The Centre for African Women Economic Empowerment in Ethiopia (CAWEE), one of ITCs ACCESS! Focal Point institutions, recently developed a website to help bolster its efforts to promote female exporters in the country and in the African continent at large.
The website features a section on ACCESS!, a regional gender initiative aimed at enhancing the competitiveness of female-owned enterprises in Africa and promoting concrete business opportunities in global markets. ACCESS! offers support services to businesswomen such as exporters’ training for selected products and services, mentorship, business counselling through certified experts, product and market development, business networking, and trade intelligence.
CAWEE promotes female entrepreneurs in Ethiopia, particularly current or potential exporters involved in small and medium enterprises (SMEs). Led by Executive Director Nigest Haile, CAWEE aims to create a globally competitive core group of businesswomen involved in exporting.
Speaking about the importance of web sites to enterprises, Mrs. Haile said, Our web site aims to encourage women entrepreneurs who don't yet have a web site, to set one up. For those who do, we try to get them to see the value in making sure it is regularly updated. Furthermore, linking their web site with their email address is also an important branding lesson that we try to teach. Having your company domain name included in your email address adds credibility to and creates visibility for your company. We try to use best practices, that is to say real experiences of success, from former graduates of our business counselling program to teach the lessons learnt in each of the steps of the business counselling process.
`With this new website, CAWEE is in a position to reach more women entrepreneurs who will, in turn, benefit from CAWEE’s extended portfolio of services, said ITC Senior Trade Promotion Adviser Sébastien Turrel. This will contribute to enhancing the organisation’s visibility, accessing innovative partnerships and reaching out new markets and services for the business community.
ITC has sponsored workshops in Addis Ababa, Ethiopia's capital, as well as in the regions to train businesswomen in the coffee, leather, services and horticulture sectors. ITC recently launched a business counselling program to complement the training service with a view to help female entrepreneurs develop their personal export strategy and access foreign markets.
ACCESS!, a venture of ITC and the Common Market for Eastern and Southern Africa (COMESA), is funded by the Canadian International Development Agency (CIDA).