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Women’s Entrepreneurship Accelerator Launches Online Entrepreneurship Certificate Programme for Women Around the World

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The Women’s Entrepreneurship Accelerator (WEA), today announced the global launch of its online entrepreneurship curriculum designed to inspire, educate, and empower women entrepreneurs around the world. The Online Entrepreneurship Certificate Programme was first announced during the United Nations General Assembly (UNGA 76) on the second anniversary of WEA.

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Deborah Gibbins, Chief Operating Officer at Mary Kay Inc. (Photo: Mary Kay Inc.)

WEA is a multi-stakeholder strategic partnership convening six United Nations agencies: International Labour Organization (ILO), International Trade Centre (ITC), International Telecommunication Union (ITU), United Nations Development Programme (UNDP), United Nations Global Compact (UNGC), UN Women, and Mary Kay. ITC is leading the capacity-building component of the multi-partnership.

Developed by ITC SheTrades and powered by Mary Kay in support of WEA, the guided Entrepreneurship Certificate Programme includes 27 interactive modules enriched with over 200 videos. The aim is to teach women entrepreneurs—aspiring or veteran—the skills to design and set up businesses that have potential to be economically viable. Participants will learn how to adopt an entrepreneurship culture, develop ideas through design thinking and lean start-up methodologies, prepare a business model canvas, design a pitch, identify sources of funding, find the right partners, arrange for mentorship, build a team, and set up their businesses.

The Certificate Programme covers the seven key stages of business development:

  • Certificate 1: Deciding to Become an Entrepreneur (6 modules),
  • Certificate 2: Developing the Idea – Business Ideation (3 modules),
  • Certificate 3: Business Modelling (4 modules),
  • Certificate 4: Pitching the Business (4 modules),
  • Certificate 5: Funding the Venture (3 modules),
  • Certificate 6: Building up the Team (4 modules),
  • Certificate 7: Setting up the Business (3 modules).

The WEA Online Entrepreneurship Certificate Programme is now accessible at the fingertips of millions of women directly on the ITC SheTrades website (www.shetrades.com/en/learn/e-learning) and on the WEA website. It is currently available in English, Spanish, and French, with Arabic, Russian and Mandarin coming in 2022. It is free for all users of shetrades.com with no barrier to entry. Participants will receive a certificate upon completion of each of the seven key stages of business development.

“The world needs more women entrepreneurs,” said Deborah Gibbins, Chief Operating Officer at Mary Kay Inc. “Almost half of all women entrepreneurs claim to be driven by the desire to contribute to the great societal good. Their impact can be immense. The WEA Online Entrepreneurship Certificate Programme is a game-changer for women and girls around the world. With the right tools and support, there’s no limit to what women can do.”

“We must increase women’s participation in international trade, helping them scale their businesses so that they become the catalysts for more inclusive and sustainable communities. Women are powerful agents of change – and empowering women benefits whole societies,” said Pamela Coke-Hamilton, Executive Director of the International Trade Centre.

An official launch event will be held on January 18, 2022, at 15:00 CET in collaboration with Mary Kay. It will convene women entrepreneurs and women-owned businesses from the ITC SheTrades network around the world. The event will be hosted virtually in English and will serve as a platform to present the Entrepreneurship Certificate Programme, and upcoming in-country trainings. The SheTrades team will present the entrepreneurship curriculum as well as other tools available on www.shetrades.com. Register here to the launch of WEA’s first free Entrepreneurship Certificate Programme.

The launch of the WEA Certificate Programme on the ITC SheTrades eLearning platform will also be supplemented at the national level with on-the-ground training for women from developing countries interested in entrepreneurship and/or planning to integrate into regional and global value chains. The in-country training sessions will provide practical insight and expertise to women entrepreneurs and MSMEs and will take place virtually in Colombia, Brazil, Mexico and India. The training sessions will be held in Spanish (Colombia, Mexico), Portuguese (Brasil) and English (India). Sessions will focus on two main topics: “Competitiveness and Export Readiness” (19-20 January) and “Digital Marketing and e-commerce workshops” (1-3 February).

The contribution falls under ITC's “Empowering Women to Trade Programme” which contributes directly to ITC’s focus area 5 “Promoting and Mainstreaming Inclusive and Green Trade” and United Nations Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) 5, 8 and 17.

WEA has committed to empower 5 million women entrepreneurs by 2030.

About the Women’s Entrepreneurship Accelerator
The Women’s Entrepreneurship Accelerator (WEA) is a multi-partnership initiative on women’s entrepreneurship convening six United Nations agencies and Mary Kay. International Labour Organization (ILO), International Trade Centre (ITC), International Telecommunication Union (ITU), UN Development Programme (UNDP), UN Global Compact (UNGC), UN Women and Mary Kay have committed to empower 5 million women entrepreneurs by 2030. The ultimate goal of the initiative is to maximize the development impact of women entrepreneurship in achieving the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) by creating an enabling ecosystem for women entrepreneurs around the world. The Accelerator exemplifies the transformational power of a multi-partnership of unique magnitude to harness the potential of women entrepreneurs. Learn more at we-accelerate.com. Follow us: Twitter and Instagram (@we_accelerator), Facebook and LinkedIn (@womensentrepreneurshipaccelerator).

About ITC SheTrades
The International Trade Centre’s SheTrades initiative aims to connect three million women to market by 2021 and rallies stakeholders around the world to work together to address trade barriers and create greater opportunities for women entrepreneurs. It is supported by a web and mobile digital platform. For more information, please visit SheTrades.com: https://www.shetrades.com/en.

About the International Trade Centre
The International Trade Centre is the joint agency of the World Trade Organization and the United Nations. ITC assists small and medium-sized enterprises in developing and transition economies to become more competitive in global markets, thereby contributing to sustainable economic development within the frameworks of the Aid-for-Trade agenda and the United Nations’ Sustainable Development Goals. For more information, visit www.intracen.org. Follow ITC on Twitter | Facebook | LinkedIn | Instagram | Flickr

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Contact information

Mary Kay Inc. Corporate Communications
marykay.com/newsroom
(+1) 972.687.5332 or media@mkcorp.com

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