Program to Assist Women Entrepreneurs

The Export Council of Australia (ECA), in partnership with the Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade and Australia Awards, are hosting a delegation of female small business owners from across the Pacific in Australia from 12-24 November. Lisa McAuley, CEO of the ECA said, “Given the contribution made by SMEs to job creation, programs that foster their growth can help raise incomes and reduce poverty in developing countries. Supporting developing countries to trade and prosper will ultimately benefit Australia’s trade and investment opportunities.”

The “Australia Awards: Women Trading Globally” course has been designed under the Aid for Trade initiative to assist small business owners from the Pacific to develop the capabilities needed to open their businesses to new international markets, as well as connect with other women entrepreneurs in Australia. The program consists of one week of training in Brisbane, and one week of training in Sydney and is the first of its kind to be supported by the Australian government. “In supporting the engagement of developing market SMEs into trade-based economic flows, Aid for Trade assists in ensuring the overall health and sustainability of global supply chains, and serves as a mechanism for encouraging sustainable sourcing, good governance, labour and child safety, anti-corruption measures and a range of related Twenty-First Century trade practices.”- Ms McAuley said.

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Ms Collins Rex, Programme Manager and Head of Skills Development for the Export Council of Australia said, “We were overwhelmed by the response to our call for candidates, with over 250 remarkable women from across the Pacific submitting applications. It was extremely difficult to whittle down the original 250 to a shortlist of 100 and, ultimately, to select 15 extraordinary women to participate in this two-week intensive international business training program.”

The program consists of an intensive training course in Brisbane to assist participants in developing their export strategy and business plan, followed by an interactive agenda in Sydney that will include a series of roundtable table events with trade experts and business leaders. The program includes site visits with two fantastic female leaders in international trade, Samea Maakrun the Managing Director of Sasy n Savy and Jane Lu the Founder & CEO of Showpo, who have kindly opened their doors to the delegation. Participants will also undertake tours of innovation hubs including Triangles XYZ, Tank Stream Labs and Fishburners, as well as Indigenous advocacy training at UNSW. The Export Council of Australia will host two networking events—in Brisbane, hosted by Microsoft Australia, and in Sydney—to encourage female exporters in New South Wales and Queensland to meet and network with the delegation.