Commonwealth empowers women entrepreneurs in the Maldives to do business through e-commerce

This week the Commonwealth Secretariat held a four-day workshop in the Maldives for grassroots female entrepreneurs to help them leverage digital infrastructure opportunities for E-Commerce and Digital Marketing.

Approximately 75 women attended the workshop hailing from countries across Commonwealth Africa and Asia. During the workshop, many participants spoke of the struggles they had faced in running their businesses during the Covid-19 pandemic.

The workshop was held by the Commonwealth Secretariat’s Physical Connectivity Cluster of the Commonwealth Connectivity Agenda in collaboration with the United Nations Economic and Social Commission for Asia and the Pacific (UNESCAP) South and South-West Asia Office.

The goal of the workshop is to help equip women entrepreneurs to use digital and online platforms and leverage digital infrastructure to help them join the global supply chain and contribute toward the development of the global economy.

This workshop is a part of the implementation of the Agreed Principles of Sustainable Investment in Digital Infrastructure for the Physical Connectivity Cluster of the Commonwealth Connectivity Agenda, which is led by The Gambia.

In her address the Commonwealth Secretary-General Rt. Hon. Patricia Scotland QC said:

“The economic disruption of the pandemic has been profound, and women have been the hardest hit. To ensure that women are central to the covid recovery, a key focus of the Commonwealth Connectivity Agenda is closing the digital divide. Our aim is to train policy makers and women entrepreneurs to ensure that they benefit from this rapid digitalization. The Commonwealth Secretariat has engaged in peer-to-peer learning, knowledge exchange and capacity building.  We launched a new e-learning course on digital infrastructure and the digital divide, and we’ve developed community partnerships with tech companies such as Oracle. These initiatives help to shape policies to provide practical skills to help overcome the digital divide.”

During the workshop, participants learnt about a trading platform exclusively for women entrepreneurs to sell their products online. At the end of the workshop 81 women entrepreneurs registered on the platform.

The training was delivered by Dr Radika Kumar, Adviser infrastructure policy from the Commonwealth Secretariat and resource persons from ESCAP Asia Pacific.

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