The International Trade Centre’s SheTrades initiative aims to connect 3 million women entrepreneurs and women-owned businesses to international markets by 2021.
Under the umbrella of the SheTrades Initiative, SheTrades Invest is dedicated to supporting fruitful relationships between investors and women entrepreneurs in developing markets. In doing so, SheTrades Invest addresses the sixth global action of the SheTrades initiative - unlocking financial services for women-owned businesses.
SheTrades Invest will:
- Strengthen the financial and managerial capacity of women entrepreneurs, improve their investment readiness, and connect them to impact investors and financiers
- Build a pipeline for investors of women-owned businesses and SMEs that are benefitting women.
Application Process for Women-owned Small and Medium-sized Enterprises (SMEs) and SMEs Benefitting Women
Conditions to apply:
The enterprise must comply with at least one of the three criteria below:
1. Be at least 51% owned by woman/women;
2. Be at least 20% owned by woman/women, has at least one woman as CEO/COO/President/Vice President; and has at least 30% of the board of directors composed of women, where a board exists; or
3. Be a SME benefitting women.
- Your company would preferably be operating in one of the following sectors:
- Housing Development
- Textile & Apparel
Benefits for women-owned small and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs) and SMEs benefiting women:
- Access to a range of local, regional and global investors and impact investors
- Access to capacity-building/technical assistance from ITC
- Increased level of competitiveness and a deeper understanding of business practices, trade and investment
APPLY HERE by filling out the survey in your preferred language (*existing applicants should only apply again if their details have changed):
Application Process for Investors
Conditions to apply:
- Financial institutions must be looking to invest particularly in small and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs) owned by women or SMEs benefitting women.
How to apply:
For investors who are interested to join SheTrades Invest and build a pipeline of women entrepreneurs, please send an email to
Benefits for investors and financial institutions:
- Support the Sustainable Development Goals through a gender-lens investment approach;
Unlock an untapped trillion dollar market with an attractive risk and return profile; and
Build a pipeline with an investment-ready pool of diverse women–owned businesses from developing and emerging economies.
- SheTrades Invest has developed a comprehensive filtering mechanism that matches eligible women-owned businesses seeking for capital with investors. In addition, SheTrades provides technical assistance to improve the investment readiness of enterprises through online and in-person workshops, trainings, and mentoring.
- Connecting women entrepreneurs with investors will address and contribute to four important Sustainable Development Goals of the United Nations (SDG 1: No poverty, SDG 5: Gender Equality, SDG 8: Decent work and Economic Growth and SDG 17: Partnership for the goals) by:
1. Educating women entrepreneurs on business practices and requirements for participation in trade;
2. Driving competitiveness of Women Business Enterprises;
3. Bridging the gap in access to financial services for women entrepreneurs and reducing gender inequality;
4. Connecting women-owned businesses with investors;
5. Investing in women’s economic empowerment and promoting an inclusive economic growth;
6. Unlocking a largely untapped trillion-dollar market with a potentially attractive risk and return profile.