eTrade for Women

The digitalization of the economy is creating new opportunities for women in developing countries.

Harnessing the positive impact of digital technology, combined with the transformative power of female entrepreneurship could help accelerate wealth creation and poverty reduction in these regions. However, this potential is far from being fully exploited as women struggle to scale their business and get a seat at decision-making tables.

These challenges generally derive from to cultural gender biases, lack of representation as well as unequal access to funding, among others.

UNCTAD is championing the eTrade for Women initiative to advance the empowerment of women through ICTs (SDG target 5.b). This new endeavor undertaken with the support of our core donors and in collaboration with eTrade for all partners aims at allowing more female digital entrepreneurs to make their voices heard in high-level political decision-making processes and to empower the next generation of female entrepreneurs in developing countries.

Our goals
  • Building and nurturing a network of successful women leaders in e-commerce
  • Showcasing the experiences and achievements of women in the network
  • Train, inspire and empower the next generation of female entrepreneurs
  • Make the voices of women leaders in e-commerce heard in policy processes at the local, regional and global levels
Our community

eTrade for Women initiative targets ambitious female entrepreneurs in the field the digital economy operating a in developing countries, who strive to make a lasting impact in their industry and become a force for inclusive wealth creation and development.



Seven women from across the developing world were announced as UNCTAD’s first “eTrade for Women Advocates” on 24 September on the margins of the 74th session of the UN General Assembly in New York.

UNCTAD held an event on Women in e-commerce: Changing the current narrative on 3 April 2019, as part of eCommerce Week 2019 in Geneva, Switzerland.

Part 1 of the conversation


Part 2 of the conversation