ITC launches two SheTrades Hubs in the Caribbean
The new regional SheTrades Caribbean Hub in Barbados and SheTrades Dominican Republic Hub will sharpen the business skills of women entrepreneurs, through ITC’s pioneering programme to connect them to global markets.
ITC partnered with the Caribbean Development Bank (CDB) to launch SheTrades Regional Hub in the Caribbean. The Bank is making a $450,000 investment for the regional Hub.
In Santo Domingo, the SheTrades Hub in the Dominican Republic is hosted by the Export and Investment Center of the Dominican Republic (ProDominicana).
The SheTrades Hubs will provide trainings, mentoring and market opportunities to boost the competitiveness of women-led businesses in the region.
‘As a Jamaican, a Caribbean and woman leader who has worked across the local, regional and international trade ecosystem for decades, I am proud of what the Caribbean has so far achieved in terms of gender equality.,’ said ITC Executive Director Pamela Coke-Hamilton. ‘Through the Hub, ITC is championing more inclusive growth and empowering more women entrepreneurs to succeed in global markets.’
By 2025, the bank plans to support over 2,000 women-led small businesses through the new Hub, said Hyginus ‘Gene’ Leon, president of CDB.
‘CDB will significantly invest in the initiative to further assist women-owned and women-led small businesses in our borrowing member countries,’ he said.
Established in 2015, the ITC SheTrades Initiative addresses barriers faced by women in accessing markets and participating in international trade. Operating through local or regional institutions known as SheTrades Hubs, SheTrades delivers in-country interventions to support women entrepreneurs.
‘The establishment of this SheTrades Hub represents a commitment to gender equality and the recognition of women’s fundamental role in the economy and international trade,’ said ProDominicana Executive Director Biviana Riveiro Disla.
In addition to the expansion of the SheTrades Hubs network to Bangladesh, Mauritius, Mongolia, the Dominican Republic and a regional Hub in the Caribbean region this year, ITC is set to host an annual meeting of all SheTrades Hubs at ITC office in Geneva this November.
There, Hub focal points will share best practices and receive training-of-trainers to scale up and diversify services for women.
This week, ITC also presented two assessments conducted through SheTrades Outlook, a tool that looks at the policy environment for women’s participation in international trade.
The SheTrades Outlook Caribbean and Dominican Republic policy briefs provide policy recommendations based on the data findings from SheTrades Outlook, identifying key bottlenecks within six policy dimensions—trade policy, legal and regulatory framework, business environment, access to skills, access to finance, and work and society.
The Caribbean region policy brief covers seven Caribbean countries: Barbados, the Dominican Republic, Guyana, Jamaica, St. Lucia, St. Vincent and the Grenadines, and Trinidad and Tobago.
It highlights mainstreaming gender into trade policy, developing inclusive public procurement, collecting gender-disaggregated data and creating targeted initiatives for women as key areas for gender-transformative policy reform.
About ITC SheTrades
The International Trade Centre (ITC) launched the ITC SheTrades Initiative to remove barriers to women's participation in trade by working with governments, the private sector and entrepreneurs to build the business capacities of women and to create a fairer, more sustainable global economy. ITC SheTrades provides women entrepreneurs and producers with access to key knowledge, resources and networks; supports policymakers on inclusive policy reforms; and leverages public and private partnerships to amplify the impact of its work. For more information, please visit www.shetrades.com.
About ITC SheTrades Hubs
ITC SheTrades Hubs are decentralized platforms through which the SheTrades Initiative delivers in-country interventions. Administered by local institutions, SheTrades Hubs help increase the sustainability of the Initiative’s in-country interventions by promoting local ownership through a participatory approach and alignment with national and sectoral priorities. They also aim to improve the business support ecosystem and facilitate the development of a community of partners to enable women-led businesses to trade.
About ITC SheTrades Outlook
In 2020, the ITC SheTrades Commonwealth+ programme, funded by the United Kingdom Foreign, Commonwealth and Development Office, launched ITC SheTrades Outlook – an innovative policy tool on trade and women’s economic empowerment to assist stakeholders to assess, monitor and improve how the institutional ecosystem supports women’s participation in international trade. SheTrades Outlook covers 55 indicators across six pillars with a repository of over 100 good practices on women’s economic empowerment from developed and developing countries. As of 2023, 52 developing and developed countries have joined ITC SheTrades Outlook.