Last week Change by Exchange attended the SheTrades Global event, part of the International Business Festival in Liverpool.


SheTrades is an initiative launched by the International Trade Centre, which seeks to connect one million women entrepreneurs to market by 2020.

This inspiring event bought together women entrepreneurs from all over the world to share knowledge and experience, and learn from a range of exceptional speakers, including H.E The First Lady of Afghanistan Rula Ghani, Liam Freeman, Fashion Features Editor at Vogue International, Dame Stephanie Shirley and many more. 

Below is a video of one of the delegates speaking at a previous SheTrades event about the impact joining SheTrades has had on her business.

The initiative outlines seven global actions in which governments, the private sector and civil society groups can make concrete pledges to remedy obstacles hampering women-owned businesses. It is a roadmap for women’s economic empowerment.
shetrades 7 goals.jpg
5. Enable. Market access
Women face greater hurdles in setting up and growing their businesses. ITC’s surveys revealed that only one in five exporting companies are women-owned, and that women face greater procedural obstacles to trade. Women’s businesses tend to be smaller and concentrated in less productive sectors. Women-owned businesses need to scale, focus on more productive sectors and move up the value chain, in order to more successfully compete in the increasingly complex trade landscape.

What is clear to see from attending the event is the passion, drive and determination of these women entrepreneurs to succeed and grow their businesses, proving that investing in women not only benefits communities but simply makes good business sense.

Women-owned exporting firms earn more, employ more people, and pay higher wages.


To date there have been more than 10 SheTrades country launches where governments have embraced the initiative and adapted it to local context to ensure that women have a greater role in their economies. 

Bibi Hanum - Uzbekistan

Bibi Hanum - Uzbekistan

Marie Valhagan - Ghana

Marie Valhagan - Ghana

Anyango Mpinga - Kenya

Anyango Mpinga - Kenya

There are online tools available through the International Trade Centre that support women in gaining the knowledge required to access new markets. Including free access to online courses, face-to-face workshops and live webinars on a range of topics  that can help them to better understand their markets and improve their skills and business.

SheTrades Global also provided women with the opportunity for face-to-face networking and business development opportunities. Providing an online platform to connect with and arrange meetings during the event as part of a 'speed-networking' structure. 

It was an inspiring event to attend and we hope to see more women entrepreneurs succeeding in their chosen sectors in the future, supported by initiatives like SheTrades.

“Nothing changes the gender equation more significantly than women’s economic freedom,”
— Gloria Steinem