Trade Tuesday: You are NOT an imposter

Imposter syndrome is the province of the successful, of the high achievers, of the perfectionists. That’s the irony’  Kate Hilton The legendary poet and activist Maya Angelou, who won the Presidential Medal of Freedom and received nominations for a Pulitzer Prize and a Tony Award, once said about herself, “I have written 11 books, but each time I think, ‘Uh oh, they’re going to find out now! I’ve run a game on everybody, and they’re going to find me out.’”  She is not alone.   “You don’t know what you’re doing.”  “Any moment someone will catch you out.”  “What made you think you could pull this off?”  These are the thoughts that run through the mind of many women in business, even those who have achieved the highest of successes.  The Imposter Syndrome is that feeling that you don’t actually deserve the successes you have achieved Continue Reading

Trade Tuesday: The Rise of eCommerce

‘Last year e-commerce traded $3.5 trillion worldwide proving that it’s an increasingly lucrative option for businesses. It’s no longer a question of whether we should sell online or not, it’s HOW’  Abigail Bundi, CEO Amari Consulting Last week, I had the privilege to attend the 2nd ePower Forum, the place to be for women in business who are looking to leverage eCommerce to scale.   The ePower Forum is a series of quarterly events organized across different sectors/industries to help drive the e-commerce agenda in Africa. The event is convened by Amari Consulting Ltd in line with its mission which is to help African businesses harness the power of the internet and scale.  For the 2nd edition of the forum, Amari Consulting partnered with OWIT Nairobi, Trade Mark East Africa & the East Africa Women In Business Platform to host 150 Continue Reading

Trade Tuesday: So – You Want To Go Global?

 “Although you are the product of your environment, that environment must be your proactive decision. Otherwise, you’re living reactively.”  Benjamin P. Hardy Success in any area of life never happens in a complete vacuum. Often it is just as much dependent on an individual’s environment, relationships, and outside circumstances as it is on their will-power, discipline, and intelligence.   So – you want to go global? Does your environment support this goal?  Whether you realize it or not, your environment is continuously influencing you. This can either be a force for good that helps you achieve your goals — or it can take your dreams and ambitions to the grave.  “You are the average of the five people you associate with most, so do not underestimate the effects of your pessimistic, unambitious, or disorganized friends. If someone isn’t making you stronger, Continue Reading

Trade Tuesday: Moving Forward Together

If everyone is moving forward together, then success takes care of itself.  Henry Ford Time flies when you are having fun.   It has been an amazing privilege to lead OWIT Nairobi for the last 2 years.  We have accomplished much, reached some pivotal milestones – hosting the 18th Annual OWIT International Conference, the 1st ever on African soil; finalising our 2023 Strategic Plan, holding a business meeting on the 1st Tuesday of every month with inspirational speakers who equipped our members will the skills to build thriving businesses, developing an export accelerator that we hope to launch in 2020 and building strong strategic partnerships that have enabled us to bring back our quarterly ½ day partner-led training workshops for women in business, just to name a few.  As I look back, I feel honoured to have been part of an Continue Reading

Trade Tuesday: Looking Around The Corner

It is always wise to look ahead, but difficult to look further than you can see.   Winston Churchill  The African Continental Free Trade Area, AfCFTA, is a free trade agreement whose main objective is to create a single continental market for services and goods, with free movement of investments and trade people. AfCFTA entered into force on 30 May 2019 for 24 countries that had deposited their instruments of ratification. AfCTA provides the potential opportunity to unlock a 1.2 billion people opportunity with a combined GDP of 3.4 trillion USD.  The United Nations Economic Commission on Africa projects a 52.3% increase of the intra Africa trade with increased opportunities of scale, reduced barriers for market access and enhanced competitiveness across the African continent.  The AfCFTA has the potential to produce opportunities in economic sectors where women are concentrated, including Agriculture, Manufacturing Continue Reading

Trade Tuesday: SheTrades Global 2019

Trade can play an important role in driving women’s economic empowerment but we need a more inclusive trading system that will allow more women to participate in trade and to reap the economic benefits of global trading.  This week, I am attending my final international event as the President of OWIT Nairobi. As I join thought-leaders who have convened here in Addis Ababa, Ethiopia for SheTrades Global 2019, I am excited to be part of discussions to ‘chart the next milestone in transforming the global agenda on women and trade.’  2020 marks the 25th anniversary of the adoption of the Beijing Declaration and Platform for Action and two years since the launch of Buenos Aires Declaration on Trade and Women’s Economic Empowerment. Significant efforts have been made to speed up progress on women’s participation in the economy and trade. To Continue Reading

Trade Tuesday: Promoting The Advancement Of Women In International Trade

“Next time, ask: what’s the worst that will happen? Then push yourself a little further than you dare…” Audre Lorde There’s a ceiling to the amount and rate of growth you can achieve and maintain in your own domestic country market.  According to the Institute of International Economics, companies participating in global trade not only grow more quickly than those that don’t, they’re also less likely to go out of business. Trading international also benefits you with competitive advantage in the domestic market with benchmarking quality products and services and innovation of world class technology in domestic markets. Trading across borders also buffers against the political uncertainty that occurs through periods of transition. The instability of the political environment poses a risk to economic growth and diversification, by way of trading in different markets, can help to minimise the impact of political uncertainty. Continue Reading

Trade Tuesday For Women In Business: Adjust Your Sails

“I can’t change the direction of the wind, but I can adjust my sails to always reach my destination.” Jimmy Dean e-Commerce can contribute to women’s empowerment & circumvent the challenges that women in business face, allowing them to sell their products online. Building the e-Commerce ecosystem will be key to allowing women entrepreneurs to access markets and grow their business, thereby employing more women, as data shows that firms run by women tend to employ more women. According to UNCTAD, global e-commerce sales grew 13% in 2017, hitting an estimated $29 trillion. A similar surge was seen in the number of online shoppers, which jumped by 12% and stood at 1.3 billion people, or one quarter of the world’s population. Though most internet buyers purchased goods and services from domestic vendors, the share of those buying from abroad rose from 15% Continue Reading

Trade Tuesday For Women In Business: WTO Public Forum

One of the things that I love the most about my role as President of OWIT Nairobi, is the opportunity it has given me to participate in global forums. This week I am in Geneva, at the WTO Public Forum. I am delighted to be part of an OWIT/WEI collaborative panel to discuss gender exclusiveness in Trade in Services. I heard it said recently that if you are not at the table, you might just find that you are on the menu. At OWIT, we are working hard to ensure that we promote the advancement of women in international trade by pulling up a chair! Join the Webcast tomorrow;Gender Inclusiveness in Trade in ServicesOctober 9 2019, 4.30 – 6 pm Geneva time Working Session at World Trade Organization Public Forum, Geneva  Presented by: Organization of Women in International Trade (OWIT) Continue Reading

Trade Tuesday For Women In Business: Africa Rising

“If you want to go fast, go alone. If you want to go far, go together” ~ African Proverb I spent my birthday week in Capetown – at the World Economic Forum, Africa.  It was great to be back in my favourite African city, and even more exciting to participate in the Forum For Africa. I led a focus group discussion as part of a session – “Innovate, Integrate & Empower for Inclusive Trade In Africa” – organised by the Global Alliance For Trade Facilitation.  We explored the challenges that women traders in Africa face when accessing foreign markets and worked as a team to identify possible solutions that the Alliance can utilise across the continent. A common thread ran through the entire week, a discussion about the African Continental Free Trade Area, and with it was a constant refrain Continue Reading