Deadline: 30 September 2019
The International Trade Centers is seeking application for women entrepreneurs and women-owned businesses to join She Trades Invest for an opportunity to receive training and ultimately finance to grow their businesses.
Under the umbrella of the She Trades Initiative, She Trades Invest is dedicated to supporting fruitful relationships between investors and women entrepreneurs in developing markets. In doing so, She Trades Invest addresses the sixth global action of the She Trades initiative – unlocking financial services for women-owned businesses.
The Trades initiative aims to connect 3 million women entrepreneurs and women owed businesses to international market by 2021. SheTrades Invest expands to cover countries in Africa, Asia and the Caribbean and Latin America.
SheTrades Invest will:
- Strengthen the financial and managerial capacity of women entrepreneurs, improve their investment readiness, and connect them to impact investors and financiers;
- Build a pipeline for investors of women-owned businesses and SMEs that are benefitting women.
- Benefits for women-owned small and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs) and SMEs benefiting women:
- Access to a range of local, regional and global investors and impact investors
- Access to capacity-building/technical assistance from ITC
- Increased level of competitiveness and a deeper understanding of business practices, trade and investment.
- Benefits for investors and financial institutions:
- Support the Sustainable Development Goals through a gender-lens investment approach;
- Unlock an untapped trillion dollar market with an attractive risk and return profile; and
- Build a pipeline with an investment-ready pool of diverse women–owned businesses from developing and emerging economies.
- Connecting women entrepreneurs with investors will address and contribute to four important Sustainable Development Goals of the United Nations (SDG 1: No poverty, SDG 5: Gender Equality, SDG 8: Decent work and Economic Growth and SDG 17: Partnership for the goals) by:
- Educating women entrepreneurs on business practices and requirements for participation in trade;
- Driving competitiveness of Women Business Enterprises;
- Bridging the gap in access to financial services for women entrepreneurs and reducing gender inequality;
- Connecting women-owned businesses with investors;
- Investing in women’s economic empowerment and promoting an inclusive economic growth;
- Unlocking a largely untapped trillion-dollar market with a potentially attractive risk and return profile.
The second phase of She Trades Invest will be covering the following sectors:
- financial services;
- information and communication technologies;
- Infrastructure and facilities development;
- supply-chain services;
- technical assistance services;
- textile and clothing;
- transport and logistics;
The enterprise must comply with at least one of the three criteria below:
- Applicants must be at least 51% owned by woman/women;
- Applicants must be at least 20% owned by woman/women, has at least one woman as CEO/COO/President/Vice President; and has at least 30% of the board of directors composed of women, where a board exists;
- Applicants must be a SME benefiting women.
She Trades Initiative
This unique platform allows women-owned businesses, organisations, companies and ITC SheTrades partner institutions to:
- Connect with diverse businesses and build a strong network through which you can strike business deals, increase your credibility, and open doors to new opportunities!
- Offer and source products & services. Women-owned businesses can sell their products and services by posting offers on the platform. Buyers can then peruse offers, make orders and even post their own tenders on which sellers can bid.
- Learn new skills through a wide range of FREE e-learning materials. The Virtual Learning Space (VLS), online courses, live webinars and market tools cover various trade-related topics, to equip women entrepreneurs with knowledge and skills to grow their businesses.
- Participate in workshops, trade fairs and other business events. Within a growing number of countries, women entrepreneurs registered with SheTrades are given opportunities to attend dynamic and enriching in-country activities, all of which are made possible by ITC SheTrades partners and sponsors.
- Stay up to date with ITC SheTrades activities, news, success stories, videos, publications and more. There is a lot of action to be witnessed, information to be shared, and conversations to be had within the SheTrades community. Check out the different pages on the platform, and take part in interesting discussions within the forums.
How a Beauty Entrepreneur in Ghana Optimized the Use of Local Packaging
A member of the SheTrades in the Commonwealth Project since March 2019, Veronica participated in a three-day Shea packaging workshop and coaching session led by ITC Senior Adviser in Packaging Export, Mr Frederic Couty, in collaboration with the Ghana Export Promotion Authority (GEPA).
During the workshop, Veronica learned how packaging, labelling, and having a robust business network is crucial to the successful branding and internationalization of her products.after completing the course and receiving feedback from her peers and packaging experts, Veronica plans to introduce new bamboo packaging for her lotions and creams, and hopes to source unique calabashes from Ghana.
Miyonga Fresh Greens: Learning is Investing in Your Business
Established in 2015, Miyonga Fresh Greens exports fresh fruits, dry fruits, and vegetables to the UK, Norway, Netherlands, Germany, Greece, and Ireland. From just 1.5 acres of land, Yvonne Otieno, CEO of Miyonga, expanded production to 20 acres of land and now outsources production through a network of over 5,000 out- growers.
40% of all products received from farmers go to waste, partly because fruits which are deemed as imperfect or “ugly” – but which nonetheless contain the same nutritional value – are rejected by buyers. This means that Miyonga farmers lose a significant portion of their income, since exporters and agro-processors only pay for the fruits they process. To mitigate this loss in income, Miyonga, through a 2017 partnership with the Kenya Industrial Research institute and Export Promotion Council in Kenya, began product development efforts to convert food waste into dried fruit snacks and powder.
This conundrum gave her the impetus to join the SheTrades programme. Through SheTrades’ workshops, Yvonne learned how to (re-)assess and (re-)develop its export strategy and preparedness, identify markets, and differentiate and position its products for these markets. Feedback from her clients also motivated her to expand her product line to include Kenya coffee and tea. By applying the social media and communication techniques taught during the workshop, Yvonne connected with a partner who is interested in partnering exclusively with Miyonga to sell dried fruits and fruit powder.
NY NOW proved an invaluable experience for Penny Winter, Ruby Buah, and other attendees
NY NOW is the largest wholesale trade fair in the United States, taking place twice a year in New York City. It features comprehensive collections – HOME, LIFESTYLE and HANDMADE. By joining ITC SheTrades, women entrepreneurs are given the opportunity to showcase their products at this leading market. The following quotes reflect the experiences of two of our SheTrades beneficiaries who attended NY NOW in February 2019:
“This event has been everything for my business! The opportunity to present Kua on the world stage where I got to meet buyers from across North America, South America and Europe has helped me gain buyers from across the world. The wealth of information from the webinars and training helped me not just during the trade show but it has been very useful in my day to day business.” Ruby Buah, (CEO Kua Lifestyle, Ghana)
“It was an invaluable experience being able to test our products within different US audiences, and receive invaluable D2C feedback on product. The preparation training that did not stop coming, the detail of what to expect, and particularly, the sharing of specific industry related information made this experience beyond valuable. I am absolutely blown away by the nurturing support I have received, and my business has and will continue to benefit because of it. Absolutely delighted.” Penny Winter, (CEO at Penny Winter, Kenya)
How to Apply
Applicants can apply via address given on website.
For more information please visit http://www.intracen.org/ITC-issues-call-for-women-entrepreneurs-to-join-second-phase-of-SheTrades-Invest/