Raising the visibility of coffee produced by women and strengthening the links between producers and buyers is the aim of one of our projects in East and Central Africa. We provide technical support to women coffee producers to improve the quality and production of their coffee. Assistance is also provided to ensure that women coffee producers have easier access to finance and are able to set up their own bank accounts to keep control of their income.
ITC has also facilitated the creation of national chapters of the International Women’s Coffee Alliance (IWCA) in a number of countries, to empower women in the coffee sector. IWCA’s mentoring and management programmes have boosted productivity and incomes. Working with buyers and producers to improve the profile of coffee produced by women has resulted in more than 100 major transactions. About 200 women coffee producers are now selling to large institutional buyers throughout the world.
This project empowers women in the Zambian cotton sector by providing technical support to enterprises and institutions. By strengthening the gender-related work of the Cotton Association of Zambia, the project supports women farmers in taking over important functions within the association and along the cotton value chain, including ginning. Working with enterprises, the project trains women farmers to enhance their business-development skills using the ACCESS!, training programme for women exporters, developed by ITC.
By providing support to partner institutions and government agencies, this project links women and their associated agribusinesses to commercially viable opportunities and value chains. It improves the livelihoods of farming communities and creates job opportunities across several sectors, focusing on identifying global market opportunities for Ghana’s fresh and processed yam.
The aim of this project is to implement recommendations of the national development strategy for yam and associated farming systems developed jointly by ITC, the International Institute of Tropical Agriculture (IITA) and national stakeholders. The strategy began in 2012 and has been led by the Ghanaian private sector with the support of the government of Ghana.
In collaboration with the United Nations Development Programme (UNDP), this project is designed to ensure that more women-owned businesses in the State of Palestine become export-ready. By enhancing their competitiveness and their capacity, women-owned SMEs are given the skills and information they need to expand in local markets and enter regional markets.
A key target of the project is to ensure that the goods and services offered by Palestinian women entrepreneurs meet buyers’ requirements. Through matchmaking events, women-owned SMEs are linked to potential buyers in the Middle East and beyond. A central component of the project is to strengthen the capacity of the Business Women Forum – Palestine to provide better trade-support services to its members.
This project seeks to develop the managerial and technical skills of women entrepreneurs in cashmere and related fibres businesses in Mongolia, and in cotton and related fibres businesses in Ethiopia, to ensure that they meet buyers’ requirements, create links to new markets and buyers, and make more sales.
Women entrepreneurs from these sectors who have participated at events linked to the Global Platform for Action on Sourcing from Women Vendors have had substantial interest from buyers. ITC is now providing training and mentoring to selected women-owned enterprises so that they can meet the requirements needed to strike deals.
ITC is working with institutional partners, including the Mongolia Cashmere Association and the Center for Accelerated Women’s Economic Empowerment in Ethiopia.
The aim of this project is to increase the economic benefits that businesswomen in the Pacific region gain from their participation in trade.
In Papua New Guinea, the project’s aim is to transform the largely informal, fragmented and scattered activity of bilum twisting into an economically viable business opportunity for selected groups of women producers. In Samoa, the project supports the increased participation of businesswomen in government-procurement markets. In Vanuatu, the project links women smallholders and their communities to the tourism value chain on Espiritu Santo Island, the fastest-growing cruise-ship destination in Vanuatu.
Project partners include Pacific Islands Trade and Invest, Vanuatu Technical and Vocational Education and Training (TVET) Sector Strengthening Program, as well as agencies of the governments of Papua New Guinea, Samoa and Vanuatu.
The project aims to increase Gambian women entrepreneurs’ participation in trade by facilitating the development
of a supportive business ecosystem, improving their competitiveness and strengthening their market linkages in
strategic and potential productive sectors.
ITC SheTrades will act as a convener, working with key public and private stakeholders to improve the business
environment for Gambian women entrepreneurs.
ITC SheTrades will facilitate women entrepreneurs’ access to the skills, and support systems required to run
successful businesses, improving their competitiveness and connecting them to local, regional and international
The project will deliver its objective through four components:
• A public-private platform to support women’s economic empowerment in The Gambia established;
• A strengthened support ecosystem for women entrepreneurs;
• Enhanced production capacity of women in selected value chains;
• Women owned enterprises/women entrepreneurs connected to markets
ITC focuses on making its strategic framework and indicators gender-responsive; training staff in gender mainstreaming; mainstreaming gender in all projects; gender mainstreaming and collecting data to ensure gender-sensitive reporting monitoring and evaluation; and ensuring gender parity in staffing and creating an enabling work environment. ITC has also committed to ensuring that 40% of its interventions benefit women by 40%.
ITC actively ensures implements the United Nations’ Action Plan on Gender Mainstreaming and the Empowerment of Women (UN-SWAP), an accountability framework that sets out gender-related targets and goals to be achieved by all UN entities within specified time-frames; in the case of ITC, by 2017.
The most popular talk show in Papua New Guinea, Tanim Graun, discusses this question in a special edition as part of the United Nations’ 16 days of activism against gender-based violence.The panel included Mr. Torek Farhadi, Senior Adviser for the ITC Women and Trade Programme. He argues that economic empowerment of women can help address domestic violence, sexual assault and discrimination in homes, communities and workplaces.
Women & Procurement
An E-Learning course provided by the ITC SME Trade Academy