ITC launches SheTrades Dominican Republic Hub to boost women’s market access
(Geneva/Santo Domingo) – Women entrepreneurs in the Dominican Republic are set to sharpen their business skills and gain access to new markets with the launch of the International Trade Centre (ITC) SheTrades Dominican Republic Hub in Santo Domingo on 28 September.
Hosted by the Export and Investment Center of the Dominican Republic (ProDominicana), the Hub will provide trainings, mentoring and market opportunities to boost the competitiveness of Dominican women-led businesses.
Half of the micro-entrepreneurs in the Dominican Republic are women, yet less than 5% of all micro, small and medium-sized enterprises in the country are owned by women, according to the World Bank. The launch of this Hub is aimed at changing that.
The launch of the SheTrades Dominican Republic Hub follows the inauguration of the SheTrades Caribbean Hub earlier in the week, hosted by the Caribbean Development Bank. The two new Hubs in the region will work in tandem with the SheTrades Trinidad and Tobago Hub to foster regional collaboration and increase women’s participation in trade.
Committing to gender equality
At the launch event, ITC Executive Director Pamela Coke-Hamilton and ProDominicana Executive Director Biviana Riveiro signed a memorandum of understanding. Nine key institutions championing gender equality in the Dominican Republic, including ProDominicana, also signed letters of commitment to advance women’s empowerment.
A panel discussion with key stakeholders on the challenges and opportunities of Dominican women-led businesses followed the signing ceremony. Panellists included Dominican Association of Exporters President Elizabeth Mena, Deputy Director of the General Directorate of Public Contracting Crystal Fiallo, Administrative and Finance Vice Chancellor of the Instituto Tecnologico de Santo Domingo Alliet Ortega, and ITC National Coordinator Taiana Mora.
ITC Executive Director Pamela Coke-Hamilton said: ‘With the launch of the SheTrades Dominican Republic Hub today, I am excited to continue to build ITC’s partnership with the Government of the Dominican Republic. Investing in women means creating an environment where women can reach their full trade potential. This new Hub will provide women across the country with greater economic opportunities, which in turn will change their communities for the better.’
The Executive Director of ProDominicana, Biviana Riveiro Disla, said the Hub represents a key platform to promote the active participation of women in international trade: ‘The establishment of this SheTrades Hub represents a commitment to gender equality and the recognition of women's fundamental role in the economy and international trade. This Hub becomes a space that promotes training, connection to markets and the promotion of Dominican women entrepreneurs and businesses in the global arena.’
Sharing recommendations, expanding networks
During the launch, Ms. Coke-Hamilton highlighted how national institutions have helped create a conducive policy environment for women. However, more can be done to mainstream gender in trade policy. This finding is based on the SheTrades Outlook assessment conducted earlier in the year, with results and recommendations to be shared during a SheTrades Outlook validation workshop with public and private sector institutions the day after the launch of SheTrades Hub in the Dominican Republic .
In addition to the expansion of the SheTrades Hubs network to Bangladesh, Mauritius, Mongolia, the Dominican Republic and the Caribbean this year, ITC is set to host an annual gathering of SheTrades Hubs in November. There, Hub focal points will have the opportunity to connect with other representatives, share best practices and receive training-of-trainers to scale up and diversify services for women of their respective SheTrades Hubs.
For more information on ITC SheTrades Hubs, click here.
Notes for the Editor
The International Trade Centre 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 United Nations’ Sustainable Development Goals.
For more information, visit www.intracen.org.
ProDominicana is the Export and Investment Center of the Dominican Republic. ProDominicana’s mission centres around stimulating heightened exports and foreign direct investment to propel the nation's progress. ProDominicana facilitates integral services to investors, exporters and buyers free of charge.
For more information, visit https://prodominicana.gob.do/quienessomos
Susanna Pak Marketing and Communications Management
Senior Strategic Communications Officer ProDominicana
International Trade Centre T: 809-530-5505 ext. 208
E: pak [at] intracen.org (pak[at]intracen[dot]org) www.prodominicana.gob.do