Trade Tuesday For Women In Business: The Payoff Of Going Global

Creating more opportunities for women in trade is the right thing to do.

Gender inequality is more than a moral or social issue, it is a critical economic challenge. Women account for half the world’s working-age population and if they do not achieve their full economic potential, the global economy will suffer.

A McKinsey Global Institute report finds that $12 trillion could be added to global GDP by 2025 by advancing women’s equality

(McKinsey Global Institute, 2015)

Economic evidence shows that giving women the same opportunities as men improves a country’s competitiveness and productivity, which in turn has a positive impact on economic growth and poverty reduction.

Globally, the elimination of all forms of discrimination against women could raise per capita productivity by 40 per cent, according to the World Bank

(Doing Business Report, 2017).

Women play a significant role in the global economy. They invest more in their communities – more than men typically do. Their participation in the economy would also stimulate wider benefits. Studies of economies as varied as Bangladesh, Brazil, Canada, Ethiopia, and the United Kingdom, suggest that women generally devote more of the household budget to education, health, and nutrition than men. Sustainable economic growth & the achievement of the Global Goals is only possible through the active participation of women.

Empowering women economically, especially through their involvement in trade, creates job opportunities for everyone.

According to the International Trade Centre, women own close to 10 million of the world’s small and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs). And SMEs account for almost 80% of jobs around the world, so increasing their competitiveness boosts the likelihood of creating jobs. Sustainable economic growth and the achievement of development goals are possible only through the active participation of women.

Women who have successfully navigated the global landscape have seen several benefits to their business.

  • Business Expansion & Profitability.

A growing global client base often results in an increase in sales revenue. Often, the profit margins in international markets are higher than in domestic markets as there is increased price sensitivity at home.

  • Diversification.

Diversifying to include foreign markets may create the necessary buffer & protect the business from any fluctuations in the home economy

  • Improved performance, productivity and competitiveness.

Exporting places demands on the business that often require women-owned businesses’  to refine products, production processes, and the skills of its workers.

  • Exposure & Benchmarking.

Operating on the global landscape can give women-owned businesses exposure to worldwide “best practices.” Rather than benchmarking locally, exporting will help set a higher bar.

Entering and succeeding in international trade is not without its challenges, but overcoming those challenges can lead to global entrepreneurial success.

It’s a no-brainer, equipping women-owned businesses with the tools to participate in global trade makes economic sense, both at the individual and community level.

Mucha Mlingo

President, OWIT Nairobi

Founder & Lead Trainer, PTS Africa

At OWIT Nairobi, we have a vision to empower women to transform communities through global trade. We are committed to creating opportunities for women to connect to global markets. As a Business Support Organisation, we work closely with our members to ensure access to the necessary tools to build businesses that can go global. For more information about OWIT Nairobi – visit our website,

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