Local exhibitions play a crucial role in building strong community bonds and supporting the growth of local talent, products, and services. They offer a valuable platform for businesses, artists, and artisans to present their offerings to a targeted audience, stimulating economic development within the region. These events also foster networking and collaboration, encouraging potential partnerships and innovation. By showcasing the distinct cultural and creative facets of the community, these exhibitions instil a sense of pride and identity. Moreover, they attract visitors, boosting tourism and positively impacting the local economy. Additionally, local exhibitions create opportunities for vulnerable groups to display their products, further promoting inclusivity. The “We Exhibition,” organized by the Women’s Chamber of Commerce of Sialkot on 11th March 2023, exemplifies the significance of such events in enhancing regional development and vibrancy.
Fairtrade NAPP seized the opportunity by participating with a booth to promote NAPP Fairtrade, foster business sustainability, and establish market connections for women entrepreneurs. This participation aimed to encourage the growth of future women-led Small Producer Organizations within the Fairtrade system. 13 producer organizations, encompassing Small Producer Organizations, Hired Labour, and Contract Production, eagerly utilized this platform to exhibit their products and enhance their business visibility. Additionally, 7 representatives from 3 producer organizations assisted the Fairtrade NAPP staff member, by actively engaging visitors in valuable insights about their organizations and the Fairtrade NAPP initiative in the country.
1. Introducing the Fairtrade NAPP Concept: One of the primary goals was to introduce and familiarize women entrepreneurs with the Fairtrade NAPP concept. This involves educating them about the principles and benefits of Fairtrade, which revolves around ethical and environmentally conscious business practices, fair wages, and community development.
2. Establishing Partnerships: Another key objective is to forge meaningful partnerships with the Women’s Chamber of Commerce. Collaboration with influential organizations paves the way for valuable support, networking opportunities, and increased visibility for the Fairtrade NAPP initiative and the participating women entrepreneurs.
3. Creation of Market Linkages and Building Contacts: One of the vital aspects of participating in the event is to establish market linkages for the products and services offered by women entrepreneurs. Building strong contacts within the industry can open doors to new business opportunities, potential buyers, and increased market access.
4. Empowering Female Workers: In line with promoting gender equality and empowerment, the event aims to create business knowledge and skill development opportunities for female workers. By equipping them with valuable business insights and training, they can play more active and informed roles in their respective organizations and the Fairtrade ecosystem.
5. Facilitating SPO Formation: The event also seeks to share the certification process for those women who are interested in forming Small Producer Organizations (SPOs). Guiding them through the steps required for Fairtrade certification can empower these women to build sustainable and collectively beneficial producer groups.
This exhibition served as a powerful catalyst for empowering women to stand proudly and represent their stance in the business world. The presence of esteemed dignitaries, including Khawaja Asif, the defence minister of Pakistan, at the booth, underscored the importance and recognition of Fairtrade NAPP’s work and presentation. Such acknowledgement not only boosts the confidence of women entrepreneurs but also validates the significance of promoting women’s participation in trade and entrepreneurship.
Beyond the immediate impact, participation in this event holds far-reaching implications for the growth and sustainability of businesses. The event opens doors for Fairtrade NAPP to new opportunities, collaborations, and potential market expansion. Moreover, the support and partnerships garnered, particularly with the Women’s Chamber of Commerce, can foster long-term growth and support for the participating entrepreneurs. Through this event, women workers gained visibility, recognition, and valuable connections, enabling them to further thrive in the competitive business landscape. The positive impact of this exhibition reverberates beyond the event itself, shaping a more inclusive and equitable business ecosystem driven by the values of Fairtrade.
“It was a great initiative by the Women Chamber of Commerce Sialkot under the leadership of Dr Maryam to motivate, mobilise and enable women entrepreneurs to exhibit their unique products in a competitive fashion to the Global Market. The results are amazing. As a Leading Fairtrade producer, we feel this drive is in line with the Fairtrade principles and philosophy of gender equity. We wish them great success.”
– Muhammad Muiz Bajwa, South Asia Sourcing Pvt limited.
“Such collaboration with the women chamber of Commerce will boost small women entrepreneurs’ confidence in marketing their products.”
-Muhammad Usmsn, Masoom support foundation.