She Trades initiative aims to connect women-owned companies globally

Global Business

She Trades initiative aims to connect women-owned companies globally

According to the World Trade Organization, only one in five export companies in the world are women-owned businesses. And that is why the WTO’s development agency, the International Trade Center, is expanding its initiative known as She Trades.

The online application aims to connect women-owned companies around the world, and the latest country to join is Argentina.

CGTN’s Joel Richards reports.

The inspiration for designer Paula Giecco’s jewelry largely comes from her home country, Argentina.

“I find a lot of inspiration in different periods and try to recreate colors from that period, shapes, I look at architecture,” said Giecco.

Giecco works from her home studio with a staff of about 10. Her jewelry company, Finn, takes the name from her Irish great grandmother, who moved to Argentina at the turn of the 20th century.

Giecco sells her pieces at museums and art galleries not only in Argentina, but also the U.S. and Europe. She built up her export business in just five years on her own. Now, there is more support available to women entrepreneurs like Giecco.

Argentina is the latest country to join the program known as She Trades. She Trades is a mobile phone and web application. It operates in more than 80 countries and said it has helped generate more than $75 million in exports. It aims to connect a million women to the marketplace by 2020.

The executive director, Arancha Gonzalez, told CGTN the central idea is empowering women through trade.

“Today, on average, only one in five exporting companies is women-owned businesses in the world. There is a virtuous circle, a win-win strategy in helping more women participate in international trade. It is good for the company. It also contributes to stronger growth of countries,” said Arancha Gonzalez, International Trade Center Executive Director.

But even for established exporters, like Paula Giecco, who has contacts and clients abroad, there are still challenges ahead.

“Now the challenge is to keep them, you have to be very competitive. You have keep creating new things, to surprise them. The market is very competitive,” said Giecco.

For Argentine businesswomen like Giecco, it’s about economic empowerment, thanks in part to initiatives like She Trades to help build their export business.