Sharing tips for young entrepreneurs, companies targeting standards, IT businesses: WEDF 2016 ‘how-to’ workshops

26 September 2016
ITC News
Small and medium-sized enterprises will learn practical tips to enter and compete in global markets through how-to workshops at the 2016 World Export Development Forum in Colombo, Sri Lanka.

Small and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs) will have a chance to gain practical tools and tips to grow and compete internationally during the 16th edition of the World Export Development Forum (WEDF) in Colombo, Sri Lanka, from 12-13 October.

The forum, organized by the International Trade Centre (ITC) and the Sri Lanka Export Development Board (EDB), is a global conference and business-to-business (B2B) platform hosting more than 600 business leaders, policymakers, heads of trade and investment support institutions, trade development representatives and leading economists.

This year, WEDF will introduce three ‘how-to’ workshops designed to help SMEs, in particular young entrepreneurs, businesses looking to meet sustainability standards and firms working in the information-technology (IT) sector.

Young entrepreneurs: from ideas to markets

The first session, on 12 October, will be on the topic of ‘Young entrepreneurs: from ideas to markets’. The session will present investor pitch tactics and the best use of electronic commerce to stay competitive in global markets. The speakers will give insights on market research tools, how to find them and how to select export markets.

Among the speakers, David Cordobes, head of the ITC Youth and Trade Programme, will introduce ITC’s online courses, including Taking the Entrepreneurship Route and Considering Export Markets. Mohammed Es Fih, ITC e-solutions adviser, will present online tools and services to help SMEs overcome e-commerce barriers. ITC provides a range of trade intelligence tools to improve market entry and information transparency for developing countries.

Lubna Shaban, Entrepreneurship Director of Child and Youth Finance International, will also present tools for young entrepreneurs to support their businesses, including Ye! Community, an online network for young entrepreneurs.

Sustainability standards and how to meet them

The second how-to workshop, ‘Sustainability standards and how to meet them’, will follow the first plenary session of the day on 13 October. The session will point out tools for SMEs in selecting standards and it will guide them on how to meet those standards properly.

Joe Wozniak, head of the ITC Trade for Sustainable Development programme, will present online tools, such as the Farm Sustainability Assessment tool and the ITC Standards Map.

How to go international in the IT sector

The final how-to workshop, ‘How to go international in the IT sector’, will take place at the end of the day on 13 October. The session will help IT entrepreneurs to gain practical insights on further developing their businesses by focusing on public sector procurement. They will also learn marketing tips and business strategies to gain new clients. Patricia Russ, ITC Associate Programme Officer, will present ITC projects in Bangladesh, Kenya and Uganda as examples of targeted business developments.

Workshop speakers include Rezwana Khan, Director and Chief Operating Officer of Star Computer Systems, a leading information and communications technology solutions and services provider in Bangladesh; Mangala Karunaratne, Founder & CEO of Calcey Technologies a boutique software product engineering firm specialized in developing mobile, cloud and web solutions for companies worldwide; and the vice chairman of the Sri Lanka Association for Software and Services Companies (SLASSCOM), the national chamber for the IT and business process management industry in Sri Lanka. 

Visit the WEDF webpage for more information about the how-to workshops programme and speakers.