In their comprehensive diagnostic toolkit, “Women-Owned Businesses in Cross-Border E-Commerce,” the authors (listed in the Acknowledgement section of report) say that 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.
The 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.
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 (Pasadilla, Wirjo, and Liu 2017). Supporting women-owned MSMEs engaged in cross-border e-commerce in APEC economies is an important way for economies to ride the wave of this growth.
The useful toolkit covers:
- Review of Challenges Faced by Women-owned MSMEs
- Enabling Environment Challenges for Women-owned MSMEs
- Access to Finance and Capital
- Access to Networks
- Access to Sales Opportunities
- Legal and Social Barriers
- Challenges for Women-owned MSMEs Engaged in Cross-Border E-Commerce
- Trade Finance
- Digital Literacy, E-Payments and Understanding
- E-Commerce and Digital Trade Regulations
- Discrimination on Online Platforms
- Online Safety and Security
- Networks, Representation and Visibility
- Other Challenges to Women-owned MSMEs Engaged in E-Commerce
- Trade Facilitation Agreement
- Logistics and Customs Duties
Women Entrepreneurs Grow Global® (wegg®) is honored to have been a part of this project (we are mentioned in the Annex I interview participants section of toolkit) and happy that two of our key introductions weighed in with their contributions: Kati Suominen, wegg Board member, former wegginar® presenter, and founder and CEO of Nextrade, and Andrea Sreshta, co-founder of LuminAID and former weggchat® presenter.
The toolkit is the tip of the iceberg for women entrepreneurs, meaning more work needs to be done to have their full participation in the global marketplace. wegg continues to facilitate global growth for women entrepreneurs worldwide.