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UNCTAD E-Commerce Week 2018 – Building E-commerce Skills for SMEs

18 April 2018 @ 3:00 pm - 4:30 pm

UNCTAD E-commerce Week 2018

International Trade Centre (Intracen)

Sarah Carroll has been invited to present the e-commerce lessons learned from her new book ‘Grow Fast, Grow Global‘ at a session during E-Commerce Week, organised by the United Nations Conference on Trade and Development (UNCTAD) and International Trade Centre (ITC) and will join a panel for the session: ‘Understanding into action: e-commerce skills development for Africa’s entrepreneurs’.

Alongside other speakers, the session will present analysis of how firms in developing countries – and Africa in particular – can be supported to acquire the necessary skills to flourish and succeed in the e-commerce ecosystem.


Micro, small and medium sized enterprises are to job creation and inclusive growth in Africa. They create well over half of Africa’s employment, fueling demand for new goods and services. In brief, Africa’s entrepreneurs.

E-commerce is the entry door for Africa’s entrepreneurs to global markets and to earning higher margins by serving professional buyers and consumer markets directly, without the need to pass through costly intermediaries.

Selling products and services to customers globally through digital channels requires more than an internet connection and access to technology. Without the necessary business skills, including those in traditional domains such as marketing, finance and logistics entrepreneurs are unlikely to find success in highly competitive e-commerce marketplaces. We review lessons learned from working with small businesses in Africa and beyond, innovative mechanisms to deploy training, and what this could mean to accelerate e-commerce entrepreneurialism.

Questions to be addressed:

  • Why is skills development for small enterprises critical to building greater success in e-commerce
  • What skills are missing among private sector firms and intermediaries?
  • How can they be assisted in acquiring the skills and experience needed?
  • What has experience from the field shown about what works?


  • James Howe (Senior Adviser Marketing and Branding, ITC): Opening remarks and presentation of panelists
  • Sarah Carroll (Author of Grow Fast, Grow Global): Skills needed to successfully engage in e-commerce
  • Oulimata Fall (Office of the ED, ITC, on secondment from Asépex Senegal): Insights from the perspective of an African Trade Promotion Organisation on coaching firms in e-commerce
  • Dylan Piatti (Africa C&IP Senior Chief of Staff, Deloitte and Chair of the E-Commerce Forum Africa): Leverage the e-commerce skills development for Africa’s entrepreneurs through partnerships
  • Aape Pohjavirta (Founder of Funzi): The potential of mobile learning for entrepreneurial skills development in Africa
  • Q&A.

Speakers profiles are available here>>

If you would like to meet with Sarah in Geneva and are attending E-Commerce Week 2018, get in touch to set a time.

We look forward to meeting you!


18 April 2018
3:00 pm - 4:30 pm
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Palais des Nations
Palais des Nations
Geneva, 1211 Switzerland
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