• October 9, 2020
  • Guide

The growth of micro, small, and medium sized enterprises (MSMEs), especially women-owned enterprises, is critical to the growth of all economies in the Asia-Pacific Economic Cooperation (APEC) region. E-commerce, which covers both physical goods ordered online and digital goods and services delivered over internet platforms, offers an increasingly important avenue for the growth and internationalization of women owned MSMEs. Businesses that sell products or services online are able to access more markets. Global total e-commerce sales were around US $3.6 trillion in 2019, and the Asia-Pacific region is where much of the growth is. Supporting women-owned MSMEs engaged in cross-border ecommerce in APEC economies is an important way for economies to ride the wave of this growth.

The objective of this toolkit is to help the APEC community gain a better understanding of the challenges to competitiveness and growth for women-owned e-commerce businesses when trading within economies and across borders and assess their own support for these businesses. While more research needs to be conducted on this topic, existing literature and new evidence collected through interviews for this toolkit reveal some specific gaps in support for women-owned businesses in cross-border e-commerce.

This toolkit was completed by the US-Support for Economic Growth in Asia (US-SEGA) Project implemented by Nathan Associates on behalf of the U.S. government.

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