The Women in Digital Business Initiative launches a global training for its latest lead trainer cohort

The online training is a crucial first in scaling-up efforts to empower women entrepreneurs to seize productive opportunities in the digital economy.

The International Training Centre of the International Labour Organization (ITC-ILO) and Microsoft Philanthropies, supported by ILO’s Women’s Entrepreneurship Development Programme, has launched an online training of the Women in Digital Business Initiative (WIDB) lead trainers. This self-paced training is aimed at scaling up the initiative by strengthening the capacity of selected candidates to mobilize and train additional trainers in their respective countries, and to organize trainings with women entrepreneurs. Currently ongoing, it is scheduled to run through June and July 2024, with parallel courses in English, Spanish and French.

Participants for this workshop were selected based on a competitive shortlisting process, with particular emphasis on their past experience in training women entrepreneurs and digital literacy knowledge. Women candidates were strongly encouraged to apply. A total of 163 participants (72% women and 28% men) from 12 countries attended the first session in English, where they got an opportunity to learn more about WIDB’s approach and meet the team.

The WIDB training consists of self-guided modules with videos and case studies, as well as interactive webinars run by experts from the WIDB team. Complementing each other, the content delves into the benefits of digitalization and focuses on developing and implementing digital transformation strategies including building an online presence, setting up and boosting online sales, and adapting other business processes.

Once equipped in using WIDB’s platform and methodologies, the WIDB lead trainers are expected to offer the same training to at least five other trainers and about 30 women entrepreneurs within a year. This approach enables the expansion of the trainer network while creating a multiplier effect in facilitating women entrepreneurs with digital skills essential to the growth of their business.

Since 2022, 800 trainers have been trained, who have gone on to provide support to over 6,000 women entrepreneurs.

There are very few digital skills programmes for women entrepreneurs in the developing world. We decided to take on this challenge by developing a comprehensive methodology and training partners globally to implement it. This way, we have been able to offer a common, adaptable approach, ensuring that women entrepreneurs across Africa, Asia, and Latin America can access the support they need to achieve their goals through digitalization.

Carlo Maria Delù, Project Manager, Women in Digital Business Initiative

Women in digital business, an initiative by the International Training Centre of the ILO and Microsoft Philanthropies, aims to bridge the digital divide for women entrepreneurs in the developing world.

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