ITC launches SME Trade Academy with Subsidized Courses for Developing and Emerging Economies

Wednesday, 01 October 2014 Written by
ITC launches SME Trade Academy with Subsidized Courses for Developing and Emerging Economies screenshot of SME Trade Academy

In order to enhance international competitiveness of African small and medium-sized enterprises, the International Trade Centre has launched an e-learning SME Trade Academy to offer practical, vocational training online for SMEs and trade advisors in the public and private sectors.

ITC is the joint agency of the World Trade Organization and the United Nations. ITC assists small and medium-sized enterprises in developing and transition economies to become more competitive in global markets, thereby contributing to sustainable economic development within the frameworks of the Aid-for-Trade agenda and the Millennium Development Goals.

According to the press statement made available by the ITC, the SME Trade Academy is centered around an online platform to complement ITC’s existing capacity building work, training and advisory services in the field.

It offers an initial catalogue of online courses ranging from export marketing to supply chain management and access to finance for SMEs.

Commenting on the initiative, ITC Executive Director Arancha Gonzalez said that the e-learning platform puts ITC’s expertise in the hands of entrepreneurs who want to tap into potential trade opportunities through practical online training and export related courses, coupled with mentoring.

Gonzalez explains that “e-learning at ITC is about quality and pragmatic, practical training. It is not about theory or academic training. Instead it focuses on providing managers and staff of SMEs and trade and investment support organizations with the necessary tools and practical knowledge to enhance the internationalization of companies,” she said.

ITC disclosed that ahead of the launch of the SME Trade Academy, more than 400 participants from 55 countries have had the opportunity to test the platform, highlighting many tangible and sustainable benefits towards improved effectiveness of ITC’s trade related technical assistance.

ITC's emerging distance learning programme offers a series of online courses and access to educational material on a range of trade related topics. The programme aims to provide staff in trade support institutions, enterprises - particularly SMEs - and trade policy specialists with access to pragmatic, topical online courses and learning material in support of skills development.

The organization noted that the course catalogue is constantly enriched. Tutors include both ITC subject matter experts and external, guest experts who often are globally recognized references in their topic of expertise.

Charged courses cost from $20 to $500 and are subsidized at 60 percent for emerging economies and 100 percent for the least developed countries.

The academy will also focus on enhancing technical assistance through in-person workshops.

 

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