The International Trade Center (ITC) has launched a women-economic empowerment program for female entrepreneurs to be able to trade across borders.
@ITCnews #SheTrades and @DFID_UK launch the SheTrades in the Commonwealth to increase the participation of women enterpreneurs in #Kenya to markets @AranchaGlezLaya @verogbogbo @JuanHoyosMedia pic.twitter.com/Ou5nbpHIAt
— Michelle Kristy (@MichelleKristy_) May 14, 2018
“SheTrades” aims to grow one million female entrepreneurs, and is starting with Kenya, Ghana, Nigeria and Bangladesh, in export-ready fields of apparel (textiles), agriculture (tea, coffee, avocado) and services (ICT, tourism). The program will offer training, capacity building and support to enable women, entrepreneurs to be more competitive, and prepare their companies for export markets such as through obtaining certifications, connecting to buyers and being able to talk they way into deals.
The SheTrades program is based on seven principles of quality data, fair policies, public procurement, striking business deals, enabling market access, unlocking financial services, and securing ownership rights. Kenya is acknowledging for having female supportive laws such as setting aside 30% of government procurement for women, youth and persons with disabilities, though the uptake of this has lagged. It also has some women-focused funding initiatives while Barclays Kenya has a program with ITC to increase women’s access to international trade opportunities.
SheTrades is funded by the UK’S DFID and the SheTrades Commonwealth Kenya initiative is open to companies that are at least 30% female-owned and female-managed are eligible for sign up on the SheTrades website.