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A New Collaboration to Empower Women in Trade

March 14, 2022

Julie Anne Hennessy directs our U.S. Commercial Service office in Los Angeles (West) and Joan Morgan is a Senior International Trade Specialist for the Commercial Service’s U.S. Field.

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The United States is undergoing a historic economic recovery, and one that is transformative and should continue to drive the economy. Women and women-owned businesses in the United States are an enormous economic contributor. In fact, according to the Census Bureau, these firms in 2018 alone reported nearly $1.8 trillion in sales, shipments, receipts, or revenue and employed over 10.1 million workers with an annual payroll of $388.1 billion. For reasons like this, ITA has partnered with WEConnect International to help women entrepreneurs get into the business of exporting and tapping into markets that are ripe for new products and services.

WEConnect International is a global non-profit that identifies, educates, registers, and certifies women’s business enterprises that are at least 51 percent owned, managed, and controlled by one or more women, and then connects them with large member buyers. The WEConnect International WECommunity supports and promotes women-owned businesses based in over 130 countries, including local support and certification in almost 50 countries across the Americas, Asia, Europe, the Middle East, and Africa. The organization also helps to develop the capacity of large buyers to source more products and services from underutilized suppliers, including women-owned businesses globally.

Working together, ITA and WEConnect International are helping create greater opportunities for women-owned businesses by collaborating on international trade promotion activities in support of women’s economic empowerment; cooperating and coordinating on trade and business investment promotion activities; providing greater awareness of ITA’s events, resources and initiatives; and supporting the development of strong and quality business connections among women-owned and women-led U.S. companies.

For example, InSync Training, a WEConnect International certified woman-owned business headquartered in Portsmouth, NH, was recently connected with ITA’s U.S. Commercial Service New Hampshire office to explore new exporting opportunities. InSync has a 20-year history of providing virtual training facilitation and production services and has begun expanding into Europe and Asia. As part of its strategy to expand globally, InSync joined WeConnect International’s virtual conferences and matchmaking sessions. Through this newly established partnership, women-owned businesses like InSync will now be more aware of the resources of ITA’s U.S. Commercial Service to further support their export growth.

Trade shows, conferences, trade missions, and matchmaking are also ITA’s bread and butter, so naturally, this collaboration between WEConnect International and ITA makes sense to leverage the best of what each of our organizations has to offer women in business.

While this is just one example among many, partnerships like this expand the businesses that ITA is able to support, particularly as we seek to increase our engagement with women-owned and other historically underserved businesses. Learn more and get involved about ITA’s Women’s Global Trade Empowerment program, a resource for women entrepreneurs who wish to grow their business into new markets.

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