January 29 ,2015 | by Erin O’Neill

Trade trip organised to China to encourage women entrepreneurs

ConnectChina aims to increase the number of women entrepreneurs doing business with their counterparts in China.

A collaboration between ConnectChina and Maiden Voyage will bring a women-only business team on a trade trip to China and Hong Kong this year. It’s a scheme that’s designed to open up the difficult market of China to more women entrepreneurs, showing that problems such as the large geographical distance, cultural differences and language barriers are not insurmountable.

“Statistics show that only 16 per cent of women-led businesses in the UK engage in international trade. We also know that less than 10 per cent of delegates participating on organised trade visits are women,” said Joanna Lavan of ConnectChina.

 

Women-led firms falling behind in exporting

There’s no secret that women-led small businesses are falling behind when it comes to exporting. It’s been suggested that key barriers to women exporting include not having the mind-set to move into exports, not having access to finance and not having the necessary business contacts and experience.

However, ConnectChina is looking to create relationships between the women-led businesses in the UK and China to encourage the growth of trade between the two nations, especially as there’s an impressively high number of them in China. The amount of female entrepreneurs in small and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs) equates to 45 per cent of the total number of Chinese SME entrepreneurs.

 

Support available before, during and after trip

The team will visit Beijing, Shanghai and Hong Kong to meet one to one in individually considered business and networking meetings.

“We have years of expertise in running trade visits to this region and have a team on the ground to help our participants understand how to do business in this increasingly important region,” said Joanna Lavan.

Ahead of the trip each potential delegate will be assessed to see if their product or service is suitable for the Chinese market and each business will receive support before, during and after the visit.

Erin O’Neill

Erin O’Neill is an LSBF News Writer who reports on small business, careers, technology and education news.

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