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UPS and FICCI Empower Women Entrepreneurs through the Green Exporters Program

Jul 17, 2023

The program aims to maximise the access of women-led SMEs to global markets, minimise environmental impact, and capitalise on sustainable business practices. 

NEW DELHI, July 17, 2023: The Federation of Indian Chambers of Commerce and Industry (FICCI), in collaboration with UPS, a global leader in transportation and logistics, recently launched the Green Exporters Program under the auspices of G20 EMPOWER Jan Bhagidari. 

The G20 Alliance for the Empowerment and Progression of Women’s Economic Representation (G20 EMPOWER) seeks to fast-track women’s leadership and empowerment in the private sector. This launch event signifies a strategic move to support the sustainable growth of women-led small and medium enterprises (SMEs). 

The Green Exporters Program in India, a collaborative initiative of UPS, FICCI, the International Chamber of Commerce, GIST Impact, USAID, and WEConnect, empowers SMEs to enhance their supply chains and tap into new markets for sustainable products. 

During the program's launch, Ms Christina Struller, Vice President of Corporate Affairs for UPS, Indian subcontinent, Middle East and Africa, underscored the company's commitment to helping women-owned businesses succeed globally and responsibly. "Supporting women's economic empowerment is one of our top priorities at UPS. Consumer consciousness and demand for eco-friendly products are on the rise. The Green Exporters Program revolutionises women-owned businesses' access to the global marketplace and concurrently advances their knowledge to foster sustainability. We are extremely proud to partner with FICCI as we embark on our shared mission to help women entrepreneurs unlock business opportunities and adopt sustainable business practices towards a greener future,” she said.  

On the occasion, a senior official at the Corporate Social Responsibility and Diversity & Inclusion desk at FICCI reinforced support for women entrepreneurs. She said, “Women-owned enterprises and women leaders are at the core of changing business practices and culture towards sustainability.” 

Following the program's launch was a panel discussion on "Mainstreaming of Sustainability in Women-led Small & Medium Enterprises", moderated by Ms Christina Struller, featuring notable women leaders, including Ms Deepa Sayal, Ms Prerna Prasad, Ms Diti Mistry, Ms Sameera Satija, and Mr Bryan Byrne. 

The initiative included a virtual program hosted from July 13-14, 2023, where more than 90 Indian SMEs were trained. The program aimed at enhancing the supply chain efficiency of women-led SMEs, aligning their business with the growing demand for sustainable trade, and improving their access to global markets for eco-friendly products.  

The workshops focused on what sustainability means for SMEs, how to incorporate sustainable practices into the business, how to export sustainably, measure carbon emissions, and use sustainable packaging.  

All participating Indian SMEs were provided with the SME360X, an easy-to-use digital assessment platform powered by GIST Impact that helps them measure, benchmark, and evaluate the environmental impact of their business operations. Upon completing the evaluation process, SMEs will receive an official ICC Certificate, enabling them to showcase their achievements to customers and stakeholders.  

Certified women-owned businesses were also invited to participate in a matching program through WEConnect International, which aims to connect SMEs with multinational purchase managers. This will equip participants with the skills necessary to effectively present their products and services to domestic and international buyers in India. 

FICCI and UPS invite further collaborations in this direction, encouraging every stakeholder to contribute to an equitable and sustainable world.