News Tag: women in trade
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

SheChampion: Women entrepreneurs from Kherson and Chernihiv learned new life hacks about 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 September 26, in cooperation with the Kherson Chamber of Commerce and Industry, the second #SheChampion seminar was held in Kherson, bringing together about 30 participants.

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

Lota Bertulfo, CUTIS principal gender equality expert, made a presentation related to gender concerns in international trade. Victoria Gavrenkova (founder of agricultural companies Kaissa, Sun Light, BBBV), Natalia Yavorskaya (manager of the honey section of LLC “Sodruzhestvo”) and Yevgeniia Lukash (founder of LLC “EvgaKids”, children’s clothing) shared their export stories and gave practical advice for export-oriented businesses based on the previous experience. 

On October 3, the second #SheChampion seminar was held in Chernihiv in cooperation with the Chernihiv Chamber of Commerce and Industry. About 30 women entrepreneurs participated in the event.

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.

In particular, Maksym Boroda, CUTIS Senior Trade and Investment Policy Expert, paid attention to major trends in the Canadian footwear, clothing, furniture, and confectionery markets.

Besides, such significant business issues as cybersecurity and the importance of choosing the right digital systems for business development were discussed. 

Similar events are planned in other regions of Ukraine. The next seminar will be in Vinnytsia on October 10. So keep an eye on the updates.

Webinar “Women in Business: Business Experience in Canada” was held on 26th of September

Export Promotion Office and CUTIS project run a webinar within the She Exports platform.

Topic: Women in Business: Business Development Experience in Canada

Speaker: Victoria Umin, Senior Director, International Business Development at Ag Growth International (Canada), a leading international producer of grain handling and storage equipment. Victoria has been working in the company for more than 10 years and takes a direct part in international business development. You can find more here https://www.linkedin.com/in/victoria-umin-8bb51711/.

What issues were considered?

  1. What skills should be developed in the modern business in connection with global trends?
  2. What needs to change in business to be effective in the modern economy?
  3. What practical business development tips can you give?
  4. What to consider in the export plan for entering the Canadian market?
  5. Practical advice for women entrepreneurs, based on experience in Ukraine, Canada and other countries.

 You can find the video here https://bit.ly/2EHRUKe 

Contact person Alina Sevastyuk alinasevastyuk@epo.org.ua, +380674628282.

Want to learn more about exports to Canada? You can download the Step by Step Guide for free at https://cutisproject.org/success/icanexport/

Entrepreneurs in Khmelnytsky and Ivano-Frankivsk discussed opportunities for entering the international markets

On March 27 and April 2 in Khmelnytsky and Ivano-Frankivsk events from the series of world business-cafes “Women Entrepreneurship: Access to Foreign Markets” initiated by the Export Promotion Office under the Ministry of Economic Development and Trade took place.

Meetings for women in business were held at the local Chambers of Commerce and Industry with the assistance of the Canadian-Ukrainian Trade and Investment Promotion Project (CUTIS).

Within the business cafe, women entrepreneurs listened to an informational lecture on the opportunities created by the Canada-Ukraine Free Trade Agreement, and also had a “brainstorming” session covering the following questions:

  • What are the barriers preventing their businesses from exporting?
  • What export support services are needed to overcome these obstacles?
  • What is the best way to provide export support services?
  • Who can provide these services?

As a result of the discussion, the participants formulated practical tips that could help businesses increase their chances of entering international markets, and also exchange their observations and experiences on overcoming the existing barriers for women entrepreneurs.

Follow the announcements for the future events here.

More photos below.

Women entrepreneurs from Donetsk region discussed the barriers on the way to international markets

On March 12, an interactive world business-cafe “Women’s Entrepreneurship: Access to Foreign Markets” was held in Kramatorsk, organized by the Canadian-Ukrainian Trade and Investment Support Project, Export Promotion Office and the Donetsk Chamber of Commerce and Industry within the #SheExports platform.

Active representatives of the export-oriented women’s business from the Donetsk region joined the event. Within the business cafe CUTIS project expert Oleksandra Brovko presented them with useful information about the potential of the Canadian market for Ukrainian producers. Participants also learned about the She Exports platform and its benefits for business women aiming to enter international markets.

In addition, while working in small groups, participants were looking for the answers to important questions for female exporters:

  • what are the barriers to the export development of their companies;
  • what export support services are needed to overcome these obstacles;
  • which export support format is the best;
  • who can provide those services.

In the process of brainstorm and presentation of the group work results, the exporter 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, so keep an eye on the updates.

Women-entrepreneurs from Kherson discussed barriers to entering international markets

On March 15, as a part of Export Promotion Office’s #SheExports platform a world business-cafe “Women’s Entrepreneurship: Access to International Markets” took place in Kherson.

The event was co-organized by the Kherson Chamber of Commerce and Industry and Canada-Ukraine Trade and Investment Support project (CUTIS).


“In Kherson there are a lot of successful women entrepreneurs who produce, sell, and provide logistics services,” said Viktoria Ostroumova, President of the Kherson CCI, during her introductory speech.

During the business-cafe, more than 45 women entrepreneurs received information about the activities of CUTIS project and Export Promotion Office, in particular on business support programs and information resources that can be useful to exporters.

A separate session was devoted to the opportunities created by the Canada-Ukraine Free Trade Agreement (CUFTA). CUTIS project expert Oleksandra Brovko discussed with the participants the following topics:

  • What do they need to know about tariff quotas and their administration within the CUFTA?
  • How to confirm the origin of goods within the free trade zone?
  • Where to find regulatory requirements concerning their product?
  • What are the Canadian consumer preferences?

During the interactive part of the event, business representatives in small groups discussed barriers that prevent their entry to the international markets, services that could help to overcome these barriers, and the formats in which those services could be provided.

The women entrepreneurs presented the results of the discussion and talked through the problems they face on the way to international markets. The world cafe also facilitated new business contacts between women entrepreneurs in the Kherson region.

A series of world business cafes in the regions of Ukraine continues. The future events can be found here.

Women entrepreneurs from Kropyvnytskyi learned about entering foreign markets

On March 2, 2018, as part of the World Business Cafe “Women’s Entrepreneurship: Access to Foreign Markets” the issue of Ukrainian women-led businesses entering foreign markets was discussed at the Kirovograd Regional Chamber of Commerce and Industry (KRCCI).

About 20 female entrepreneurs from Kirovograd region (representatives of small and medium businesses of the region) took part in the event organized by the Canada-Ukraine Trade and Investment Promotion (CUTIS) project. The co-organizer of the event was the Export Promotion Office under the Ministry of Economic Development of Ukraine and KRCCI.

The President of the KRCCI Iryna Sayenko addressed the participants of the event with welcoming remarks, emphasizing the Chamber’s full support of women entrepreneurship.

The CUTIS Project Manager Konstantin Ryzhkov familiarized the participants with the work of the project and invited them to engage in all the possible activities aimed at the development of female entrepreneurship.

The issue of exporting Ukrainian goods to Canada in the context of the Canada-Ukraine Free Trade Agreement, as well as the prospects and challenges for women entrepreneurs was highlighted by Oleksandra Brovko, CUTIS project Senior Trade and Investment Policy expert.

The work of the World Business Cafe was divided into so-called rounds. The first round focused on discussing specific barriers to export development for women-owned companies. The second round covered the export support services needed to overcome these obstacles. The third one was devoted to the best ways of providing export support services, as well as service providers or interested parties who can provide those services. During the fourth round, the discussion reports were prepared. At the end of the event, the participants presented the results of the discussion and, together with the experts, summarized the main findings.

Source: Kirovograd Regional Chamber of Commerce and Industry (KRCCI)

Women-entrepreneurs in Lutsk discussed the trade barriers for entering international markets

On February 12, an interactive world business-cafe “Women’s Entrepreneurship: Access to Foreign Markets” was held in Lutsk, organized by the Canadian-Ukrainian Trade and Investment Support Project, Export Promotion Office and the Volyn Chamber of Commerce and Industry within the #SheExports platform.

Active representatives of the export-oriented women’s business from the Volyn region joined the event. Within the business cafe CUTIS project expert Oleksandra Brovko presented them with useful information about the potential of the Canadian market for Ukrainian producers. Participants also learned about the She Exports platform and its benefits for business women aiming to enter international markets.

In addition, while working in small groups, participants were looking for the answers to important questions for female exporters:

  • what are the barriers to the export development of their companies;
  • what export support services are needed to overcome these obstacles;
  • which export support format is the best;
  • who can provide those services.

In the process of brainstorm and presentation of the group work results, the exporter 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, so keep an eye on the updates.

Opinion: 5 reasons why gender equality in trade matters

Can trade benefit from increased participation of women? And, as we undertake efforts to achieve gender equality under the objectives of the United Nations Global Goals, is trade good for women?

As the world business organization we believe the answer to these questions is a resounding “yes”.

Here we put forward five reasons why gender is good for trade and highlight some of the barriers preventing women business owners from accessing international markets.

1 – Women in trade supports better jobs

According to research by the International Trade Centre (ITC), women-owned businesses that export employ an average of 42 people, compared with an average of only eight people employed by non-exporting women-owned businesses. Despite this, woman exporters face more trade obstacles than men, with 74% of woman-owned firms reporting challenging non-tariff measures compared to 54% of businesses owned by men. WTO Director-General Roberto Azevedo said: “WTO Action is needed to better integrate women into the international trading system. All the evidence suggests that giving an equal economic chance to women is not only economically important; it results in beneficial outcomes for society as a whole.”

2 – Exporters pay better too…

The average pay by exporting women-owned businesses is over one-and-a-half times higher than the average pay of women-owned businesses that do not trade. All the more reason to take action to eliminate the stifling trade finance gap that women entrepreneurs in emerging markets face. ITC research shows this gap to be around US$260-320 billion per year. Speaking earlier this year at the International Forum on Women and Trade, EU Trade Commissioner Cecilia Malmstrom said: “Each woman who can benefit from trade is a woman who can open new markets and new opportunities, can sell and spread her ideas, and support her community and sometimes her whole village.”

3 – … and are more productive too!

Women-owned businesses that export are 3.5 times more productive than those which do not export. But while women own up to 40% of all small- and medium-sized enterprises globally, they lead only one in five exporting firms.
Frank Matsaert, CEO of TradeMark East Africa said: “70% of cross border traders in East Africa are women, meaning targeted intervention to enhance their trading opportunities is economically beneficial to the region.”

4 – Mind the gap

Research by Facebook, OECD and The World Bank suggests that online tools are used for significantly more purposes by women business owners than men. According to Intel Corporation’s Women and the Web report bringing women online would contribute up to USD 18 billion to the annual GDP of 144 developing countries. Yet, in this digital age, women have less access than men to the Internet in many countries. Estimates for 2016 point to a 12% gender gap, which jumps to 31% for least developed countries.

5 – A boost for the global economy

ITC Executive Director Arancha Gonzalez said: “Women and international trade is no longer the proverbial elephant in the room…If we are going to help push global growth, eradicate extreme poverty and create sustainable jobs we have to not only move this topic centre stage – we need to make it actionable.”

According to research by McKinsey, advancing women’s equality could add $28 trillion to global GDP by 2025 and mean better development outcomes for families and communities worldwide. We believe facilitating the active participation of women in trade must be part of this pursuit given that women-owned export businesses report average sales of US$ 16.3 million, compared with US$816,000 for non-exporting women-owned businesses.

ICC Secretary General John Danilovich said: “Levelling the playing field for women to access international markets is not only the right thing to do but also the ‘smart thing’ to do for development, economic growth and business.”

Source: International Chamber of Commerce

Online course: Women and procurement

Free trade gives Ukrainian businesses an access to the Canadian government procurement. This is a chance in particular for Ukrainian women in business to access $12 billion market annually.

Find out more about barriers for women-entrepreneurs on the way to public procurement and strategic to combat those obstacles in a 4-hour online-course via ITC Trade Academy, which starts on January, 15th 2017.

The structure of the course

  1. Lecture 1: Introduction to Women-owned Businesses and Procurement
  2. Lecture 2: Solutions and Strategies
  3. Lecture 3: Targeted Assistance Measures and Capacity Building
  4. Case Study Exercise

You can register and access the course here.

Additional information sources about governmental procurement