eTrade for Women builds communities of women digital entrepreneurs

The UNCTAD-led eTrade for Women initiative created regional networks to help women digital entrepreneurs access the resources needed to capitalize on e-commerce opportunities.

More than 100 entrepreneurs in over 20 developing countries have joined eTrade for Women communities, which since November 2020 have been launched in southeast Asia and east and west Africa.

The communities served as regional chapters of the global eTrade for Women initiative, boosting visibility for women leaders in the digital world.

They also helped women digital entrepreneurs with capacity-building and offered opportunities for inclusive policy dialogue on issues related to e-commerce and the digital economy.

The communities provided a safe space where women digital entrepreneurs can:

  • Promote their businesses, network and share their best practices.
  • Benefit from trainings and skill-building activities provided by UNCTAD and its partners

eTrade for Women


The Masterclasses

The initiative regularly held masterclasses taught by its advocates – a cohort of highly successful women digital entrepreneurs from developing and transition economies.

“Aspiring women entrepreneurs increasingly have no choice but to embrace the digital age,” says Patricia Zoundi, the eTrade for Women advocate for French-speaking African countries.

“Part of my role is to show them it’s possible – that they can succeed as a woman digital entrepreneur in a developing country, that they can succeed against all odds.”

Globally, women entrepreneurs face hurdles such as the lack of financial resources, marketing skills, access to business networks and role models.

There are 250 million fewer women than men online. Women-owned startups receive 23% less funding than men-owned businesses, according to the Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development.

The eTrade for Women initiative was funded by the Netherlands and Sweden and implemented in collaboration with the eTrade for all partners.


More on e-Trade for Women