Press Release | 25 Mar. 2020

Women entrepreneurs from Mexico and Viet Nam feature in compelling new films

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The inspirational stories of three women entrepreneurs have been told in three compelling films by director Malcolm Green and released by ITC’s SheTrades Initiative and global courier company UPS.

From lush tea fields in rural Viet Nam to an ancient Mayan heritage site in Mexico, these films feature the journeys of entrepreneurs Anselma, Thi Hien, and Helen, as well as wider communities of strong women. The films tell three very different stories, yet they are connected by the shared values of hope, resilience, and taking care of the planet we all inhabit. At times of crisis, their stories remind us that we are all one humanity, and together, they represent the faces of SheTrades.

Anselma Chaleuan produces and exports special Melipona honey from her small village of Xcunyá Yucatán, Mexico. Her strongest sense of purpose lies in preserving the endangered native Melipona bee population, involving other women in the local community and helping them to earn a living in similar ways.

In Viet Nam, Nguyen Thi Hien strives to honour her mother -- the woman who inspired her -- and preserve traditional Vietnamese tea culture. She looks to the future by operating her tea business sustainably, protecting the natural environment and boosting the local economy by advancing women’s economic empowerment.

Meanwhile Helen Phung, in her rural Vietnamese village, runs “Happy Hands”, a manufacturing business, with a team of craftswomen. As the name implies, Helen grew her business around the philosophy that making products by hand, “with love” and natural materials, can cultivate happiness and enhance the livelihoods of her female employees.

Role models

These faces of SheTrades represent the three million women entrepreneurs that ITC’s SheTrades Initiative aims to connect to markets by 2021.

As well as working to reach this goal by advocating inclusive policies, collecting data and building entrepreneurial capacity, ITC SheTrades inspires women to believe in themselves as businesswomen, helping them to unlock their full potential.

Film director Malcolm Green said he strives to find creative ways of telling meaningful stories that move global audiences.

“To be asked to contribute to a project like this is both a pleasure and a privilege,” he said.

‘The women we have featured are not just role models for women, but for all of us, regardless of gender. These are three women. But they symbolise three million. And the ambition of getting that number into positions of equal influence by 2021 shows me something incredible about ITC -- they genuinely do mean business!’

Faces of SheTrades’ is available to watch on the ITC YouTube channel and on shetrades.com, while the films ‘The Bee Queen’ and ‘Tea Bags from Viet Nam’ will be released in spring 2020.

The SheTrades initiative brings together stakeholders around the world to work on seven global actions to address trade barriers and create more significant opportunities for women entrepreneurs. It is supported by a web and mobile digital platform. To find out more and join ITC’s SheTrades Initiative, please visit shetrades.com

UPS, co-sponsors of the SheTrades films, partnered with ITC SheTrades in 2018 and embarked on a project to enhance the technical competitiveness of women entrepreneurs and foster an inclusive trade ecosystem. To learn more, visit the SheTrades – UPS project page.

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