South Asia is one of the most dynamic regions of the world and in the last few years, the region has witnessed economic growth driven by reforms resulting in growth in entrepreneurship. The number of women led start-ups have increased manifold and with the rapid growth of ecommerce, the region is experiencing a change in the way business is conducted these days. Women entrepreneurs are considered as the key to economic growth but many women entrepreneurs in South Asian region face challenges relating to access to finance, ICT and are not able to expand their businesses and become part of a wider regional and global supply chains mostly due to lack of knowledge and limited scale of their businesses (micro, small and medium enterprises (MSME)).
Further, the COVID-19 pandemic has put an unprecedented and significant strain on the global economy and public health systems. The pandemic is deepening its pre-existing inequalities and amplifying the multiple and intersecting vulnerabilities faced by women and girls. While the businesses in South Asia have been badly affected by the pandemic, women entrepreneurs are among the worst hit. In such a context, e-commerce can provide unprecedented opportunities for women entrepreneurs to overcome those challenges and to explore the global and regional markets. E-commerce can be a powerful tool for bringing in greater gains to women entrepreneurs since it addresses the outmoded barriers of geographic isolation and limited access to information and financing along with empowering South Asian women entrepreneurs socially and economically.
While the COVID-19 pandemic has raised unprecedented challenges for South Asia, it has also created opportunities for greater digital transformation, emphasizing the need to bridge the existing digital divide. Strengthening and promoting women entrepreneurship in South Asia will bring many positive ripple effects including its ability to boost job creation, alleviate poverty and thus facilitating inclusive and sustainable growth. Keeping this in view, this training is being organised to equip the women entrepreneurs of South Asia to use digital and online platforms to expand their business as well as creating awareness on the existing opportunities for promoting business through e-commerce.