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Philip Morris International’s U.S. Business Champions Female Economic Growth in Connecticut with Record-Setting $5 Million Investment Through New Partnership with Women’s Business Development Coun

March 4, 2024 6:48 PM EST

In honor of Women’s History Month and in advance of International Women's Day, investment and partnership support female economic empowerment and equality through entrepreneurship

STAMFORD, Conn.--(BUSINESS WIRE)-- Today, Philip Morris International (PMI) (NYSE: PM) announces the launch of an extended partnership via its U.S. business to support female empowerment with a record-setting $5 million investment in the Women’s Business Development Council (WBDC), a 501(c)(3) charitable organization dedicated to providing tools and resources to help women entrepreneurs thrive in business throughout Connecticut.

This press release features multimedia. View the full release here: https://www.businesswire.com/news/home/20240304800265/en/

(from left to right) Marian Salzman, Senior Vice President & Chief Corporate Citizenship Officer, PMI U.S.; Stamford Mayor Caroline Simmons; U.S. Congressman Jim Himes; State Representative Tom O'Dea; Fran Pastore, CEO of the Women’s Business Development Council; Gov. Ned Lamont; Stacey Kennedy, President Americas & CEO of PMI’s U.S. Business; Lt. Gov. Susan Bysiewicz (Photo: Business Wire)

(from left to right) Marian Salzman, Senior Vice President & Chief Corporate Citizenship Officer, PMI U.S.; Stamford Mayor Caroline Simmons; U.S. Congressman Jim Himes; State Representative Tom O'Dea; Fran Pastore, CEO of the Women’s Business Development Council; Gov. Ned Lamont; Stacey Kennedy, President Americas & CEO of PMI’s U.S. Business; Lt. Gov. Susan Bysiewicz (Photo: Business Wire)

Beginning January 2025, in coordination with WBDC, PMI’s U.S. business will contribute $1 million per year over a five-year period toward the “Women’s Economic Empowerment Initiative” (WEEI) to help remove barriers that prevent women from full participation in Connecticut’s entrepreneurial ecosystem.

“Philip Morris International is committed to making positive impact throughout Connecticut communities and beyond. Our partnership with WBDC and investment through the ‘Women’s Economic Empowerment Initiative’ enables us to better support Gov. Ned Lamont’s vision of positioning our state as a catalyst for women and their families,” said Stacey Kennedy, President, Americas Region & CEO of PMI’s U.S. business. “As the first multinational to receive Global EQUAL-SALARY Certification, we believe supporting female empowerment and ensuring economic equality is paramount for our collective economic growth. We encourage other companies to join in the initiative to empower females across the state. We have chosen to partner with WBDC because of their 27-year track record as the leading force for women’s empowerment and entrepreneurship and a driver of economic equity across Connecticut.”

Since 1997, WBDC has educated and trained more than 18,900 clients in all of Connecticut’s 169 towns— helping women to launch, sustain, and scale more than 14,170 businesses, create and maintain more than 31,400 jobs, and access more than $57 million in capital. This support from PMI will ensure continuity of the vital services WBDC provides and will allow the WBDC to build a legacy thousands of female entrepreneurs in Connecticut can rely on for years to come.

Decades of research show women’s full economic participation has enormous benefits, including increasing financial stability in their households and reducing poverty in their communities. Data from the New York-based Eurasia Group indicates that if policymakers were to prioritize investment in women’s economic power, the global economy could grow an additional 7% or $10 trillion by 20301. Through WEEI, PMI and WBDC, Connecticut-based women will receive the education, training, resources, and access to capital they need to put them and their families on the right path to economic self-reliance.

“This investment from PMI will enable us to continue the critical work we do to support economic independence through entrepreneurship for women in Connecticut,” said WBDC CEO Fran Pastore. “We are pleased that PMI has trusted us to use these funds to continue to help women access capital, education, and resources to support themselves and fuel employment within our state. Over the past few years, we have seen a 275% increase in the number of women who come to us seeking to launch or scale their business. Without the support of corporations in our community like PMI, this growth, and the growth we anticipate in the future, would not be possible.”

“Investments in female entrepreneurs and women-led businesses are investments in the future of Connecticut,” said Gov. Ned Lamont. “From our efforts to advance pay equity, to enacting a paid family medical leave program, to safeguarding healthcare services and increasing access to childcare so that women who enter the workforce can not only stay in the workforce, but advance as leaders and entrepreneurs, these are just some of the reasons Connecticut is one of the best states in the nation to live, work, and raise a family.”

This historic partnership was announced during a press conference at PMI’s Stamford, Connecticut headquarters (677 Washington Boulevard, 11th floor Stamford, CT 06901) at 10 a.m. EST on Monday, March 4, 2024. In attendance was Connecticut Gov. Ned Lamont; U.S. Congressman Jim Himes; Lt. Gov. Susan Bysiewicz; Stamford Mayor Caroline Simmons; Stacey Kennedy, President Americas & CEO of PMI’s U.S. Business; Marian Salzman, Senior Vice President & Chief Corporate Citizenship Officer, PMI U.S.; and Fran Pastore, CEO of the Women’s Business Development Council.

1Eurasia Group. (October 2023). Women’s Economic Power.

Philip Morris International, U.S.: Delivering a Smoke-Free Future

Philip Morris International (PMI), U.S., is working to deliver a smoke-free future. Since 2008, PMI has invested $12.5 billion globally to develop, scientifically substantiate and commercialize innovative smoke-free products for adults who would otherwise continue to smoke, with the goal of completely ending the sale of cigarettes. In 2022, PMI acquired Swedish Match – a leader in oral nicotine delivery – creating a global smoke-free champion led by the companies’ IQOS and ZYN brands. The U.S. Food and Drug Administration has authorized versions of PMI’s IQOS Platform 1 devices and consumables and Swedish Match’s General snus as Modified Risk Tobacco Products. For more information, please visit www.pmi.com/us/ and www.pmiscience.com.

Philip Morris International
Travis Parman
T. +1 (475) 550-2737
E. [email protected]

Source: Philip Morris International



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