Finland supports female and young entrepreneurs in developing countries

NordenBladet — Finland will grant EUR 5 million to the International Trade Centre (ITC) in 2021–2022 to support women’s and young people’s business activities in developing countries. The agreement was signed on 18 January 2021 in Geneva.

The agreement was signed by Executive Director of the International Trade Centre Pamela Coke-Hamilton and ambassador Kirsti Kauppi. Of the EUR 5 million granted by Finland, EUR 2 million will be in the form of core funding. EUR 3 million will be channelled to measures strengthening women’s and young people’s business activities and refugees’ opportunities to earn a livelihood, developing the African Continental Free Trade Area (AfCFTA), and promoting circular economy.

Minister for Development Cooperation and Foreign Trade Ville Skinnari considers that Finland’s support to ITC is a considerable investment in both the development of business activities and the strengthening of women’s and girls’ rights in developing countries. ”Through Finland’s funding to ITC, developing countries will be able to reinforce the base of their economies during this challenging time. The funding will also create preconditions for reconstruction in the aftermath of the COVID-19 pandemic.  We need to stop managing poverty and start creating wealth. I encourage Finnish companies to engage in cooperation with ITC as a way to find new business opportunities,” the Minister says.

ITC is an organisation founded by the World Trade Organization (WTO) and the United Nations Conference on Trade and Development (UNCTAD). It aims to strengthen the competitiveness of micro-, small-, and medium-sized companies based in developing countries. ITC is well known for its strong contribution to the development of women’s and young people’s business activities, for example through the SheTrades Initiative (


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