News Tag: gender
Online sales on the ETSY platform: how to succeed – webinar

The CUTIS project and the Canada-Ukraine Chamber of Commerce hosted a webinar with Kateryna Voylova, a woman entrepreneur and a business coach who leads the largest team of Ukrainian sellers on the Etsy platform.

Kateryna is the founder of the training community on Facebook and a woman entrepreneur (the Galvan-art store). For more than four years, Kateryna has been teaching courses on business development through the Etsy platform. She is leading in Etsy Ukrteam – the largest team of Ukrainian sellers on the Etsy platform.

In the program:

  • How to open a new store on Etsy
  • COVID-19 pandemic: challenges and opportunities in quarantine and post-quarantine period on Etsy platform
  • How to properly prepare your business for the High Season
  • Prospects for online business in general and Etsy business in particular.

Webinar recording 

 

Entrepreneurs from Slovyansk discussed how to overcome barriers in women-led businesses

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 March 4, in cooperation with the Donetsk Chamber of Commerce and Industry, the first #SheChampion seminar was held in Slovyansk, bringing together more than 20 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.

Natali Ivanova, Women’s Entrepreneurship Development Activities Coordinator by Donetsk Chamber of Commerce and Industry, welcomed the participants of the event. She described what kind of activities the Committee of Women’s Entrepreneurship conducts.

Vira Porovska, an expert on gender issues of the CUTIS project, talked about CUTIS gender component: SheChampion meetings and SHEforSHE Mentorship Program and presented a general report of the gender analysis of small and medium-sized businesses in 5 industries. Gender stereotypes, socially anticipated female behaviour, double burden, and conflict of professional and private roles were at the center of discussing gender barriers faced by women in export activities.

Two successful businesswomen – the founder of Praniville creative workshop Natalia Rak and owner of AB.Zabava Art ceramics & art workshop Hanna Butko shared their experience of creating a business from the very beginning. The stories of women are quite illustrative as they both were forced to start over because of the armed conflict in eastern Ukraine.

In 2014, Natalia Rak moved from the occupied part of Donbas to Druzhivka where she started making cookies. Trial consignments were bought by friends and acquaintances. Now, prianivil.in.ua is an established small business specialized in unique recipe confectionery. The company is considering expanding its product line.

Until 2014, Anna Butko worked in a consulting firm. After the company ceased its operations, the woman had to find other ways to make her living. She found comfort in her creative work. Anna began to study the secrets of pottery. Now AV.Zabava Art products are known in many countries of the world, including Ukraine, the Czech Republic, and Poland.

Kateryna Vitkovska, trainer, discover the secrets of successful work on the Etsy online platform. Kateryna created her own KvitkaBags brand and sells textiles and handbags all over the world. Kateryna Vitkovskaya also told about reputational risks for sellers, which may entail refusals of sales, negative feedback, etc.

In the second part of the event, the participants had the opportunity to improve their recruiting skills – Vira Porovska held a master class on attracting new specialists to the company.

Dnipro women entrepreneurs learned about new business opportunities and entering 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 March 3, in cooperation with the Dnipropetrovsk Chamber of Commerce and Industry, the first #SheChampion seminar was held in Dnipro, 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.

Vitaliy Zhmurenko, president of the Dnipropetrovsk Chamber of Commerce and Industry, shared plans to create a platform to support women’s business in the region and spoke about a forum for women entrepreneurs in the autumn.

Oleksandr Bondarenko, Head of the Dnipropetrovsk Regional State Administration, stressed the importance of the development of women’s entrepreneurship. In the Dnepropetrovsk region, only one in five businesses is founded by women, so there is still a lot of work to be done. Dnepropetrovsk region is the leader in Ukraine in terms of the production of goods and export volumes. That is why the development of women’s entrepreneurship has considerable economic potential.

Vira Porovska, an expert on gender issues of the CUTIS project, talked about CUTIS gender component: SheChampion meetings and SHEforSHE Mentorship Program and presented a general report of the gender analysis of small and medium-sized businesses in 5 industries. Gender stereotypes, socially anticipated female behaviour, double burden, and conflict of professional and private roles were at the center of discussing gender barriers faced by women in export activities.

Iryna Hrytsai, Deputy Head of the Dnipropetrovsk Regional State Administration, described local government’s achievements in gender equality. In particular, Irina spoke about the creation of a coordination council and the development of a regional family and gender policy program.

Svitlana Cherevko, a Leading specialist of the Export Support Center of the Department of Foreign Economic Relations of the Dnepropetrovsk Chamber of Commerce and Industry, CUTIS Trainer, came out with useful electronic resources helping women-led SMEs in exporting to Canada.

Alina Scherbina, founder of “BE in UA” platform talked about the complexity of entering new markets, the main barriers and how to overcome them. The platform helps to promote the products of local manufacturers, conducts a range of events and develops educational projects for creative business.

In the end, Vira Porovska, conducted a masterclass about recruitment issues for SMEs. She focused on the main three questions that every employer should ask hiring an employee. The participants worked on staff’s motivation, carrier circle and questions to be prepared to discover and evaluate the knowledge, skills, motivation, and compatibility of prospective workers.

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.

Ukrainian women entrepreneurs in Paris – a new chapter of the SHEforSHE mentorship program

With the support of the CUTIS project, three Ukrainian women entrepreneurs Olesya Timoshyk (TimiTex), Eugenia Lukash (Evgakids) and Kateryna Volkova (Sasha) participated in the largest French textile and apparel exhibition, which took place in Paris from February 10 to 13. That was part of the CUTIS SHEforSHE mentorship program aiming to support the development of women’s businesses in Ukraine and promote their products in foreign markets.

One other Ukrainian company, Jenadin, a knitwear manufacturer, participated in the exhibition catwalk.

The mentor of the SHEforSHE program is Maria Terekhova from Trade House New Fashion Zone, who already has successful experience in promoting Ukrainian apparel in foreign markets.

“For us, as a company that is just planning to enter international markets, participating in such exhibitions is a necessary and very important step. It is an opportunity, at the least, to feel the needs of the market and the requirements for manufacturers, and, at the most, to find new customers”, Olesya Tymoshyk from Chernihiv said.

For Eugenia Lukash (Kherson), founder of Evgakids online children’s clothing store, a trip to Paris also became the first experience of participating in an international apparel exhibition.

‘We are very grateful to the CUTIS project for this opportunity. The Apparel Sourcing Paris is so impressive. We are proud that our first international exhibition is the biggest garment sourcing show in Europe with more than 600 exhibitors from all over the world,’ Eugenia Lukash noted.

According to Kateryna Volkova from Slavutych, who produces children dresses under Sasha trademark, participation in the Apparel Sourcing Paris was a great opportunity to expand to new markets, establish contacts with new partners and present new products.

Jenadin’s participation in the catwalk has become a real highlight of the event. The Ukrainian knitwear producer was highly appreciated by the Parisian public. This success is significant for the producer given the fact that it was the first time for Jenadin to demonstrate its models at such a top international fashion show.

‘I’m very happy that we could present our collection, and also represent Ukrainian manufacturers at the Apparel Sourcing Paris. I want to thank the CUTIS project for giving us this opportunity and unbelievable experience,’ Jenadin CEO Nadiia Koziarivska said.

Maria Terekhova gave a presentation at the Apparel Sourcing Paris regarding benefits that international partners may have working with Ukrainian apparel companies. Maria made a brief overview of the Ukrainian apparel market and spoke about the specifics of searching a business partner in Ukraine.

“Events such as the Apparel Sourcing Paris exhibition are a great opportunity to present Ukraine as an interesting partner for private label production and fruitful cooperation with international retailers. During the event, we got acquainted with African and Latin American buyers. It’s a whole new negotiation experience for us”, Maria mentioned.

According to Olga Shtepa, CUTIS project coordinator, the participation of four Ukrainian companies in the international exhibition in Paris once again confirmed the opinion that Ukrainian companies are fabulous.

‘Businesses are usually established by intuitively searching for potentially profitable market niches and creating products suitable for their founders, but in a very short time, they may grow to the level of a national manufacturer, or even higher. They start planning strategic export activities, creating new jobs and conquering international podiums. Therefore, it is a pleasure to be part of the CUTIS project and the SHEforSHE mentorship program aiming to help grow such businesses and support their efforts to enter the global arena, ‘Olga Shtepa summarized.

SHEforSHE Mentorship Program: CUTIS Project brings women’s businesses to a new level

In 2019, the CUTIS project presented a gender-based analysis report on the export challenges of Ukrainian small and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs). The main objective of the study was to identify gender-based challenges of women-owned or -led enterprises in exporting and provide recommendations on reducing these barriers.

The report confirmed that traditional gender stereotypes hinder women’s advancement in business. The survey participants indicated that permanent access to mentoring and professional development is an important element of success in building their own business.

This is how the idea of CUTIS introducing a SHEforSHE Mentorship Program came about with the aim to support development of women’s businesses in Ukraine and promote their products in foreign markets, primarily, in Canada.

TM SASHA (children’s dresses) production

Two mentors, who already have successful experience in promoting products in foreign markets, were selected. They are Maria Terekhova (Kyiv, New Fashion Zone platform) and Ruslana Rymarska (Lviv, Smakuli cookies), participants of our U CAN Export Support Program for Ukrainian SMEs.

In partnership with the Regional Chambers of Commerce, two teams of participants were formed. The following factors were taken into account during the selection: business development dynamics, availability of an interesting product (or prospects for its creation), export potential, and most importantly, readiness for change and implementation of ideas developed during their participation in the program.

The first team headed by Maria Terekhova as mentor included the following mentees: Olesya Tymoshyk (Chernihiv, children’s clothing TM “TimTex”), Kateryna Volkova (Slavutych, TM SHUBA (home and baby textiles) and TM SASHA (children’s dresses) and Yevhenia Lukash (Kherson, EvgaKids children’s clothing Internet store).

Maria Terekhova and Kateryna Volkova

 

The second team consisting of mentees Halyna Ishchak (Ivano-Frankivsk, private entrepreneur, cakes and biscuits) and Iryna Fishchuk (Ivano-Frankivsk, private entrepreneur, confectionery) is headed by Ruslana Rymarska.

Meeting of Ruslana Rymarska and potential participants of the program

 

As Kateryna Volkova shared, the mentor visited the enterprise in Slavutych as part of the cooperation. During the meeting, the main challenges facing the company and complexity of entering new markets were discussed and a plan for further cooperation was developed. Every week, the mentor and the mentee discuss implementation of the developed plan of changes via Skype.

Children’s dresses TM SASHA

 

“There were a lot of issues that I have been trying to solve over the years. I found some of the answers to these questions myself, and of some with the help of Maria Terekhova, my mentor. It became clear to me that in order to work effectively in foreign markets, the company needs an export specialist. Finding one requires additional time and financial resources. Then the idea came up: why wouldn’t I master a new profession myself? This is exactly what I am focusing on now”, – Kateryna shares her experience.

According to Olesya Tymoshyk (TM “TimiTex”), while working with her mentor, she was able to modernize the design of clothes for the nursling to find a new client (B2B) and a new supplier of fabrics that she is currently negotiating with.

New product

 

“When you have been working for a long time, you get used to the technological process, your models, and you do not always understand the need for change. It is difficult to stop, figuratively speaking, step aside and watch the company without sentiment. This is where you need external experts with new, different, broader experience and knowledge, who immediately see what needs to be changed, improved, removed or added. Maria Terekhova is an expert with whom I was fortunate to work in one team. Her excellent experience, contacts and resources enhance our business and drive us to grow”, – says Olesya.

We wish our mentors and mentees further success in the development of Ukrainian women’s businesses. We will keep you informed of further achievements of these dynamic women entrepreneurs!

CUTIS held an export forum for apparel and footwear manufacturers interested in trade with Canada

The CUTIS project and the Canada-Ukraine chamber of commerce held a practical export forum in Kyiv for Ukrainian companies interested in exporting apparel and footwear to Canada.

During the event, participants had the opportunity to learn more about the Canadian footwear and apparel market, get acquainted with specific features of product promoting in Canada and communicate with Canadian experts who have huge experience in cooperation with Canadian buyers and distributors. The forum brought together about 50 small and medium enterprises.

Adam Barbolet, Senior Trade Commissioner of Embassy of Canada to Ukraine welcomed the guests.

‘Canada has been and remains a reliable partner of Ukraine. The Free Trade Agreement between Canada and Ukraine (CUFTA) came in force in 2017 and has visible results in terms of trade growth between countries. For example, Ukraine has become one of the leaders of apple juice suppliers in Canada.

We are interested in further economic cooperation with Ukraine. We do hope that more and more Ukrainian small and medium-sized enterprises will be able to export their goods to Canada. We want to see these products in the Canadian market, we want to help Ukrainian business to be successful in the Canadian market,’ Adam Barbolet said.

Emma Turos, Executive Director of the Canada-Ukraine Chamber of Commerce in Ukraine and CUTIS project manager spoke about the CUTIS export portal, which will provide relevant information to Canadian and international businesses seeking reliable Ukrainian partners.

Olga Shtepa, CUTIS Project Coordinator, drew the attention of the event participants to the specifics of the Canadian business culture (download the presentation via the link). In particular, Olga Shtepa named 5 essential components for successful exports to Canada:

  • Website in English (native English)
  • Detailed costs and prices information
  • Farewell to stereotypes
  • Getting rid of misconceptions about your product or service
  • Professional presentation of own products/services

Maxim Boroda, CUTIS Senior Trade and Investment Analysis Expert, told about features, trends, and consumer preferences in the Canadian apparel & footwear market.

In 2018, Canadians spent CAD 36 billion on clothing. In particular, CAD 18 billion on women’s clothing and about CAD 11 billion on men’s clothing. By 2023, the total sales of clothing will reach CAD 43 billion, with an average annual growth rate of 3.4%. At the same time, sales of hosiery will increase faster than any other category.

Canadian consumers spent CAD 7.8 billion on shoes, in particular, CAD 3.7 billion on women’s shoes, CAD 3.1 billion on men’s and CAD 1 billion on children’s shoes. By 2023, total footwear sales will reach CAD 9.5 billion.

Sales of man’s footwear will grow faster than other categories. The reason is the increase of men’s interest in fashion trends, especially among young people, as well as the liberalization of the office dress code.

Oleksandra Brovko, CUTIS Senior Trade and Investment Policy Expert, clarified regulatory and labeling requirements for Ukrainian goods in the Canadian market. She drew the attention of the participants to the rules of origin.

Oleksandra Brovko noted that the rules of origin in the CUFTA are based on the so-called North American model, and therefore sometimes different from the rules of origin contained in other free trade agreements between Ukraine and the European and post-Soviet countries.

Zoia Pavlenko, CUTIS Environmental Expert, explained the specifics of voluntary certification of Ukrainian products for the Canadian market and argued why environmentally sustainable production practices are competitive advantages in the Canadian market.

Vira Porovska, CUTIS Gender Expert, illustrated why gender-sensitive marketing is an essential requirement of Canadian consumers.

Apparel and footwear export guides were presented during the second part of the event.

You can download apparel export guide here (in Ukrainian)

You can download footwear export guide here (in Ukrainian)

Participants also had a chance to listen to the presentations of Canadian experts as well as ask questions related to Ukrainian goods prospects in the Canadian market.

TFO Canada consultant Maria Guzman (apparel market) explained how Ukrainian producers should build mutually beneficial relationships with Canadian buyers and shared the success stories of Ukrainian companies participated in CUTIS’s U CAN Export supporting program for small and medium-sized enterprises.

TFO Canada consultant Phil Zwibel (footwear market) brought into focus the typical mistakes Ukrainian manufacturers make entering foreign markets, including Canada. The logistics issues, misunderstanding of market specifics and unwillingness to update a product to the needs of local consumers are the main challenges Ukrainian companies need to overcome.

Lviv entrepreneurs learned about new opportunities for exporting apparel and footwear to Canada

The CUTIS project, the Canada-Ukraine chamber of commerce in cooperation with Ukrlegprom association, Lviv Business School and West Ukrainian Fashion Industry Cluster held a practical seminar in Lviv for Ukrainian companies interested in exporting apparel and footwear to Canada.

During the seminar, participants had the opportunity to learn more about the Canadian footwear and apparel market, as well as to get acquainted with specific features of product promoting in Canada.

The event brought together about 30 companies specializing in women’s, men’s and children’s clothing, as well as women’s, men’s, sports and children’s footwear.

Yuriy Samets, Chairman of the Board of the Western Ukrainian Fashion Industry Cluster and Tetiana Izovit, President of Ukrlegprom association, welcomed the guests.

Emma Turos, Executive Director of the Canada-Ukraine Chamber of Commerce in Ukraine and CUTIS project manager spoke about the CUTIS export portal, which will provide relevant information to Canadian and international businesses seeking reliable potential Ukrainian partners.

Olga Shtepa, CUTIS Project Coordinator, drew the attention of the event participants to the specifics of the Canadian business culture (download the presentation via the link). In particular, Olga Shtepa named 5 essential components for successful exports to Canada:

  • Website in English (native English)
  • Detailed information on costs and prices
  • Farewell to stereotypes
  • Getting rid of misconceptions about your product or service
  • Professional presentation of own products/services

Maxim Boroda, CUTIS Senior Trade and Investment Analysis Expert, told about features, trends, and consumer preferences in the Canadian apparel & footwear market.

It’s an interesting fact, in 2018, Canadian consumers spent CAD 7.8 billion on shoes, in particular, CAD 3.7 billion on women’s shoes, CAD 3.1 billion on men’s and CAD 1 billion on children’s shoes. In 2018, shoe sales in the Canadian market have increased by 3.7% in value.

During the same period, Canadians spent CAD 36 billion on clothing, in particular, CAD 18 billion on women’s clothing and about CAD 11 billion on men’s clothing. Consequently, the women’s clothing market in Canada is almost twice the size of the men’s market.

Maxim Boroda also presented practical export guides to Canada for apparel and footwear producers.

Vira Porovska, CUTIS Gender Expert, illustrated why gender-sensitive marketing is an essential requirement of Canadian consumers.

Oleksandra Brovko, CUTIS Senior Trade and Investment Policy Expert, clarified regulatory and labeling requirements for Ukrainian goods in the Canadian market.

Zoia Pavlenko, CUTIS Environmental Expert, explained the specifics of voluntary certification of Ukrainian products for the Canadian market and argued why environmentally sustainable production practices are competitive advantages in the Canadian market.

Borys Didai, KaDar Shoe Factory (Lutsk) export manager, told about the company’s entry into the Canadian market and the challenges facing Ukrainian manufacturers in this market. You can read the full KaDar success story via the link.

Vinnytsia women entrepreneurs discussed the most promising sectors for Ukrainian exports to Canada

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 October 17, in cooperation with the Vinnytsia Chamber of Commerce and Industry, the second SheChampion seminar was held in Vinnytsia, bringing together about 30 participants.

During the event, the participants learned about gender issues in international trade, and perspective sectors for Ukrainian small and medium enterprises in the Canadian market. Inna Konovchuk, a leading expert at the Vinnytsia Chamber of Commerce and Industry, provided key information about Canada which Ukrainian businesses need to be successful in the Canadian market.

Maksym Boroda, CUTIS senior trade and investment policy expert, paid attention to major trends in the Canadian footwear, clothing, furniture, and confectionery markets.

At the end of the event, the participants had the opportunity to take part in an interactive master class on employees’ motivation. Vira Porovska, CUTIS gender expert, explained how to retain key specialists using non-financial motivation.

In the process of the seminar, women entrepreneurs exchanged advice, accumulated new ideas for improving the export strategies of their enterprises, shared their experience and set up new business contacts.

Women entrepreneurs from Volyn region discussed the barriers on the way to international 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 October 10, in cooperation with the Volyn Chamber of Commerce and Industry, the second SheChampion seminar was held in Lutsk, bringing together about 20 participants.

Women entrepreneurs discussed gender issues in international trade, learned more about online trading and shared success stories of finding new partners in foreign markets.

Successful craftswoman Kateryna Voylova has shared the secrets of opening an online store on Etsy e-commerce platform.

Olena Tarasenko from the Volyn enterprise “VGP” (TM “Ruta”, big paper products producer) described the history of export development to EU countries.

At the end of the event, the participants had the opportunity to take part in an interactive master class on employees’ motivation. Vira Porovska, CUTIS gender expert explained how to retain key specialists using non-financial motivation.

In the process of the seminar, women entrepreneurs exchanged advice, accumulated new ideas for improving the export strategies of their enterprises, shared their experience and set up new business contacts.

Similar events are planned in other regions of Ukraine. The next seminar will be in Vinnytsia, on October 17. Participation in the event is free in case of pre-registration