Press releases

International Trade Centre and Mercado Libre partner to boost the digitalization of women-led business in Latin America Window of opportunity to improve small business trade competitiveness across Africa

17 January 2022
ITC News

(Geneva) – The International Trade Centre (ITC) and Mercado Libre today launched a partnership to enhance the digital literacy and market access of women-led businesses in Argentina, Chile, Colombia, Brazil, and Mexico.

The collaboration links ITC’s extensive network and technical expertise in global trade with Mercado Libre’s unparalleled market intelligence and track record of enabling e-commerce, delivering digital payments, and championing enterprise development.

The primary objective of the partnership is to build capacity and opportunities for Latin American women-led businesses to engage in digital trade. Mercado Libre will also work with ITC to deliver technical assistance to businesses and provide them access to its global platform, advancing ITC’s objective of connecting 3 million women to markets as part of its SheTrades Initiative.

The outbreak of the Covid-19 pandemic has spurred a quantum leap in digitalization, with e-commerce trade flows exhibiting unprecedented highs; Latam is leading the worldwide ecommerce growth with 25.6% change during 2021 (emarketer, 2021). But technological advances do not always decode into advances in equality for women, who persistently lag behind men when it comes to access and use of the digital marketplace. The partnership henceforth offers an ideal opportunity for women-led small and medium sized enterprises in Latin America to overcome barriers and harness e-commerce.

‘We know the world needs a transformation and we want to be part of the change. With our ecosystem we boost the entrepreneurial and SME community but only 18% of them are women. There is a great opportunity for female leadership to evolve faster and we are convinced that initiatives like these are the way’, Alehira Orozco, Government Relations Sr Manager of Mercado Libre Mexico.

‘Covid-19 has changed the way we do business - it has accelerated the need for businesses to digitalize in order to survive and improve their resilience to economic shocks,’ said Vanessa Erogbogbo, Chief of Sustainable and Inclusive Value Chains at the International Trade Centre. ‘E-commerce has emerged as a thriving sector that will play a crucial part in global economic recovery efforts and support greater opportunities for women-led businesses. ITC is pleased to partner with Mercado Libre to promote the inclusion of women-led businesses in the digital revolution.’

The collaboration significantly advances the International Trade Centre’s overall mission of fostering inclusive and sustainable economic development. In addition, it advances the goal of achieving the United Nations 2030 Sustainable Development Agenda.

For queries regarding SheTrades or the partnership, please email: womenandtrade [at] (womenandtrade[at]intracen[dot]org)

About ITC SheTrades - The International Trade Centre’s SheTrades initiative aims to connect three million women to market by 2021 and rallies stakeholders around the world to work together to address trade barriers and create greater opportunities for women entrepreneurs. It is supported by a web and mobile digital platform.

For more information, please visit

About Mercado Libre - Founded in 1999, Mercado Libre is Latin America's leading e-commerce technology company. Through its primary platforms, Mercado Libre and Mercado Pago, it provides solutions to individuals and companies buying, selling, advertising, and paying for goods and services online.

Mercado Libre serves millions of users and creates a market for a wide variety of goods and services in an easy, safe and efficient way. The site is among the top 30 in the world in terms of page views and is the leading retail platform in unique visitors in the major countries in which it operates according to metrics provided by comScore Networks. The Company is listed on NASDAQ (Nasdaq: MELI) following its initial public offering in 2007.

About ITC - The International Trade Centre is the joint agency of the World Trade Organization and the United Nations. 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.
For more information, visit


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Vittorio Cammarota

Chief, Communications and Events

T: +41 22 730 0322

E: vcammarota [at] (vcammarota[at]intracen[dot]org)