World Trade Center Utah (WTC Utah) co-hosted an International Women’s Day Celebration on March 8 in cooperation with the Women’s Business Center of Utah (WBCUtah) and the Salt Lake Chamber. The celebration, moderated by EDCUtah president and WTC Utah board member Theresa Foxley, featured a panel of internationally successful women who all shared their experiences and insights as well as the obstacles they had to overcome while conducting business abroad. Public and visible outreach helps pave the way and connects other women who want to take their business into international markets.
“The Women’s Business Center of Utah (WBCUtah) is proud to celebrate the importance of women in our society by highlighting their accomplishments,” said Robbi D. Richter, WBCUtah Program Director. “It is a day to reflect on the vital role women play in Utah’s overall flourishing economy and employment vitality growth.”
In 2015, the McKinsey Global Institute reported that advancing women’s equality in trade, investment and commerce could add $12 – 28 trillion to global Gross Domestic Product by 2025.
“WTC Utah would like to be a part of the solutions that address the challenges facing women as they pursue global economic opportunities,” said Suzette Alles, COO of WTC Utah. “Increasing international trade, and supporting women in their efforts to do so, helps companies grow, create wealth and become more resilient. This, in turn, bolsters economies on a local, national and global level.”
On March 7, WTC Utah also participated in the 10th anniversary of the Women in International Business Conference organized by the World Trade Association of Utah (WTA). The event at O.C. Tanner featured approximately 30 business, government and educational leaders representing Utah’s diverse international economy by sharing their perspectives and strategies for success in a global marketplace. Nicole Sherwood, Grant Manager for WTC Utah, was among the panelists and shared insight on local resources to help your company go global. WTA also honored Mary Beckerle, Ph.D., CEO of Huntsman Cancer Institute as International Woman of the Year for her dedication to advancing science across the world.
"As the state's oldest nonprofit organization dedicated to advancing international trade and commerce, we are proud to celebrate the global leadership of Utah's businesswomen in transforming our economy into a major player on the world stage," said Meghan Stettler, vice president of WTA and communications director for the Governor's Office of Energy Development." As the number of women-owned businesses continues to rise, we are committed to providing a forum of practical tools, solutions and connections to drive ever-greater success in meeting the commercial and cultural demands of an ever-evolving global marketplace."
In addition to knowledge, relationships and skills, funding is essential to securing and realizing a company’s full potential – especially on a global scale. This is even more vital in addressing economic inequalities, and organizations with the ability to create real, tangible change should be leading the way in helping Utah minority and women-owned businesses achieve their goals. WTC Utah offers many opportunities in realizing these goals internationally.
Last year the Utah Export Acceleration Grant, which is made possible through a generous contribution by JPMorgan Chase & Co., enabled WTC Utah to award 36 grants to small to medium-sized businesses, including 10 women-owned businesses. Our 2018 Utah Pitch Competition first place winner, Harvest Lane Honey, is a women-owned business. “Winning the WTC [Utah] Pitch Competition has allowed us to invest in our packaging to be compliant with our Canadian neighbors' language laws,” said Mindy Waite, CEO of the Utah-based beekeeping company. “This will allow us to expand into the Canadian market where we currently have a demand. WTC [Utah] has been a great resource for growing our business internationally.”
“Utah is a national leader in economic development and opportunity,” said Miles Hansen, president and CEO of WTC Utah. “Now is the time to deliver the training and support to help women-owned businesses reap the benefits of international trade and investment.”
Pictured: Nicole Sherwood, WTC Utah Grants Manager