SheChampion: Vinnytsia and Khmelnytsky women entrepreneurs studied successful export experience to foreign markets

The CUTIS project in cooperation with regional chambers of commerce and industry launched a series of #SheChampion seminars. The main goal is to discuss barriers women entrepreneurs face in business and international trade, as well as share experience in entering foreign markets.

On February 19, in cooperation with the Khmelnytsky Chamber of Commerce and Industry, the first #SheChampion seminar was held in Khmelnytsky, bringing together 30 participants.

Women entrepreneurs discussed gender issues in international trade, new trends in the Canadian markets and shared success stories of finding new partners in foreign markets.

Vira Porovska, CUTIS gender equality expert, made a presentation related to the main barriers for women’s SMEs in exporting (according to GBA report). She also conducted a master class ‘How to find the right people to your business’. The participants learned how to determine what competencies a specialist should possess and how to conduct a professional interview in the absence of a qualified HR.

Maryana Ovcharuk (handcrafted soap “Soap Stories”) and Galina Mikhnyak (CASCAD-HOLOD, furniture and logistics services) explained the complexity of entering new markets based on their own experiences. Besides, they focused on barriers and provided practical advice on how to overcome the challenges.

On February 20, the third #SheChampion seminar was held in Vinnytsia in cooperation with the Vinnytsia Chamber of Commerce and Industry. About 36 women entrepreneurs participated in the event.

During the seminar, the participants learned about gender issues in international trade, and perspective sectors for Ukrainian small and medium enterprises in the Canadian market.

In particular, Vira Porovska CUTIS gender equality expert shared the main achievements of the SHEforSHE mentorship program for women entrepreneurs.

Maria Terekhova, managing partner of the New Fashion Zone platform and one of the mentors of the SHEforSHE program, spoke about the changes introduced by the participants (manufacturers of children’s clothing) as a part of the preparation for the Apparel Sourcing Paris exhibition. Maria also shared her impressions of negotiation with foreign buyers in Paris and explained the basic requirements of foreign distributors to Ukrainian clothing and textiles. Participants also discussed the specifics of the Canadian apparel market and change Ukrainian producers need to adapt.

Besides, trainer Kateryna Voylova provided expertise and professional advice concerning promoting hand-made products on the ETSY platform. During the presentation, issues such as product placement, pricing, and paying difficulties were raised.

In the end, Vira Porovska held a master class to increase staff motivation.

Similar events are planned in other regions of Ukraine. The next seminar will be in Dnipro on March 3. So keep an eye on the updates.