Case Study 5 - Building Export Competitiveness in Developing Countries
Women owned businesses from developing and least developed countries (LDCs) have a difficult time accessing corporate markets and global supply chains. What steps can be taken to build their capacity and facilitate market entry?
Solution: Building Capacity for the Global Supply Chain
The International Trade Centre (ITC) is a joint agency of the United Nations and World Trade Organization (WTO) in Geneva. ITC’s Women and Trade program, headed by Meg Jones, facilitates sourcing from women vendors. Principals of Quantum Leaps and WEConnect International helped ITC write its Global Platform for Action on Sourcing from Women Vendors — an initiative designed to build capacity for women vendors from developing countries between 2011 and 2020.
ITC and its partners – WEConnect International, COFTEC, Business and Professional Women International, the International Women’s Coffee Alliance, SPINNA and Quantum Leaps – served on the Steering Committee for the first Women Vendors Exhibition and Forum (WVEF) in Chongqing, China in September 2011. The event focused on the following industries: agriculture including coffee, automotive, clean and green tech, construction and real estate development, IT and business process outsourcing, textiles and apparel, and trade facilitation.
Quantum Leaps’ CEO served as Lead Consultant for the WVEF. She also developed a “Strategy 2020” to more fully integrate women vendors into the global supply chain. Multinational corporate buyers, trade support institutions and women vendors participated in WVEF 2011. In addition to facilitating almost $15 million USD in deals, the event facilitated linkages between corporate buyers and women vendors, and enabled women owned businesses to become part of each other’s supply chains.
A WVEF will take place in a different country every year for 10 years, with the second exhibition and forum taking place in Mexico in 2012.