Nicholas Schlaepfer, Senior Programme Officer at ITC’s Women and Trade Programme, among others, seen at a ceremony on launching the Bangladesh chapter of ‘SheTrades in the Commonwealth’ at Pan Pacific Sonargaon Dhaka on Tuesday.

Aiming to strengthen the capacities of 3,000 women-owned businesses to generate sales worth £28 million ($38m) by 2020, the International Trade Centre (ITC) on Wednesday launched the Bangladesh chapter of ‘SheTrades in the Commonwealth’.
The initiative also aims to deliver greater economic returns for women entrepreneurs in Bangladesh through intensive training and mentoring activities.
The launching ceremony was held at Pan Pacific Sonargaon Dhaka, said a press release.
A dedicated project of ITC’s global SheTrades initiative, the SheTrades in the Commonwealth Bangladesh project aims to drive increased trade, productivity and competitiveness for women entrepreneurs and women-owned companies to ensure that they play an active role in international trade.
Officially launched in April and funded by United Kingdom’s Department for International Development (DFID), SheTrades in the Commonwealth was endorsed by UK Prime Minister Theresa May during the opening of the Commonwealth Business Forum (CBF) in London. SheTrades in the Commonwealth – Bangladesh will address challenges faced by women entrepreneurs, including access to and control over land, cumbersome business and financial institutional processes amongst other entrepreneurial challenges.
‘Women entrepreneurs in Bangladesh will receive tailored support through SheTrades in the Commonwealth enabling them to propel their existing market representation and secure greater access to global trade,’ said Nicholas Schlaepfer, Senior Programme Officer at ITC’s Women and Trade Programme.
The SheTrades in the Commonwealth project will provide governments with better tools and information to implement gender-responsive policies and share best practices. Over a two-year period, ITC will initially work to increase the competitiveness of women entrepreneurs in the agriculture, apparel and services sectors in four Commonwealth focus countries: Bangladesh, Ghana, Kenya and Nigeria.
The SheTrades initiative aims to connect one million women to market by 2020 and rallies stakeholders around the world to work together on seven actions to address trade barriers and create greater opportunities for women entrepreneurs.
The International Trade Centre is the joint agency of the WTO and the United Nations (UN). ITC assists small and medium-sized enterprises in developing and transition economies to become more competitive in global markets, thereby contributing to sustainable economic development within the frameworks of the Aid-for-Trade agenda and the United Nations’ Sustainable Development Goals.

Ahammad Parvej Khan