5 SBWC members in Milan explore Italian supply chains in fashion, jewellery, furniture and F&B
Sharjah, June 21, 2018: Through several trade missions and strategic matchmaking, the Sharjah Business Women Council (SBWC) has been supporting new and established female entrepreneurs in the UAE by taking them to key overseas markets and showcasing their capabilities to potential buyers, investors and trading partners.
In a recent four-day trip to the Italian fashion capital, Milan, SBWC - one of NAMA Women Advancement Establishment's (NAMA) entities – organised one-to-one matchmaking and business prospect meetings for five of its members, with Italian suppliers in a number of sectors including furniture and interior design, fine jewellery making, fashion and the F&B sectors.
The meetings enabled the attending businesswomen to gain first-hand insights into export/import procedures, partnership options, market opportunities, and top international trends in their line of business.
The Salone del Mobile. Milano exhibition, regarded worldwide as a reference point for the furnishing and design sector, and the Milan Design Week were some of the highlights of the visit, especially for SBWC member, Hind Al Mehairbi, Owner of the concept furniture store in Abu Dhabi, IVY Home.
The five-member delegation also included Shayma Fawaz, Founder & CEO, Gossip Dessert, which is known for its Emirati-inspired international cuisine; Hanan Al Amri, the owner of Elegante E chic couture, which has boutiques in both Dubai and Abu Dhabi; UAE-based designer, Wafa Balaswad who runs a high-end fashion brand of the same name; and boutique jewellery designer, Shurooq Al Midfa, owner of By Shurooq.
They were accompanied by three SBWC officials, HE Sheikha Hind bint Majid Al Qassimi, Acting Chairperson, SBWC; Mariam Rashid Bin Al Shaikh, Membership & Services Manager; SBWC; and Nabilah Al Jaidi, Membership & Services Associate; SBWC.
The SBWC officials also held meetings with representatives of the Italian Trade Agency (ITA), which is the government organisation that promotes the internationalisation of Italian companies; E-venti, which is a specialist in B2B matchmaking and has played a crucial role in organising showcase hubs for business women at international expos; and finally, Bracco Foundation, a premier institution in Italy for the promotion of their cultural and artistic heritage globally.
Through these meetings, the SBWC delegation discussed possible collaboration for future events focused on businesswomen, and enabled their members to meet specialists and gain first-hand experience about latest business practices in sectors where the Italian expertise is considered a global benchmark.
Elaborating on the value investment in trade missions, Sheikha Hind Al Qassimi, said: “SBWC trade missions are specifically designed to introduce our members to international markets and connect them with potential buyers and suppliers. By facilitating these visits, we take care of the logistics; so attendees don't have to waste time and efforts trying to book meetings and map how to travel across unknown cities and countries. They can invest all their energy on preparing their best pitch for the meetings and events organised by professionals like us, who are focused on creating the most effective and productive visits.”
“The visit was equally productive for SBWC, as we met with leading government and private agencies in Italy, to forge new business connections and map strategies for future collaborations,” she added.
For forthcoming business visits to Italy, SBWC will have access to the wide business network of the Italian Trade Agency, who will be their point of contact for setting up stakeholder meetings, and strongly support them in exploring new markets and business opportunities. SBWC will play the same role in the UAE for trade missions that are organised by ITA for female entrepreneurs from Italy.
Starting its journey in 2002, Sharjah Business Women Council aims to drive women entrepreneur's integration into the global economy, support economic output of the nation, and social development of the Emirate of Sharjah.
To achieve this aim, SBWC engages in delivering a range of programmes and initiatives including conferences, seminars, workshops and research that supports potential and existing entrepreneurs in Sharjah. It also forges partnerships with government, private organisations and foundations in the UAE and beyond.