unctad.org | WSIS ILO/UNCTAD Thematic Workshop: Empowering Women Entrepreneurs Through ICTs
WSIS ILO/UNCTAD Thematic Workshop: Empowering Women Entrepreneurs Through ICTs
16 May 2013
16:00-18:00 hrs., Room H, ITU Montbrillant
Geneva, Switzerland

Key Issues

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ICTs are offering women entrepreneurs new opportunities to strengthen their businesses and become more effective.

Through mobile phones, websites, electronic platforms and networks, blogs and the internet, women entrepreneurs are reaching out to clients and customers and building their businesses in ways they could never have done before.

Women entrepreneurs in developed and developing countries face challenges and barriers that ICTs increasingly are helping to overcome.

This event will showcase and commemorate the launch of a new initiative by ILO and UNCTAD, financed by the Government of Sweden, to integrate the ICT dimension into ILO's Methodology Guide for assessing the environment for women entrepreneurship development (WED). The revised Guide will be the first version that takes the ICT dimension systematically into account and will be used to assist policymakers and development partners to identify policy recommendations to improve the WED environment, in particular in developing countries.

The event will also feature three innovative women entrepreneurs from Africa who will speak on how ICTs are being used to enable them to build their businesses. In the second half of the event, there will be a multi-stakeholder dialogue on how the evolving ICT landscape can be tapped by governments, the private sector, international organizations, civil society, business development service providers and other stakeholders to support WED and how women entrepreneurs in the developed and developing world can support each other.


  • Welcoming remarks and introduction to UNCTAD-ILO project - Torbjörn Fredriksson, UNCTAD and Virginia Rose Losada, ILO
  • Three perspectives on ICTs for Women Entrepreneurship - Blandina Sembu, TV/Presenter; Jarida La Wanwake/ITV, Tanzania; Ashenafi Achamyelesh, Managing Director; Konimix Trading, Ethiopia; Mellonie Mukilima, Certified Virtual Assistant, Kenya
  • Panel discussion on how to leverage ICT for women entrpreneurship - Moderator: Thao Nguyen, UNCTAD consultant; Henriette Kolb, CEO; Cherie Blair, Foundation for Women; Tim Unwin, CEO, Commonwealth Telecommunications Organization; Jens Karberg, Programme Manager, Sida, Sweden
  • Wrap-up and closing remarksPublic IT procurement in Bahrain - Torbjörn Fredriksson, UNCTAD and Virginia Rose Losada, ILO


  • Joni Simpson, Global Coordinator, Women's Entrepreneurship and Entrepreneurship Education, ILO
  • Torbjörn Fredriksson, Chief, ICT Analysis Section, UNCTAD
  • Thao Nguyen, UNCTAD Consultant
  • Blandina Sembu, TV/Presenter, Jarida La Wanwake/ITV, Tanzania
  • Ashenafi Achamyelesh, Managing Director, Konimix Trading, Ethiopia and President
  • Addis Ababa Women Entrepreneurs Association
  • Mellonie Mukilima , Certified Virtual Assistant, Nairobi
  • Henriette Kolb, CEO, Cherie Blair Foundation for Women
  • Tim Unwin, CEO, Commonwealth Telecommunications Organization
  • Jens Karberg, Programme Manager, Sida, Sweden
Co-organized with:UNCTAD and ILO
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