Shetrades MENA & UPS Announce Joint Initiative to Support Women-Owned Businesses

Press release
Published October 1st, 2018 - 09:42 GMT
During the event
During the event

Dubai Exports, the export promotion agency of the Dubai Department of Economic Development, and UPS® (NYSE: UPS), global logistics provider, today signed a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) to collaborate on a series of workshops and trainings as part of SheTrades MENA, managed by Dubai Exports. The shared aim of the SheTrades MENA joint initiative is to empower and support women entrepreneurs in the region, specifically in the field of trade.

The MOU was signed by Mr. Mohammad Ali Al Kamali, Deputy CEO of Dubai Exports and Project Director of SheTrades MENA, and Mohamed Kamal, UPS Managing Director for Middle East countries. The signing was followed by the first workshop which is part of the series titled Going Global – Take Your Business Beyond Borders. The joint initiative aims to connect 5,000 women from the Middle East and North Africa to international markets by 2021 to enable their growth.

“Training is the cornerstone to empowering women entrepreneurs and building skilled and knowledgeable female exporters and that is why we are thrilled about this initiative. Working with UPS, which is the world’s largest package delivery company and a global leader in supply chain services, serving more than 220 countries and territories around the world gives us an opportunity to enable more women entrepreneurs to get access to necessary trainings to help them succeed and grow their businesses internationally,” said Al Kamali.

 “Lowering the barriers faced by women entrepreneurs at home, and internationally, as well as helping more businesswomen to connect to global value chains will bolster economic growth and stimulate long term benefits for the region,” said Christina Struller, UPS Public Affairs Director for Indian Subcontinent, Middle East and Africa (ISMEA). “We’re extremely proud to partner with Dubai Exports to enhance and provide opportunities to women entrepreneurs within the industry and are keen to see an increasing number of women-owned firms that export as a result of it.”

According to an independent research commissioned by International Trade Centre (ITC), only one out of five export businesses are led by women, hinting at a significant gap in the industry. In line with UPS’s Diversity & Inclusion strategy, this initiative will focus on addressing that specific gap by educating women entrepreneurs on the different opportunities available for them to explore within the space and building tailored training sessions.  

Commenting further on the initiative, Al Kamali stated “Training is a key aspect for building and developing skilled and knowledgeable female exporters and that is why the workshops will combine practical knowledge from UPS through their global presence with experience from women owned businesses.” He added that, “Through an interactive platform, female entrepreneurs can learn from fellow women business owners as well as industry experts. The sessions will help to develop effective networks whereby female entrepreneurs build their confidence and receive mentoring.”

The World Bank’s Gender Innovation Lab cites training as the most important aspect to support female entrepreneurs who are seeking to cross geographies. However, in the fast-paced world of entrepreneurism today, training needs to be adapted specifically to the management skills required. This targeted training series is the core of the SheTrades MENA and UPS initiative. The skill development sessions, starting today and running until the end of 2018, will be aimed specifically at female entrepreneurs to unlock their barriers and open up business opportunities. The workshops also aim to rally support from policymakers, business communities as well as women’s organizations to utilize trade as a tool to empower women.

Background Information

Department of Economic Development

The Department of Economic Development (DED) is the government body entrusted to set and drive the economic agenda of the emirate of Dubai, UAE. The DED supports the structural transformation of Dubai into a diversified, innovative service-based economy that aims to improve the business environment and accelerate productivity growth.

United Parcel Service

Founded in 1907 as a messenger company in the United States, UPS has grown into a multi-billion-dollar corporation by clearly focusing on the goal of enabling commerce around the globe. Today, UPS is a global company with one of the most recognized and admired brands in the world. We have become the world's largest package delivery company and a leading global provider of specialized transportation and logistics services. Every day, we manage the flow of goods, funds, and information in more than 200 countries and territories worldwide.


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