As part of its continuing efforts to create an inclusive business environment and growth opportunities for women, UPS has announced the launch of the Women Exporters Program workshops for U.S. businesses. The program will help women business owners and leaders to gain access to the vast global marketplace, comprising 95% of the world’s buyers.
In the U.S., there are nearly 12 million women-owned small businesses, yet women-owned businesses comprise just 12% of U.S. exporters. Providing training to enable small- and medium-sized businesses owned by women to export would help propel those companies onto the world stage. According to a McKinsey Global Institute report, “In a ‘full potential’ scenario in which women play an identical role in (global) labor markets to that of men, as much as $28 trillion, or 26 percent, could be added to global annual GDP by 2025.”
To provide a pathway for cross-border business opportunities, the U.S. launch of the Women Exporters Program will begin at the Women’s Business Enterprise National Council (WBENC) National Conference& Business Fair, one of the largest events of its kind for women business owners in the U.S. At WBENC, UPS will host a series of workshops and offer one-to-one coaching sessions, providing:
- Insights and training on export strategies;
- Tools and resources to enter new markets;
- Insights on how to build an export-friendly digital presence; and
- Guidance on package flow and preparing an export shipment.
UPS experts will also provide tips on targeting, research, documentation and shipping processes to help build confidence and competence. The workshops are the first step in the U.S., with additional training sessions being planned for the future.
The U.S. launch is part of a global deployment of the program, which began in May 2019 in Mexico, Nigeria, Turkey and Vietnam, with planned expansion to the United Arab Emirates in September 2019 in collaboration with the International Trade Centre (ITC) as part of the SheTrades initiative. The business training will help women entrepreneurs expand their potential customer base and growth potential, while strengthening communities. According to independent research commissioned by ITC conducted in 20 developing countries, women in those locations tend to invest up to 90% of their income in their children’s health and education. Helping women entrepreneurs build export skills has the potential to reduce intergenerational cycles of poverty.
“As a leading global logistics company, we have deep insights into how businesses move across borders and grow,” said Eduardo Martinez, UPS chief diversity and inclusion officer and president of The UPS Foundation. “Delivering this knowledge and expertise to women entrepreneurs to help expand their business opportunities is just one of the ways we’re helping to catalyze economic prosperity and inclusion across our value chain of customers, suppliers and communities. Our collaboration with ITC, and the launch of the U.S. program with long-time partner WBENC, are demonstrations of the power of public-private partnerships which will advance women entrepreneurs all over the world.”
Kathleen Marran, UPS VP of Diverse Market Segments, confirms the demand for the program, “No matter where I have traveled this year, from the UAE at a SheTrade event, to DC with the National Association of Women Business Owners, to the Women Presidents’ Organization national conference in Charlotte, to the WBENC Women Exporters Program lab, I am so encouraged by the energy, commitment and innovation coming from these women-owned and women-run businesses. Sharing UPS tools, approaches and expertise to help them achieve their objectives is not only worthwhile because it’s smart business, it is meaningful because of the progress we’re able to create.”
In March 2019, UPS was selected for WBENC’s Top Corporation for Women’s Business Enterprises (WBEs) Hall of Fame. While UPS has been recognized previously as a WBENC Top Corporation, this marks the inaugural year for this new, pinnacle designation, and UPS is one of only nine companies selected.
Pamela Prince-Eason, President and CEO of WBENC, said, “UPS has been a strong partner and consistent leader in increasing opportunities for women-owned businesses. Their commitment to diversity and inclusion sets the example, and we are so proud to have inducted them into our inaugural Top Corporations for Women’s Business Enterprises Hall of Fame. The UPS Women Exporters Program launching at our National Conference & Business Fair will truly help move the needle for women-owned businesses by expanding opportunities to new markets and providing opportunities for exponential growth.”
UPS’s commitment to empowering women business owners is part of its broader diversity and inclusion efforts focused on employees, customers, suppliers, and communities. UPS recently announced a collaboration with the United States Agency for International Development (USAID) to promote women’s economic empowerment and improve women entrepreneurs’ ability to export. UPS’s Supplier Diversity commitment enables women- and minority-owned businesses to gain access into UPS’s global purchasing of products and services. UPS’s employee programs focused on diversity and inclusion help foster an inclusive environment that enables each person to learn, grow and contribute.