The first edition of the just concluded Borderless Trade Salon Series, an initiative of the Borderless Trade Network has received a tremendous amount of positive feedback. The virtual 2-day event which happened on the 8th and 9th of February 2021 via Zoom and YouTube was proof of how much more there is to empower women with.
With the goal of empowering Women in Business and Women in Transition to upscale their businesses to a global level, as well as sensitizing them with the African Continental Free Trade Area (AfCFTA) protocols and models to become modern-day businesswomen, the Borderless Trade Salon Series was nothing short of a success. With attendees from across the world – Kenya, Mozambique, Nigeria, Dubai, Egypt, Singapore, Turkey and many more – the workshop witnessed a turnaround in the mindsets of businesswomen and a willingness to become the best versions of themselves.
During a welcome speech by the author of the ‘Borderless Trade: A Step by Step Guide to Exporting Your Product’ and the President of the Borderless Trade Network, Olori Boye-Ajayi, she spoke about why it was important to organize the workshop, especially in relation to the Trade and Export Industry.
A representative of the U.S Consulate Lagos, Jennifer Foltz was introduced, and a short speech about the consulate’s partnership with the Borderless Trade Network was highlighted, which is to support outstanding women empowerment platforms who are true to their cause and accountable.
The first speaker of the workshop, blessed with 41 years of industry experience in international trade, Ms. Shade Bembatoum-Young – CEO of African Sustainable SME Export Trade Solutions (ASSETS) with the topic ‘Women Taking a New Perspective on the Benefit of Export & Regional Trade’, discussed extensively on ways for women to leverage on their skills and connection. She also emphasized the importance of learning another language in the trade and export industry. Ms. Shade Bembatoum-Young said, “Empowering women is the secret weapon to development”.
Mr. Babajide Sodipo – Senior Manager, AU/AfCFTA Relations and Trade Policy of Afrexim Bank talked about restructuring a business in order to benefit from the AfCFTA, as well as regulatory tariffs and the free trade movement with the topic ‘Repositioning your business for the AfCFTA’. He said, “If you don’t understand your competitors, you can’t step up your game”.
Day 2 featured Ms. Dorothy Ogbutor – Partner, Inspire Advisory Services Limited, Abuja whose topic focused on ‘Strategies & Support Services for Women in Business to Succeed in AfCFTA’.
The salon series also had a group of trailblazing women in different career paths with Sarah Inya Lawal (President of Ascend Studios), Dr. Kaffy Shafau-Ameh (CEO, Imagneto Dance Company), Omah Areh (Founder, Wildflower PR), Adebisi Odeleye (Founder, Moore Organics) in a fireside session where they shared ways to improve their businesses, regardless of what it is.
In the session with Barr. Kola Awe (Chairman, NACCIMA Export Group), he emphasized the importance of collaboration and developing quality products which usually serve as a brand passport into the international scene through the topic ‘Basic Product Development and Implementation Process; Import Procedures at Regional level’.
To close the event, Olori Boye-Ajayi shared the further plans of the Borderless Trade Network, as well as the other small focus groups that are available to ensure maximum output and accountability for women in business through the Borderless Trade Network.
The launch of the BTN ‘FLY’ Magazine was also unveiled; with a goal to feature and celebrate women across various sectors pushing boundaries and challenging the status quo.
To join the ‘Zero to Trade‘ and an end-to-end program for women entrepreneurs who want to start their journey to international trade, click here https://bit.ly/zerototraderegistration
Join the Export Community Agency (ECA) group here https://bit.ly/ecamembership
The BTSS program is in partnership with the U.S. Consulate Lagos and Ascend Studios Foundation for the Academy for Women Entrepreneurs (AWE) program.