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International Trade Centre launches SheTrades Zambia

September 13, 2018

..Women entrepreneurs in Zambia to benefit from training and market
links to boost business competitiveness

By Wallace Mawire

The International Trade Centre (ITC) has launched
the Zambia chapter of the SheTrades initiative in a drive to connect
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. ‘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.

Zambia’s Minister of Commerce, Trade and Industry Hon. 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, 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 through the
bank’s Anakazi Banking programme.

Stanbic Bank Chief Executive Officer Leina Gabaraane said that
“Stanbic Bank recognises the role that women play in the development
of Zambia which is why we remain committed to supporting their
economic empowerment through innovative products and customised
services like the Anakazi Banking initiative.

Anakazi Banking was created to boost women’s involvement in business
and entrepreneurship by providing them with tools they need to succeed
in business, including easier access to convenient banking, finance as
well as business knowledge.

The initiative involves intensive training, mentoring and networking
events to build knowledge in management and access to markets, and
help women set up businesses. The programme serves women as individual
customers targeting students, civil servants and women professionals.”

Since joining the Global Banking Alliance for Women – the only global
consortium of financial institutions dedicated to supporting banks as
they design banking products that capture the opportunity of the
women’s market – Stanbic has extended the value of having access to a
broad network of organisations worldwide that have the expertise and
experience necessary to launch and embed a successful Women’s Market
proposition to its female clients.

The bank chief noted that Stanbic was keen on partnering with ITC to
launch SheTrades Zambia because the initiative aligned perfectly with
the bank’s desire to move women entrepreneurs in Zambia to the next
level.

 

“We are excited to be partnering ITC in bringing SheTrades to Zambia
because their objectives match our commitment to women empowerment in
Zambia.

 

We believe that through concerted efforts, Zambia can eliminate the
barriers to business for women and in doing so we would be helping
women entrepreneurs move to the next level and reach their full
potential in terms of contribution to national development,” Mr
Gabaraane said.

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