Business Development

ITC, UPS prepare women entrepreneurs for the export market

The International Trade Centre (ITC) and UPS (NYSE:UPS), today announced a series of training seminars and workshops for women business owners, as part of the Nigeria chapter of ITC’s SheTrades initiative. The collaboration aims to increase the participation of women-owned businesses in trade by improving their competitiveness, providing solutions for trade logistics and strengthening their support ecosystem to generate business opportunities.

By bringing together UPS’s smart global logistics network and unparalleled knowledge in reaching the global markets with the grassroots networks of its partners, the UPS Women Exporters Program is helping the ITC SheTrades initiative to reach its goal of bringing 3 million women-owned businesses into international trade by 2021.

“Creating higher value entrepreneurship will benefit the society as a whole. Lowering the barriers faced by women entrepreneurs and helping them connect to a global value chain will bolster economic growth and stimulate long-term benefits for the region. As more women pursue education and move into careers dominated by men, younger girls will have role models to show them new opportunities,” said Mark Martyn-Fisher, UPS Managing Director West Africa.

“Focusing on women’s education is a key investment for developing nations as female education rates are directly correlated with national economic growth. We’re delighted to partner with ITC, on the SheTrades initiative and bring UPS’s 112 years of logistics expertise serving 220 countries and territories to enable more women entrepreneurs to get access to necessary trainings to help them succeed and grow their businesses internationally.”

This first set of training sessions is supported by Style House Files and aims to provide participants with an in-depth understanding of the information and tools needed to elevate their businesses within trade logistics on a global scale. At the end of the workshop, women-owned businesses will have improved their knowledge on key themes surrounding trade and exporting, as well as the major logistics concepts for exporting. The training sessions will take place in Lagos.

According to the latest World Economic Outlook report by International Monetary Fund (IMF), Nigeria is seen as Africa’s largest economy. In the most recent Global Entrepreneurship Monitor survey of Nigeria, 74% of female early-stage entrepreneurs reported that they were opportunity-driven entrepreneurs[1]. Additionally, research shows that typically, necessity-driven entrepreneurship is more dominant in emerging economies like Nigeria. This was the same percentage recorded for men. Furthermore, an estimated 40% of Nigerian women are entrepreneurs, which is the highest female entrepreneurship rate globally.

’We are extremely pleased to be offering this series of workshop to women entrepreneurs in Nigeria in partnership with UPS,’ said Vanessa Erogbogbo, Chief of Sustainable and Inclusive Value Chains at ITC. ‘By combining our expertise, women participating in the training will be equipped with skills needed to succeed in reaching and competing in foreign markets. Optimising women’s participation in trade is good for women and men, their families and for the Nigerian economy.’

According to an independent research commissioned by the International Trade Centre (ITC), only one out of five export businesses are led by women, hinting at a significant gap in the industry. In line with UPS’s Diversity & Inclusion strategy, this initiative will focus on addressing that specific gap by educating women entrepreneurs on the different opportunities available for them to explore within the space and building tailored training sessions.

During the event, a series of workshops and breakout sessions featuring renowned and successful women in trade will shed light on specific topics like: Packaging, marking, labelling, customs and documentation, as well as how women owned businesses can prepare for the export market. The workshop series will be tailored to women-owned businesses, business support organisations, and other stakeholders involved to help them enhance their marketing and logistics strategies in order to gain a competitive advantage.

The dates and series of events are as follows:

  • 6 June: SheTrades and UPS Workshop
  • 7 June: SheTrades in the Commonwealth Textiles and Apparel Mentoring Sessions
  • 8-9 June: X Retail SheTrades Edition

For more information about the joint collaboration between UPS and ITC, please visit

For queries regarding SheTrades or the training sessions and workshops, please email: [email protected].

About the author

Byron Adonis Mutingwende