The International Trade Centre (ITC) has launched the Zambia chapter of the SheTrades initiative in a drive to connect more of the country’s women-owned businesses to international markets.
With the establishment of SheTrades Zambia, ITC will work with Zambian women entrepreneurs to improve their competitiveness and strengthen their opportunities to access regional and international markets.
Launched in partnership with the Enhanced Integrated Framework (EIF), SheTrades Zambia will also conduct a data-mapping survey on women entrepreneurs to identify their specific needs.
“Women entrepreneurs in Zambia have tremendous potential to be drivers of growth,” said ITC Executive Director Arancha González.
Adding that, “With SheTrades Zambia we will work in partnership with the government, the business community and with the EIF to better identify what these women need to improve their competitiveness and take their businesses to the global marketplace.”
A release by ITC copied to Newsghana com.gh, indicated that, SheTrades Zambia aims to spur economic growth and job creation for women-owned businesses in Zambia by expanding their role in the local and regional economy as well as in international trade.
Working with national and international partners, women entrepreneurs in Zambia will have the opportunity to improve their competency through tailored in-person and online training workshops, and mentoring sessions.
SheTrades Zambia will work alongside the country’s Ministry of Commerce, Trade and Industry to ensure activities are in line with the country’s national development strategies.
Zambia’s Minister of Commerce, Trade and Industry Christopher Yaluma said, “We can empower our women entrepreneurs by leveraging multilateral partnerships and linking export ready women entrepreneurs to buyers, partners and investors across the globe.”
Annette Ssemuwemba, EIF Deputy Executive Director, also said, “The EIF is pleased to be part of this new partnership in Zambia focusing on the economic empowerment of women. Access to local, regional and global markets can have a life-changing effect on women and their families from the resulting reduction in poverty and income increases. We see SheTrades Zambia serving as a catalyst so that women become inspired, informed drivers of trade.”
To further address challenges women entrepreneurs face, Stanbic Bank Zambia will be partnering with SheTrades Zambia to address gender-specific challenges hampering expansion and business growth.
The bank will strengthen its offering to women entrepreneurs including by providing easier access to finance, facilitating training workshops on financial literacy, and providing assistance to ensure exposure for women Zambian entrepreneurs at international trade fairs.
“Stanbic Bank Zambia is looking forward to the partnership of Anakazi Banking and SheTrades, as we believe it will drive the growth of female entrepreneurs in Zambia,” said Stanbic Bank Zambia’s Chief Executive Leina Gabaraane.
“Anakazi Banking was launched specifically to equip Zambian women with skills to succeed in business through business owner training sessions. With over 50% of the Zambian population being women and of these, over 40% are entrepreneurs. I urge women across Zambia to take advantage of the SheTrades and Anakazi Banking partnership to succeed in business,” Leina added.
The SheTrades initiative aims to connect three million women to market by 2021 and rallies stakeholders around the world to work together on seven actions to address trade barriers and create greater opportunities for women entrepreneurs. It is supported by a web and mobile digital platform. For more information, please visit shetrades.com
The International Trade Centre is the joint agency of the World Trade Organization and the United Nations. ITC assists small and medium-sized enterprises in developing and transition economies to become more competitive in global markets, thereby contributing to sustainable economic development within the frameworks of the Aid-for-Trade agenda and the United Nations’ Sustainable Development Goals.
For more information, please visit www.intracen.org