Joint OWIT-International Trade Centre Panel on Inclusive Trade - Expanding Participation of Women in Small & Medium Size Enterprises 

Here are some of the different points that were raised by women involved in trade from the business community, the ITC and OWIT during the panel discussion:

Ann  Shazell, Global Lead Lawyer, Cargill Ocean Transportation Group

  • Cargill has taken initiatives to promote the financial independence of women in developing countries such as getting involved in communities where they source materials as a food and agricultural producer and  partnering with NGOs and local organizations to understand the needs of women who often have many cultural restraints.

 

Alisee de Tonnac, CEO & Co-founder, Seedstars World

  • Launching a business is tough for both men and women; passion is a gender neutralizing force.

 

Aicha Pouye, Director, Division of Business and Institutional Support, International Trade Centre

  • WTO sets up the rules of trade; UNCTAD ensures the rules are applied; and ITC helps coach SMEs who need it most, particularly women, to win the game of market access and contribute to women’s economic empowerment.
  • It’s important for women to have mentors. Make time to coach women.
  • Women need a toolbox including education financial support and confidence to be successful and empower them to trade.

 

 Andrea Ewart, International Trade Lawyer & President, OWIT International

  • Caribbean companies face many barriers entering global markets and women-owned businesses face additional barriers.
  • There is a strong presence of women in the informal economy.
  • Corporations ae now integrating women in their supply chains and have supplier diversity programs that also help women sell to each other too.