Press releases

Istanbul to host the 2016 Women Vendors Exhibition and Forum

25 February 2016
ITC News

(Geneva/Istanbul) – Women entrepreneurs from across the world will on 1-2 September 2016 convene in Istanbul, Turkey, for the fifth Women Vendors Exhibition and Forum (WVEF). The event will be preceded by the annual Trailblazers Summit on 31 August, which brings together leaders from business, government and civil society to advance the role of women in business and global trade.

The two events are organized by the International Trade Centre (ITC) and hosted by KAGİDER, the Women Entrepreneurs Association of Turkey.

WVEF brings together buyers and sellers from selected sectors to bolster trade between women-owned businesses from developing countries and buyers in the corporate and government sectors. In less than five years, more than a thousand enterprises from over 50 countries have participated in the forum, concluding business transactions worth more than US$ 50 million. The sectors featured in this year’s event are: information and communications technology (ICT) and business services; textiles and garments; and tourism.

In the first year of implementation of the Global Goals of the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development, which were agreed upon by world leaders at the United Nations General Assembly in September 2015, WVEF and the Trailblazers Summit play a crucial part in ITC’s efforts to support and promote Goal 5 on gender equality and the empowerment of all women and girls.

Picking up from last year’s Trailblazers Summit, held in São Paulo, Brazil, the 2016 edition will continue to focus on why more women and girls are needed in business and global trade. Before and during the event, it is expected that a range of companies and organizations will sign up for ITC’s SheTrades initiative, which aims to connect one million women entrepreneurs to markets by 2020.

Announcing the 2016 edition of WVEF at a press conference in Istanbul, ITC Executive Director Arancha González said: ‘Helping women in developing countries to succeed in business requires interventions in multiple areas. Through WVEF and SheTrades, we are taking steps to help women overcome those barriers.’

KAGİDER President Sanem Oktar said: ‘WVEF is a valuable opportunity that will open up new horizons for the women entrepreneurs that we represent. It will provide them with opportunities to carry out business transactions with buyers of leading national and international companies.’

Ms. González added: ‘Hosting this year's edition here in Istanbul is a recognition of the trailblazing efforts of Turkish women entrepreneurs, but also serves as an inspiration for women business entrepreneurs in the region and beyond to ensure economic growth.’

Notes for the Editor:

About ITC

ITC 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 UN Global Goals. For more information, visit Follow ITC on Twitter: @ITCnews


The Women Entrepreneurs Association of Turkey (KAGİDER) is the first women business association in Turkey whose mission is to enable better educational and employment opportunities and to develop entrepreneurship and leadership for women. The Association is at the vanguard of advocacy for women’s economic and social empowerment. With 300 members active in various sectors such as textiles, communication, public relations, tourism, mining, chemistry and health, KAGiDER has reached, through its projects, more than 10,000 women entrepreneurs in Turkey.

International Partners

The United Nations Global Compact (UNGC), International Federation of Business and Professional Women (BPW), Vital Voices Global Partnership, WeConnect International, UN Women, Women Impacting Public Policy (WIPP), SDI International, the International Women’s Coffee Alliance (IWCA), International Women’s Entrepreneurial Challenge Foundation (IWEC), United States Hispanic Chamber of Commerce Foundation (USHCC), and Quantum Leaps

Supporting governments

Australia, Norway and the United Kingdom of Great Britain and Northern Ireland


Contact: ITC

Jarle Hetland
Media Officer
Office of the Executive Director
International Trade Centre

Phone: +41 22 730 0145
Mobile: +41 79 582 91 80

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


Contact: KADİGER

Ms. Esra İdris

Events Manager


M: +90 532 514 77 15

E: esraidris [at] (esraidris[at]kagider[dot]org)