Cups and Conversations: How a Espresso Chat Constructed a World Networking Powerhouse for Girls in Commerce

Camille Richardson is the Deputy Assistant Secretary for the Center East and Africa

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How did a chat over espresso between a Kenyan businesswoman and girls enterprise homeowners in the USA grow to be an initiative serving to lots of of women-owned U.S. firms export overseas?

Headshot of Camille Richardson, ITA's Deputy Assistant Secretary for the Middle East and Africa.
Camille Richardson, Deputy Assistant Secretary for the Center East and Africa

Final 12 months, my workforce and I met with a Kenyan businesswoman who constructed a thriving cosmetics enterprise utilizing merchandise imported from the USA. Listening to her communicate, I noticed that she had a lot to share with different girls enterprise homeowners, and knew that actual tales, informed by an entrepreneur herself, could possibly be worthwhile to different girls navigating related challenges. As such, I labored with my workforce to ask a number of businesswomen throughout the USA to pay attention to the dialog, and it was an incredible success. Little did we all know, this casual digital “espresso chat” would grow to be the mannequin that launched Girls Empowered Go away Legacies by way of Commerce and Funding, or WELLTI, for brief. Since then, the WELLTI program has hosted espresso chats throughout 9 international locations within the Center East and North Africa. Every occasion boasts over 100 individuals and the attendance of CEOs and executives.

One of many keys to enterprise success is a powerful community. WELLTI connects girls from world wide with each other, inspiring U.S.-based girls entrepreneurs to discover commerce alternatives within the Center East and Africa. Serving to girls develop resilient companies is vitally necessary to creating equitable financial alternative; globally, girls usually tend to face disadvantages beginning companies and are much less more likely to be entrepreneurs or company leaders. Since firms that commerce are extra resilient, develop quicker, and have higher backside traces, encouraging girls to commerce helps girls succeed economically.

In the present day and tomorrow, Commerce will host our inaugural WELLTI Summit in partnership with OWIT, WeConnect Worldwide, and a bunch of bureaus throughout the Division.  This 12 months’s Summit is especially particular as it’s together with the Commerce Winds 2022 Enterprise Discussion board in Dubai, UAE and options ITA’s first lady Underneath Secretary, Marisa Lago, to assist us kick off the festivities and rejoice Worldwide Girls’s Day! Tune into the livestream and see how Commerce is placing assets to work for ladies and companies in underserved communities. Programming contains listening to from the Business Legislation Improvement Program, the Enterprise Council of Worldwide Understanding, and Girls-In-Tech on matters starting from business rights of an organization to girls’s function within the digital transformation, to the significance of expertise in enterprise.

Illustration of text that reads: "Women Empowered Leave Legacies Through Trade & Investment (WELLTI) @ Trade Winds Middle East and Africa, Dubai, UAE, March 2022. Learn more: #TradeWinds2022 #WELLTI [social media hashtags]. Background illustration is of the Dubai skyline.

We’re assured that WELLTI will proceed to serve our group nicely because it expands its attain globally with WELLTI 2.0 spreading to new areas world wide and with a brand new focus: capability constructing for businesswomen throughout the spectrum. Girls enterprise homeowners who take part in WELLTI packages are prepared and desirous to commerce. ITA will ship capability constructing, facilitate entry to networks and capital, and supply market intelligence to empower girls to develop their companies on a world scale. To find out about upcoming packages, go to
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