Commonwealth Businesswomen

Trade Matters, Best Practices & Success Stories

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Globalisation and trade liberalisation are posing a number of challenges – as well as creating new opportunities – for the many women entrepreneurs throughout the Commonwealth. Since women-owned businesses play a key role in national economic growth, it is important to ensure that the policy environment, infrastructure and support mechanism for businesses are accessible to them and meet their needs. This book offers a number of case studies which address issues traditionally seen as problems for businesswomen: access to credit, information, technology and markets, and equity issues. These are followed by a compilation of best practices: more than thirty stories from around the Commonwealth showing how, while developing successful businesses, women entrepreneurs have found innovative ways to integrate social issues and structures as well as to network and build cross-sectoral alliances. The book also provides an overview of World Trade Organization agreements and looks at the workings of the International Monetary Fund.




Commonwealth Businesswomen: Trade Matters, Best Practices and Success Stories is one of the first outputs of the Commonwealth Secretariat's programme focus on trade and gender issues. The publication is a collaborative effort between the Trade, Enterprise and Agriculture Department and the Gender Affairs Department of the Commonwealth Secretariat. Other programmes initiated by these departments include the development of a Commonwealth Businesswomen Network (CBWN), which is intended to function as a mechanism through which the interests of women entrepreneurs can be promoted in trade policy decisions (see Appendix II), and a forthcoming reference manual on the gender impacts of the multilateral trading system.


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