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STAMFORD, Conn. – Philip Morris International (NYSE: NYSE:) has announced a partnership with the Women’s Business Development Council (WBDC) to support female economic empowerment in Connecticut. The tobacco giant will invest $5 million over five years in the WBDC’s Women’s Economic Empowerment Initiative (WEEI), starting January 2025.

The initiative aims to eliminate barriers to women’s full participation in the state’s entrepreneurial ecosystem. This investment aligns with PMI’s commitment to gender equality and economic growth in communities where it operates. PMI’s contribution will fund education, training, resources, and access to capital for Connecticut-based women, enhancing their economic self-reliance.

WBDC has a 27-year history of aiding women in business, having assisted over 18,900 clients, launched more than 14,170 businesses, and helped create over 31,400 jobs. The organization has been instrumental in providing access to over $57 million in capital. PMI’s funding is expected to extend the reach and impact of WBDC’s services, supporting the growth of female entrepreneurship in the state.

The partnership announcement, made at PMI’s Stamford headquarters, was attended by prominent local and state officials, including Connecticut Governor Ned Lamont and U.S. Congressman Jim Himes. The officials praised the initiative for its potential to bolster economic independence and contribute to Connecticut’s reputation as a favorable environment for women in the workforce.

PMI has previously demonstrated its commitment to gender equality, being the first multinational to receive Global EQUAL-SALARY Certification. The company encourages other corporations to support initiatives that empower women economically.

The press release also highlighted PMI’s broader efforts towards a smoke-free future, including significant investments in smoke-free products and the acquisition of Swedish Match, a leader in oral nicotine delivery. PMI’s smoke-free brands, IQOS and ZYN, have received Modified Risk Tobacco Product authorization from the U.S. Food and Drug Administration.

This partnership is based on a press release statement and reflects PMI’s ongoing strategy to contribute positively to the communities in which it operates, with a focus on supporting female entrepreneurs and economic equality.

This article was generated with the support of AI and reviewed by an editor. For more information see our T&C.

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