participate in a sustainable future for their communities.

If purchasing directly from women entrepreneurs is how you show your support, there are over 500 women-owned businesses selling on WMarketplace. And if you would like to support a woman entrepreneur who is based in Ukraine, we are thrilled to introduce you to Anna Zmiievska of Anzy Home. You can read all about Anna, her business, and her journey to entrepreneurship HERE

Written by Susan Gates, 

Co-Founder & COO of WMarketplace

Anna Zmiievska, Founder of Anzy Home

Carmen Martinez, Customer Service Lead at WMarketplace


Carmen Martinez, Customer Service Lead at WMarketplace

Susan Gates is the CO-Founder and COO of WMarketplace. Susan brings over 20 years of experience in private sector sales, public-private partnerships and international trade to TheWMarketplace. She launched her career as an International Trade Specialist with the U.S. Department of Commerce. With a transition to the private sector, Susan managed the international sales team for a gourmet food company and then national accounts for a global food business. After seven years at home with two kids, Susan returned to work managing sponsorship and advertising sales for a trade association supporting the coffee industry. Susan lives in Seattle where her kids are now in high school, along with her husband, who is their principal. 

Launched in 2020, TheWMarketplace is a nationwide e-commerce marketplace for women-owned businesses to sell their products and professional and personal services. Offering favorable terms to its sellers, it also is a supportive community of women entrepreneurs that have access to learning opportunities through the trademarked HER-Commerce™ programs. With over 500 women-owned businesses selling 4000+ products and services ranging from home goods to coaching, in over 35 states, TheWMarketplace empowers shoppers with a new way to find the communities they want to support, including Black-woman owned, Latina-owned, AAPI-owned, Veteran woman-owned, and more.

From Kate: How WMarketplace is Empowering Women Entrepreneurs in Ukraine on Giving Tuesday