- October 9, 2020
ARLINGTON, October 9 – On Thursday, Nathan Associates held a webinar under the US-Support for Economic Growth in Asia (US-SEGA) project focusing on women’s entrepreneurship in cross-border e-commerce. The webinar launched the Women-Owned Businesses in Cross-Border E-Commerce: A Diagnostic Toolkit, which was developed by Nathan Associates and funded by USAID and US Department of State as part of the US-SEGA project. The Toolkit is designed to assist Asia-Pacific Economic Cooperation (APEC) policymakers with supporting women-owned businesses ready for or engaged in cross-border e-commerce. Informed by a comprehensive literature review and accompanied by private sector best practices, the Toolkit is comprised of a series of questions framed around key barriers such as: access to finance and capital, networks, and markets; legal and social barriers; trade and digital barriers; discrimination on online platforms; and issues of representation and visibility. The Toolkit further aligns with the United States’ own efforts to address legal and regulatory barriers to women’s economic empowerment through the Women’s Global Development and Prosperity (W-GDP) Initiative.
During the webinar, Shamarukh Mohiuddin, one of the authors of the Toolkit, presented the Toolkit, specifically focusing the discussion on the implementation of the Toolkit in APEC economies. Attendees represented 12 economies, ranging from government agencies, to private sector corporations and entrepreneurs. The webinar featured remarks from women entrepreneurs on how they have tackled and overcome some of the challenges examined in the Toolkit. Overall, the webinar highlighted that e-commerce represents a great opportunity for women entrepreneurs and that now, more than ever, it is critical to the survival of many women-owned businesses. If governments and policymakers can provide critical support in areas such as access to finance and online safety, and work with the private sector to leverage best practices and data, women entrepreneurs will be equipped to succeed in cross-border e-commerce and contribute to economic growth across the APEC region.