Moroccan women-led businesses strike deals at SIAL
At Canada’s largest food and beverage tradeshow, women-led businesses from Morocco promoted their products to the North American market to generate new investment opportunities
The International Trade Centre’s SheTrades Morocco Project joined forces with the Trade Facilitation Office (TFO) of Canada, through the support of the International Islamic Trade Finance Corporation (ITFC) and the Islamic Development Bank (IsDB), to bring eight women-owned businesses from Morocco (Terre Brune, Spiruline Nadia, Frelug, Flora, Mogador, Sagroma, Coopérative Sanad and Bionoor Cosmetics), to Canada’s trade show Le Salon International de l‘Alimentation (SIAL). The producers offered their products to interested buyers, including argan, olive oil, prickly pear vinegars, olives, and spices.
Kristin Marinacci, Programme Director at TFO Canada says: “Given the challenges we faced with COVID-19, supporting these women-owned businesses to participate at this year’s SIAL Canada tradeshow has been an important step in creating possible trade linkages with Canadian importers. Helping these entrepreneurs with their market entry strategies is a vital contributor to inclusive and sustainable economic growth in Morocco.”
Hosted annually in Montreal, SIAL is the biggest food and beverage tradeshow in Canada with more than 1,200 national and international exhibitors from 50 countries and hosting over 25,000 buyers from Canada, the United States, and 60 other countries.
Numerous side line events allowed the women-led businesses to engage with local buyers and importers, as well as participate in business-to-business (B2B) meetings. In addition, they were able to attend a market tour to gain a better understanding of the habits of local consumers and distribution networks.
Prior to the trade show, the ITC SheTrades Morocco team trained the women-led businesses on the legal requirements and standards to enter the North American market.
“There is a growing recognition that supporting women’s entrepreneurship is not only beneficial for a country’s economy, but also necessary to secure a just and sustainable future,” says Lilia Hachem Naas, Chief for the Office of the Middle East and North African region at the International Trade Centre. “SheTrades Morocco positively impacts local communities and takes the lead in championing women entrepreneurship.”
Nasser Al-Thekair, General Manager for Trade and Business Development at ITFC adds: "We believe this opportunity will open many new doors for the entrepreneurs, because they will not only get to understand markets from a global perspective, but also get to exchange ideas with thousands of their peers and customers. We certainly expect to see a massive return on this investment, as well as growth for both women entrepreneurs and their respective communities."