1 Located in Bakau New Town, The Gambia, a fashion, and garment making business called DIGNIFIED is making waves in the industry. Led by the talented entrepreneur Ramatoulie Mbye, DIGNIFIED specializes in creating stylish and unique garments, including women's Abaayas, casual and official outfits for both men and women. With support from the ITC SheTrades Gambia programme, Ramatoulie’s business has experienced tremendous growth and recognition, proving the transformative power of women's economic empowerment initiatives.

DIGNIFIED, was one of the twenty women-led businesses selected for the first cohort of the SheTrades Gambia Project. This initiative, launched in 2019 by the International Trade Centre (ITC) in collaboration with the Ministry of Trade, Industry, Regional Integration & Employment, and other key stakeholders, aimed to support and empower women entrepreneurs by improving their competitiveness and connecting them to global markets by providing them access to knowledge, resources and networks.

Ramatoulie attests to the significant impact of SheTrades Gambia on her business. She said “Through participating in two training programs offered by SheTrades, my business gained wider recognition and reach. These trainings equipped me with the more skills and knowledge to enhance my business performance and expand its market presence”.

One of the trainings Ramatoulie benefited from was the digital literacy training. She stated “I recognized the importance of social media in today's digital age and how it could profoundly impact my business. As a result, I decided to establish a Facebook account for DIGNIFIED, where I showcase my products and connect with potential customers”. This strategic move proved to be a game-changer for her business, enabling her to reach a broader audience and generate more sales leads.

Another critical aspect of the SheTrades Gambia programme was the focus on enhancing the export capabilities of women-led businesses. Miss Mbye received training, coaching and mentorship on various aspects of export, including market access, product development, and trade negotiations as part of an export advancement programme coordinated by GIEPA with the support of ITC. This knowledge not only empowered her to explore international markets but also helped her understand the requirements and expectations of potential buyers.

Through the ITC SheTrades Gambia Hub, businesses such as DIGNIFIED, have the opportunity to participate in business-to-business matchmaking and trade fair events. These events provide them with a platform to showcase their distinctive products and connect with potential buyers and investors. Ramatoulie Mbye offers an extensive product range at DIGNIFIED. Not only does she produce outfits for both men and women, but she also creates embroidery designs, machine and handmade beadings which make her collections unique. Additionally, DIGNIFIED offers customized outfits upon customer request, showcasing Ramatoulie’s flexibility and ability to adapt to market demands.

DIGNIFIED is a testament to the potential of women-led businesses and the positive effects of fostering their economic empowerment. And not only is DIGNIFIED a source of revenue for Ramatoulie, but she also creates employment by having an assistant who works with her in production and sales.

So, the next time you're in Bakau, be sure to check out DIGNIFIED and embrace the exquisite craftsmanship and style that Ramatoulie Mbye brings to her garments. By supporting businesses like DIGNIFIED, you're not just purchasing a fashionable piece; you're also contributing to women's empowerment and fostering a more inclusive and equitable society.

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