Regional Training of Women Entrepreneurs on Utilizing E-commerce and Digital Marketing Platforms for Enhanced Access to Supply Chains

September 8

By invitation only

The ongoing COVID-19 pandemic has drastically changed the ways firms operate and economies function, accelerating the need for deeper digitalization among as well as within economies. This stands true, especially for the vital sub-region of South Asia, whose potential is undermined by gender inequality in all aspects of economic and social life. According to statistics, only 8 to 9% of formal SMEs are owned by women in South Asia as compared to 38% to 47% in other regions, along with the female labour force participation rate in South Asia being less than 30%. Further, a report on “COVID-19 and the Unpaid Care Economy in Asia and the Pacific” by ESCAP states that the ongoing pandemic has exacerbated the risks for women and girls across the region. The unequal distributional effect of the pandemic has resulted in adversely affecting the women with medium, small and micro enterprises due to the lack of capacity development and practical training on ways to leverage digital infrastructure for e-commerce and digital marketing. Therefore, in a post-COVID-19 economy, the labour force requires greater economic participation of women and assistance to women-led enterprises is also crucial.

On the other hand, there has been an exponential expansion of e-commerce businesses in the region, providing a huge opportunity for women entrepreneurs. E-commerce has inarguably reduced the burdens of conducting business and the “new normal” has brought along a change in shopping behaviors as well. By addressing the outmoded barriers of geographic isolation and limited access to information and financing, e-commerce can greatly empower South Asian women entrepreneurs socially and economically. Hence, Sustainable Development Goal 5 (Gender Equality) needs to be the foundation of actions taken to achieve an inclusive and sustainable future for the Asia-Pacific region.

Keeping this in view, this training is being organized to equip the women entrepreneurs from South Asia to use e-commerce and digital marketing platforms for enhanced access to supply chains well as contribute towards the global economic development. Additionally, this training seeks to establish a network amongst the women entrepreneurs by providing an opportunity to showcase their products, and services and share their entrepreneurial journey with an aim to inspire and motivate fellow women entrepreneurs.