On April 18th the Global Innovation Forum joined government officials, thought leaders and businesses representatives for UNCTAD E-Commerce Week in Geneva.
Panel: E-commerce and Women Empowerment in Developing Countries
This session will consider the role that e-commerce plays in empowering women in developing countries. Nowadays, women in business can act as essential players for development. The role of women as entrepreneurs or business women has become more significant. In this context, it is important to analyze the opportunities and constrains to women’s business development in order to enhance their contribution to economic development.
E-commerce is emerging as a powerful tool for women’s empowerment in developing countries. For women entrepreneurs, especially those with small e-commerce businesses, access to ICT can bring additional information resources and can open new communication channels, particularly for marginalized communities. Therefore equitable access to e-commerce for women entrepreneurs needs to be taken into account by support services in areas such as training, gender analysis, planning, design, implementation, monitoring and assessment, by paying particular attention to the effect on women’s lives and conditions.
In addition, examples from developing countries illustrate that women entrepreneurs using ICT technologies can find new export markets, reach a larger number of potential clients, secure higher number of orders thanks to networking, and become able to cut overhead and setup costs by enabling more efficient business practices, as they can work from home.
More supportive policies are required in developing countries to support women e-commerce entrepreneurs by providing them with adequate training programs and information, easing the payment channel and the access to finance, and echoing their voices.
Moderator: Mr. Mostafizur Rahaman Sohel, Convener, BASIS E-commerce Alliance, Bangladesh
Ms. Hanne Melin, Director Global Public Policy, eBay
Mr. Prosper Bizimungu, Founder, bizisol.com
Ms. Claire Pillsbury, Deputy Director, Global Innovation Forum (GIF)
Mr. Syed Md Kamal, Country Manager, Master Card, Bangladesh
H.E. Mr. Daniel Blockert, Ambassador of Sweden to the WTO
More information about UNCTAD eCommerce Week can be found here.