The volume of trade by Nigerian women increased by $4m through Shetrades, an initiative of the International Trade Center in partnership with the Nigerian Export Promotion Council.
Shetrades was unveiled in Nigeria in 2016 with the objective of connecting 200,000 Nigerian women to the global market.
This is part of the worldwide initiative of the ITC which is aimed at connecting three million women entrepreneurs to the international market by 2020.
While speaking during an interactive forum for private sector and women entrepreneurs organised by the ITC and NEPC in Lagos on Wednesday, the Project Manager, SheTrades, Geneva, Simon Balfe, said the initiative was targeted at achieving $12m trade by Nigerian women.
He said so far the ITC Shetrades had trained over 800 Nigerian women in a variety of trade -related skills and expertise while also connecting 50 of them to the global market.
The meeting with the private sector was intended to help women-managed businesses connect with big private sector organisations in order to improve their operating environment, Balfe added.
He said, “We have been able to take women-owned businesses to international trade fairs, connect them with international buyers and markets, with the result that we have been able to see over $4m worth of leads.
“We are targeting over 1,000 women-owned businesses in Nigeria for training and our targets for generation of sales and investment for SMES which is much needed in order to facilitate participation in international trade, is to achieve $12m worth of sales in Nigeria and so far we have achieved over $4m worth of sales.”
The Chief Executive Officer, Mr Segun Awolowo, who was represented by the Regional Coordinator, South West, NEPC, Mr Babatunde Faleke said the idea of Shetrades was to make women more inclusive in business, adding that this could not be done by the government alone.
According to Awolowo, 152 women who registered for the programme reported that there is change, adding, “The synergy is yielding results, it is getting better. People now know what to do and they do it better.”