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ITC Partners with UN Global Compact and UN Women to Better Support Women Entrepreneurs

Posted on 03/06/2014

UN Agencies to Step Up Support for Economic Empowerment of Women in Developing and Transition Countries


(Geneva/New York, 6 March 2014) – The International Trade Centre (ITC) is joining forces with the UN Global Compact and UN Women to create greater opportunities for women entrepreneurs from developing countries. Partnership agreements were signed on the sidelines of the 6th Annual Women’s Empowerment Principles (WEPs) Event, held at UN Headquarters in New York.

ITC Executive Director Arancha González said: “Strengthening the cooperation between ITC, UN Global Compact and UN Women is an example of the importance of partnerships in providing support to women entrepreneurs in developing countries. All three agencies will bring their specific areas of expertise to the table to ensure that the economic empowerment of women remains high on the post-2015 development agenda.” She added: “Greater presence of women in our economies makes for stronger societies.”

UN Women Executive Director Phumzile Mlambo-Ngcuka, ITC Executive Director Arancha González, and UN Global Compact Executive Director Georg Kell

Together with the UN Global Compact, ITC will work to facilitate access for women entrepreneurs to the supply chains of the nearly 700 companies that have signed up to the Women’s Empowerment Principles – a set of seven principles that provides a roadmap for the private sector to advance the position of women in the workplace, marketplace and community.

Through a combination of initiatives and events, ITC will facilitate trade deals and business transactions among WEPs-associated companies and women-owned businesses in developing countries. These include ITC's Global Platform for Action on Sourcing from Women Vendors and the Women Vendors Exhibition and Forum, which will be held in Kigali, Rwanda, on 16-17 September 2014.

Cooperation between ITC and UN Women will focus on supporting the economic empowerment of women in developing and transition countries so that they can achieve export success.

“All of us at UN Women are excited about strengthening our collaboration with the International Trade Centre and UN Global Compact to support women entrepreneurs,” said UN Women Executive Director Phumzile Mlambo-Ngcuka.

“This partnership embodies our theme of International Women’s Day: ‘Equality for women is progress for all.’ We will support women entrepreneurs to reach new heights in the global economy, which will benefit their families and communities,” Ms. Mlambo-Ngcuka said.

Georg Kell, Executive Director of the UN Global Compact, said: ‘We are pleased to partner with ITC to help companies operationalize their commitment to Principle 5 of the Women’s Empowerment Principles. There is tremendous opportunity for collaboration to implement enterprise development, supply chain and marketing practices that empower women and drive sustainable development.’

Together with UN Women and the UN Global Compact, ITC will step up efforts to build the capacity of women’s business associations and organizations to help them link their members to market access opportunities. The partnership calls for joint efforts in enterprise development and mainstreaming supply-chain and marketing practices in a way that empowers women.

About ITC
ITC is the joint agency of the World Trade Organization and the United Nations. ITC assists small and medium-sized enterprises in developing and transition economies to become more competitive in global markets, thereby contributing to sustainable economic development within the frameworks of the Aid for Trade agenda and the Millennium Development Goals.

About the Women’s Empowerment Principles (WEPs)
The Women's Empowerment Principles – Equality Means Business is a joint initiative of UN Women and the UN Global Compact. The Principles outline seven steps for business on how to empower women in the workplace, marketplace and community. The Principles highlight that empowering women to participate fully in economic life across all sectors and throughout all levels of economic activity is essential to build strong economies; establish more stable and just societies; achieve internationally agreed goals for development, sustainability, and human rights; improve quality of life for women, men, families and communities; and propel business' operations and goals. Learn more at

Media Contacts
Kristen Coco
Public Affairs and Media Relations
United Nations Global Compact

Jarle Hetland
Media Officer, Communications and Events Editor
Office of the Executive Director
International Trade Centre (ITC)