Press releases

ITC announces launch of the SME Trade Academy

16 September 2014
ITC News

(Kigali/Geneva) The International Trade Centre (ITC) is establishing a trade academy for small and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs) to offer practical, vocational training online for SMEs and trade advisors in the public and private sectors. ITC Executive Director Arancha González announced the launch of the SME Trade Academy during the opening of the World Export Development Forum (WEDF) in Kigali, Rwanda.

The SME Trade Academy – which will be centred around an online platform – will complement ITC’s existing capacity building work, training and advisory services in the field. It offers an initial catalogue of online courses ranging from export marketing to supply chain management and access to finance for SMEs. The number of courses and services on offer will evolve to offer a comprehensive curriculum addressing the particular needs of ITC clients and partners.

‘The e-learning platform puts ITC's expertise in the hands of entrepreneurs. It will allow them to tap into potential trade opportunities through practical online training and export-related courses coupled with mentoring,’ Ms. González said.

‘E-learning at ITC is about quality and pragmatic, practical training, it is not about theory or academic training. Instead it focuses on providing managers and staff of SMEs and trade and investment support organisations with the necessary tools and practical knowledge to enhance the internationalisation of companies,’ she said.

Ahead of the launch of the SME Trade Academy, more than 400 participants from 55 countries have had the opportunity to test the platform, highlighting many tangible and sustainable benefits towards improved effectiveness of ITC’s trade related technical assistance.

About the SME Trade Academy:

ITC’s SME Trade Academy focuses on enhancing technical assistance quality by complementing face-to-face workshops, enabling to pre-select workshop participants online and sustain assistance post-workshops. It aims to increase ITC’s outreach, including to countries where demand for technical assistance is increasing and which may not be benefitting from specific ITC projects.

The SME Trade Academy also enriches training content thanks to peer discussions among participants from several countries at close to zero marginal cost. It will allow ITC to improve outputs and impact tracking through better access to statistical and performance related data. The SME Trade Academy also an environmentally friendly initiative: it will substantially reduce ITC’s carbon footprint through an overall reduction of field missions.

To visit the platform and possibly register for a course, please register at:

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.

Download PDF version