The International Trade Centre (ITC) wants women entrepreneurs in Zambia to benefit from training and market links to boost business competitiveness and strengthen their opportunities to access regional and international markets. Hence, the ITC, a joint agency of the World Trade Organisation (WTO) and the United Nations (UN), will Monday (today) launch the Zambia chapter of the SheTrades initiative in a drive to connect more of the country’s women-owned businesses to 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. “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.”
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.
Commenting on the initiative, 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.”
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 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.
“Anakazi Banking was launched specifically to equip Zambian women with skills to succeed in business through business owner training sessions. With over 50 percent of the Zambian population being women and of these, over 40 percent are entrepreneurs. I urge women across Zambia to take advantage of the SheTrades and Anakazi Banking partnership to succeed in business,” said Stanbic Bank Zambia Chief Executive Leina Gabaraane.