From the role of trade in climate action to the implementation of new technologies in farming, Trade Forward explores innovation at the intersection of trade and development. Featuring entrepreneurs, researchers, practitioners and other experts, this podcast focuses on the untold stories of trade driving transformations across the world.
Welcome to Trade Forward
Let's explore the latest innovations in trade. In this introductory episode, our host Susanna Pak explains what innovation means at the International Trade Centre (ITC): It's the process of creating value by finding novel solutions to meaningful problems. To discuss this concept with us, we have Raphaël Dard, head of the SME Trade Academy and one of the founders of ITC's Innovation Lab. Enjoy!
What is the future of trade?
What's next on the frontier of trade and development? In this episode, we ask Arancha González, Executive Director of the International Trade Centre, about the upcoming trade trends. How are current trade tensions different from what we have seen before? Tune in to find out more!
Does trade work for women?
Did you know there are more Fortune 500 CEOs named John than there are women? How can trade help tackle this gender imbalance? In this episode, Professor Stephanie Barrientos from the Global Development Institute at the University of Manchester joins us to explore how women can benefit from the way trade is evolving.
If you want to know more, check out Professor Barrientos' latest book, Gender and Work in Global Value Chains. You can also have a look at the work of the International Trade Centre on women empowerment through e-commerce in Central America and the SheTrades programme.
How can young entrepreneurs empower others?
How do you picture young innovators? What is the role of youth in global trade? We talk to Charles Ofori Antipem, co-founder of the global award-winning Ghanaian start-up Dext Technology, who shares his ideas on what it means to be a young boss. His goal is to innovate to see more scientists rise from Africa. Hear his inspiring story.
Learn more about Dext Technology and their Science Set. You can also check out the International Trade Centre's efforts to support young people through the Youth and Trade Programme.
How to dig deep to support digital entrepreneurs?
Digital is changing how business is done. How can entrepreneurs succeed online… at scale? That's an 'invisible' role that business support organizations play. In this episode, we ask Christian Jekinnou, the former Executive Manager of Afric'Innov, an innovation programme dedicated to supporting entrepreneurship in Africa, how accelerators, incubators, fablabs and other business support organizations can boost entrepreneurship.
Learn more about Afric'Innov here. You can also check out the International Trade Centre's efforts to support digital entrepreneurship through the Digital Entrepreneurship Initiative in Africa.
How can farmers earn more… sustainably?
How can farmers produce more - in a way that's good for people and planet - to feed the booming global population? And how can agriculture attract young people? Fact: Most farmers are close to retirement age.
To answer these questions and more, we talk to agriculture expert Samuel Adimado, Managing Director of Kuapa Kokoo, a cooperative of cocoa farmers in Ghana and a leading producer of ethical cocoa beans.For more info, check out the International Trade Centre's efforts to support farmers and improve sustainability in global value chains through the Alliances for Actions Initiative.
How can international players help small businesses survive coronavirus?
What challenges are small businesses facing during the COVID-19 outbreak? Some of these firms have only enough cash to last a few days. So how can international players work together to help small businesses adapt quickly, in practical ways? In this episode, we talk to John Denton, Secretary General of the International Chamber of Commerce - which represents more than 45 million companies in over 100 countries - about key actions to take to tackle the challenges of small businesses now and beyond COVID-19. Learn more here about how the International Trade Centre provides training and guidance to support small businesses during COVID-19!
How can small businesses survive coronavirus?
Most businesses in the world - up to 95% - are small businesses. The coronavirus pandemic has left many of them behind: most will not have enough cash to survive a month-long break during the coronavirus pandemic. As a result, businesses are being forced to behave in extraordinary ways. But every cloud has a silver lining, and while this crisis has a tremendous impact, it will also provide a trigger for innovation. To learn how small businesses are adapting and reinventing themselves, we hear from two businesses, Artisan.Fashion from Kenya and MaiyaMuna from The Gambia. For more info, check out the International Trade Centre's efforts to support youth through its ITC Youth Empowerment Project and the fashion industry through ITC Ethical Fashion Initiative.
How can digital go big for small firms?
Small businesses can help the biggest organizations to tackle global challenges, like lack of access to energy. Did you know that one in ten people live without electricity? Access to electricity is critical to achieve the United Nations Sustainable Development Goals. For such a large challenge, you would not think it would be the small firms tackling them head on! To learn how one small, innovative enterprise is supporting some of the world's largest development organizations, we hear from the founders of Tespack, a mobile solar energy solutions company based in Finland. Headed up by two young leaders, Tespack provides standalone access to energy to power digital learning and sustainable development solutions in remote areas. Learn what all the buzz is about here!Beating the odds in global trade Hailing from the island of Jamaica, Pamela Coke-Hamilton took the helm of the International Trade Centre in October 2020 in the middle of a semi-lockdown in Geneva. Her career in trade spans more than 3 decades and has taken her from the Caribbean to the United States to Switzerland. Formerly at UNCTAD as the Director of International Trade and Commodities and as Executive Director of the Caribbean Export Development Agency, Pamela is accustomed to taking the lead.In the first episode of our second season, Pamela shares her story, her perspectives and the mark she wants to make on the world of international trade.
Can trade be biodiversity-friendly?One million. One million animal and plant species could go extinct, many within decades – that’s more than ever before in human history. Reversing biodiversity loss requires a shift away from business as usual. How can businesses become more biodiversity-friendly and by doing so, contribute to conservation and sustainable trade?To help us understand how small businesses can help drive the change needed to address the biodiversity crisis, we have with us Andrew Kingman, Managing Director of Eco-Micaia, a social enterprise from Mozambique that supports local communities and associations producing biodiverse products.How tech startups are innovating to connect Africa?Access to reliable and affordable internet connection is the backbone of today’s interconnected global economy. Yet across Africa, internet penetration remains at just 39.2%. Sub-Saharan Africans continue to pay some of the highest monthly fees for internet. To help us learn more about SMEs and startups' important role in making digital connectivity more affordable, reliable, and accessible for Africans, we have with us Emeka Ebo and Joseph de Durfort, the co-winners of the International Trade Centre’s #FastTrackTech challenge.Strengthening small business resilience after COVID-194 out of 10 small businesses said they could permanently close due to the pandemic according to ITC’s COVID-19 Business Impact Survey. Resilient companies were 5 times less likely to lay off employees during the pandemic, and were more likely to have stable sales.To help us understand what sets resilient businesses apart, we have with us John Robin, Managing Director of Benjo’s Seamoss, a small beverage firm producing seaweed-based drinks in Dominica.How can e-commerce leverage postal networks for last mile delivery?A crucial element of e-commerce is the timely and reliable delivery of goods. Postal service is the crux of this.Today we are joined by Mr. Dan Kagwe, Postmaster General of Posta Kenya, and Mr. Twahir Mohamed, CEO of Taz technologies, an innovative ICT company that is steadily growing in various African countries. In this episode, we discuss the need for small business owners to remain agile in changing times and the benefits of learning and incorporating e-commerce to increase business opportunities.