The Power of International Networking!

Charlotte Kalin together with Ambassador Ruth Davis, Honorary Chair of IWEC

One of the great inspirations from working with Chamber Trade Sweden is connecting with our partners and local business organizations, individual business leaders and member companies. Our network keeps growing and now stretches from Southern and Eastern Africa to Iraq, Pakistan and Indonesia. Together with our partners and through this network, we are building knowledge and capacity to strengthen the private sector and business in developing countries. During 2014 we have worked with more than 30 different local business organizations and reached out to over 1 500 business stakeholders. Our goal is to engage as many Swedish, international and local experts and consultants as possible in helping to implement our Chamber Academy Program for private sector development and trade. You can tap into our network by joining us on Facebook – or follow us on Twitter – @Chambertradeswe.

The highlight of this fall has been the International Women’s Entrepreneurial Challenge (IWEC) which Chamber Trade Sweden had the honor to host in Stockholm in November. During this conference 34 internationally successful business women were presented with their 2014 IWEC award. We also held a very successful conference, “Ensuring the Health of Your Business in a Global Competitive Environment”, with a total of 150 international guests including past IWEC awardees and chamber representatives present. It was the first time IWEC was held in Northern Europe and we hope to expand the network further to inspire more women to run their own international businesses. Running an international business requires more than the ordinary in skills and leadership and we believe more women should step up to this challenge. With the IWEC conference, we also had the vision of connecting our women in business network in developing countries with the IWEC network. We were therefore very pleased that Akiko Seyoum from Orchid Business Group in Ethiopia and Divine Dnhlukula from Securico in Zimbabwe were part of the IWEC 2014 awardees. The Swedish 2014 IWEC awardees are Emy Blixt from Swedish Hasbeens, Karin Söderlind from House of Dagmar and Karin Bodin from Polarbröd.

In this newsletter, you can catch up with what we have been doing this fall: The launch of the second Nina Magazine – Iraq which was launched against all odds and printed in Karbala, Iraq; The launching of mentorship programs with our local chamber partners in Zimbabwe, Zambia and Kurdistan, Iraq; Industrial Development workshops in Zimbabwe and Zambia; A green technology road show and policy advocacy training in East Africa with African Women in Agribusiness Network and the East African Women in Business Platform; Promoting commercial dispute resolution in Ethiopia and Africa with Addis and Cape Chamber of Commerce; A green technology road show in Sweden with businesses and chamber representatives from Pakistan.

We would like to thank the partners and experts who have worked with us this year for great team work!

Happy holidays and looking forward to seeing you in 2015!

Charlotte Kalin, Chamber Trade Sweden