Zoë Dean-Smith

Zoë is the Vice President of Economic Empowerment and Entrepreneurship at Vital Voices Global Partnership. She has decades of experience working with women artisans and social enterprises in Africa and SE Asia.

Prior to 2007, Zoë was Managing Director of Gone Rural, working with 700+ women artisans in Swaziland and launched Gone Rural BoMake—a community development non-profit organization serving the Gone Rural communities. In 2011/2012 she served as the Senior Director of Vital Voices’ Global Entrepreneurs in Handcrafts Program, during which time she also worked with TechnoServe, developing Swaziland’s handcraft sector and with the International Finance Corporation’s Grassroots Business Initiatives across Africa and SE Asia.

Zoë is the recipient of the 2011 World of Difference Award from The International Alliance of Women as well as the 2005 Pan African Business-Woman Award for Capacity Building. She has been a featured speaker internationally in her role as a social entrepreneur, as well as addressing issues concerning HIV/AIDS, women’s rights, and basic community needs in Swaziland.