unctad.org | Contribution of ICTs highlighted at Meeting on Women's Entrepreneurship in East Africa
Contribution of ICTs highlighted at Meeting on Women's Entrepreneurship in East Africa
13 December 2013

The results of three national assessments on women’s entrepreneurship development (WED) in East Africa conducted using a new framework developed by ILO and UNCTAD, through its Division on Technology and Logistics, found that ICTs are increasingly important for women entrepreneurs. Thanks to the rapid spread of mobile telephony and improved international broadband connectivity, there are now more opportunities to leverage such technologies in support of entrepreneurship.​



At a Knowledge-Sharing meeting organized by the ILO in Kenya, Nairobi on 25-26 November 2013, various stakeholders met to discuss the results of the first pilot studies using a revised ILO WED Assessment Framework. This framework has benefited from UNCTAD's support in integrating the ICT dimension.

Among the key findings was that ICT tools are becoming more and more relevant to facilitate the establishment and growth of women entrepreneurs. In Kenya, Tanzania and Uganda, numerous mobile applications have emerged that make running a business easier. Mobile money, m-farm and other apps reduce the need for traveling, facilitate marketing, communication with customers, scheduling appointments and keeping records. In addition, ICTs are also making business development support to entrepreneurs more effective. For example, through SMS-based training notifications, the number of women entrepreneurs participating in business trainings had dramatically increased in Kenya.

The meeting made recommendations for the next phase of the WED project. ICTs and innovation were included as one of the main focus areas for future work in this area.


For further information, contact Ms. Marie Sicat, Associate Economic Affairs Officer, ICT Analysis Section of UNCTAD's Division on Technology and Logistics at marie.sicat@unctad.org. For more information on the ILO/UNCTAD Project on Leveraging ICTs in Support of Women's Entrepreneurship, visit web section of ICTs and Women’s Entrepreneurship.


 

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