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Andrea Zanon

 

Entrepreneurship, Sustainability,

& Impact Investment

About Andrea Zanon

Operating out of Washington, D.C., Andrea Zanon is an experienced, skilled, multi-talented professional with more than 25 years of experience within the financial services industry. Fluent in Italian, English, French, Portuguese (native), and Spanish, Andrea has received international acclaim for his work around the globe. He holds the 2009 Clean Tech award from the President of Italy, he was an awarded Project Manager at the World Bank in 2012, and he was awarded in Big Data Analytics in 2016 from the World Bank. 

Building on a quarter-century of experience, Andrea Zanon is currently serving as the CEO of Empower Capital, which he founded in January 2018. With expertise in Global Capital Markets, Market Analysis, Mergers and Acquisitions, and ESG, Empower is a specialized investment bank focused on building trust and partnerships with clients to close the knowledge gap in investment banking. 

As an entrepreneur himself, Andrea Zanon knows how important it can be to have mentors and some assistance throughout the process the first time you set out to create a business. That’s why he was one of the first to start a promotion investment for women in entrepreneurship. He founded the We Empower Cities Foundation in 2017 to provide female entrepreneurs around the globe with early-stage capital, training, professional networking, and mentorship that can help them better succeed. With partnerships with over a hundred global investors and the World Bank, Andrea operates the Foundation in 14 countries, working with more than ten thousand women entrepreneurs. Investing in the success and futures of women is one of the best ways to help your business – and your country – strengthen and grow. 

Throughout his career, Andrea has consistently demonstrated his business acumen and insights through multiple businesses he’s created and grown to success. In 1996, he began his entrepreneurial career in Venice, Italy, when he founded Gimmy-Lee Co, serving as the fashion startup’s Vice President of Sales. Within just three years, he expanded the business to Japan, China, and South Korea, resulting in a 350% sales growth in that short span of time. Additionally, Andrea Zanon founded Aroma Italia Food Consulting – which he operated for five years – and Earth Council Italia, where he’s been the Vice President since 2003.

Andrea Zanon holds his Bachelor’s degree in and Master’s degrees in Philosophy and History from the University of Bologna in Italy and the University of Salamanca in Spain, respectively, graduating each time with distinction. Andrea also earned his Master of Science in Foreign Service (MSFS) from Georgetown University in Washington D.C. 

Learn more insights about entrepreneurship from Andrea Zanon by visiting his blog page and checking out his business website

Andrea Zanon Photo 2

Andrea Zanon’s Experience

 

Founder and CEO

EMPOWER CAPITAL

Washington, D.C. & Rome
Jan 2020-Current
  • Established a capital advisory to provide financial, technology, and ESG advice to corporations and financial institutions seeking access to smart tech and sustainable finance
  • Secured new partnership agreements with 10 organizations, including with the Holy See Secretary of State to help develop a finance platform giving financial access to under-banked people globally
  • Devising resilience, ESG, and access to finance strategies for financial institutions, and global foundations

Resilience Head, Middle East and North Africa

WORLD BANK GROUP

Addis Ababa and Washington, D.C.
March 2007-Sep 2016
  • Developed resilience strategies for 11 Ministers of Finance in 5 years resulting in over $10 billion in investments
  • Mobilized $1.8bn and negotiated agreement with 20 countries for the Horn of Africa drought crisis in 2011
  • Led multi-agencies post-conflict/disaster needs assessment in Yemen and West Bank & Gaza in the MENA region for $70mn

Founder, and Chief Operations Officer

AROMA ITALIA FOOD CONSULTING

Granada, Spain
Jan 1999-May 2004
  • Ran business operations in award-winning Italian food/beverage firm driving $450k in the first year and $1-1.7mn by the fourth year
  • Downsized company during crisis maintaining profitability, reducing staff by 20% and costs by 10%
  • Merged company with distressed small business generating $2.5mn in annual revenues

Founder and Chairman

WE EMPOWER CITIES FOUNDATION

Washington, D.C. 
Sept 2017-Current
  • Established an acceleration program powered by a consortium of public and private organizations to provide training, mentorship, professional networking, and early-stage capital to female entrepreneurs
  • Partnered with the World Bank and over 100 global partners and investors and launched the program in 14 countries working with over 10,000 women entrepreneurs
  • Provided training for over 2000 women-inclusive businesses since 2018 and facilitated seed-capital mobilization for 50 companies

Founder and Vice President

EARTH COUNCIL ITALIA

Denver, USA
Sept 2003-Present
  • Fundraised $5mn for climate change adaptation through the Clinton Foundation and the United Nations
  • Founded and designed climate change strategy, and fundraised $2mn for Earth Council Italia
  • Raised $2mn in VC funds and developed a health application to boost doctor-patient relations in Africa and the Middle East

Founder and Vice President of Sales

GIMMY-LEE CO

Venice, Italy
Mar 1996 – Jun 1999
  • Founded fashion start-up, and directed business operations and sales leading to exit and sale of the company for US $10mn in 3 years
  • Developed and implement strategic marketing and sales plans and forecasts to achieve corporate objectives for products and services and grew distribution networks in South Korea, and Japan
  • Expanded business to Japan, China, and South Korea resulting in sales growth of 350% over 3 years

President and Head of Crisis Unit

AMSTERDAM STRATEGIC ADVISORS

Washington, D.C.
Oct 2016-Dec 2018
  • Led crisis management for the firm, built a team of 10 across three countries, devised risk management strategies for global corporations and sovereigns such as Panama, and Dupont Risk Management who sought to establish long term resilience and ESG plans and strategies
  • Secured eight clients within the first year of operations expanding the business practice into the smart cities, as well as digital transformation and access to finance platforms
  • Organized advocacy and roundtables for policymakers and global tech companies on crisis management and resilience to increase capacity and to enable public-private partnership in the Middle East

Investment Officer

ALBRIGHT CAPITAL MANAGEMENT

Washington, D.C.
Jun 2006-Aug 2008
  • Advised Secretary of State M. Albright on energy in Central Asia resulting in $50mn investments in Russia and Turkey
  • Assessed investment climate and advised hedge fund managers on investments through financial analysis and forecasting
  • Provided market forecasts and reports by directing market research, analysis, and interpretation of data

Awards

 

Education

 
  • Clean Tech (Italy President, 2009)
  • Project Manager (World Bank, 2012)
  • Big Data Analytics (World Bank 2016)

GEORGETOWN UNIVERSITY Washington, D.C.
Master of Science in Foreign Service (MSFS) May 2007

 

UNIV. OF BOLOGNA, AND UNIV. OF SALAMANCA Italy and Spain
Bachelor and Master in Philosophy and History-Graduated with distinction May 2002

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