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Pioneering Mozambican Women in Trade

TFSA firmly believes in the investment of women-led export businesses in SACU and Mozambique for the simple reason that investing in women will lead to social impact and economic growth. On the 8th of June, TFSA, in partnership with MozUp, the Association of Mozambican Women in the Energy Sector and the British High Commission in Mozambique, hosted a TFSA Women in Export Trade networking event in Maputo. The objective was to share with women exporters the tools that TFSA and MozUp offer to improve their business acumen and export efficiency in new markets. This event also allowed for peer-to-peer learning through shared experiences by women exporters and identifying areas of possible collaboration through networking.

Keynote addresses were delivered by Alexandra Sheppard, UK Deputy High Commissioner to Mozambique; Veyrl Adell, TFSA Gender Lead; Barbra Habib, CEO of MozUp; and George Barrett, Head, Trade Programming Southern Africa, from the British High Commission, Pretoria. 

 “ A key part of this is programme is increasing women’s ability to access the benefits of trade, recognising that women are under represented amongst entrepreneurs or businesses that export and that they face varied and disproportionate barriers to trade” – Alexandra Sheppard, UK Deputy High Commissioner to Mozambique

A hugely insightful panel discussion followed, facilitated by Tatiana Mata, TFSA Mozambique Lead and Founder & Managing Director of Elim Group, and which  included George Barrett, BHC, Pretoria; Sofia Cassimo, Africa Women in Business & FEMME; Mayra Pereira, Gaia Consulting; Jocelyne Machevo, Award-winning Mozambican energy professional; and Ruckssana Said, Dream Agribusiness. 

“Women must jump into the water. If we  wait to systematically measure our steps, if we systematically measure and evaluate if it will work we or not, the opportunity will elapse and nothing will happen.” – Sofia Cassimo, Africa Women in Business & FEMME

Watch highlights of some of the salient points made by the speakers and panellists. 

This exciting event also gave the TFSA team an opportunity to meet some of the 14 businesswomen coached by mentors from African Women in Business (AWIB) through TFSA’s custom-made Export Trade Training programme. Though Africa has made improvements regarding the economic inclusion and safeguarding of women and children in the last decade, women entrepreneurs remain underrepresented in export and face disproportionate challenges and barriers in export trade. Over the last two years, the TFSA programme has ensured gender has been embedded in every aspect of its work to better serve the needs of SACU+M women-led export businesses. Gender mainstreaming has resulted in the creation of the virtual Export Trade Training rolling out in all six countries, which has, to date, seen over 150 women in trade graduate, 10% of which are Mozambican. 

”The programme helped me to connect with incredible women entrepreneurs, have access to sponsors and better understand my business and the opportunities I can have for the future of my project. I learned so much about export trade. The information is extremely useful.” Paula Ferro Ordonez, YAO Crochet

Meet more of these amazing and inspiring women here