SheTrades Caribbean Regional Hub: a beacon of hope for women entrepreneurs

In a world where female entrepreneurs face numerous challenges, the Caribbean is no exception. Women in the region are grappling with issues such as limited access to capital, assets, mentoring, networking, costly financing options, and a lack of business knowledge.

Despite these hurdles, women-owned small and medium-sized enterprises (MSMEs) are consistently recognized by multilateral organizations as key drivers of economic growth and poverty reduction. The Caribbean Development Bank (CDB) has made addressing gender-specific barriers to market entry and business expansion a top priority.

In response to the diverse needs of this target group, the CDB has partnered with the International Trade Centre to establish the SheTrades Caribbean Regional Hub. The Hub’s primary goal is to enhance market access for women-led or owned businesses by offering training and support in securing finance and capitalizing on market opportunities.

One of the early beneficiaries is Ms. Nydia Norville, owner and operator of Choiselle, a business that produces all-natural skincare and wellness products inspired by Caribbean botanicals for export. By joining SheTrades Caribbean, the Saint Lucian entrepreneur is gaining access to training to enhance her company and learning how to better navigate the export sector.

“The regional hub has provided meaningful and tangible support for my personal and professional growth as a Caribbean woman in business. I am availing myself of the many unique, enriching, and specialized opportunities accessible through SheTrades,” stated Nydia Norville.

Since its launch in 2023, women from all 19 of CDB’s Borrowing Member Countries have joined SheTrades Caribbean. The sectors seeing strong uptake include the Cultural and Creative Industries, Agriculture and Agro Processing, and Tourism.

Recognizing the importance of women-led small businesses in achieving sustainable and equitable economic growth, the CDB aims to support over 2,000 such enterprises through the regional SheTrades hub by 2025. The ultimate goal is to create a pathway for more Caribbean women to transition from local markets to global trade.

“Empowering women in business increases employment and economic activity, reduces familial poverty, and improves standards of living, all of which contribute to more stable, balanced societies and economies,” explained Mrs. Therese Turner-Jones, CDB’s Director of Projects.

“Our SheTrades Caribbean Hub is connecting women entrepreneurs in the Caribbean with global markets and increasing business opportunities, which will strengthen trade networks throughout the region and create more resilient economies. This is why we are increasingly targeting investment in the business sector,” she added.

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  1. If we knew better
    January 31, 2024

    When will HeTrade be established? It seems like this one sided “gender inequality” thing keeps only wanting to empower women. then again if you want to control a populace, you get the man uninvolved, and influence the women. Gender inequality is whats going on. And our government is doing nothing to combat it in Dominica. Our young boys sit around getting lazier and lazier. All they want it fast ride and faster money. life of crime and drug abuse is where many end up. But is girls alone right? give all the support to women and girls. lets see how that will work out.

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    • BS
      February 2, 2024

      women are easier to control and more likely to support liberal/left leaning values and ideologies like LGBT and socialism. So those who really have the power benefit from having more of them in positions of power.

      Nothing against women but that is just how nature is set up. A man cannot have a baby and women on average have much lower testosterone than men. Testosterone makes you more assertive, calm and confident. These are all qualities that make people much harder to control. Women are more emotional and empathetic which makes sense since nature designed them to take care of offspring. This is scientific fact but nowadays politics is overriding science.

  2. Channel One
    January 31, 2024

    In this era of so-called ‘gender equality’ promotions (cough….cough), I look forward to reading very soon on DNO of the CDB partnering with the International Trade Centre to establish the HeTrades Caribbean Regional Hub as in this world, the Caribbean being no exception, MALE entrepreneurs face numerous [and significant] challenges.

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    • If we knew better
      January 31, 2024

      I support the HeTrades movement.

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    • Patti
      February 1, 2024

      I agree totally. They use our top brains to only dress the part, not to think, at meetings and push these agendas that they didn’t create but just foolishly following.
      As it is our MEN need employment, even though most of the gov’t homes are already going towards women, but MEN desperately NEED job creation

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