South Asia is recognized as a dynamic sub region, but its potential is undermined by the gender inequality in all aspects of economic and social life. In South Asia where, women labour force participation is among the lowest in the world, women entrepreneurship is a widely untapped source of economic and social progress, and job creation.
COVID-19 pandemic has raised unprecedented challenges for South Asia. The outbreak of COVID-19 has affected the countries which rely heavily on sectors such as services and manufacturing sectors - agriculture, handicrafts, textiles, tourism and hospitality. Although, COVID-19 pandemic has impacted every aspect of the economy and resulted in severe consequences, it has also created opportunities for greater digital transformation, emphasizing the need to bridge the existing digital divide. The COVID-19 pandemic had magnified the significance of digital connectivity and e-commerce as a medium to conduct business, has paved the way to be an important tool to connect with consumers and be a part of wider supply chain.
E-commerce has seen an exponential growth in the recent years across the world, with Asian region being at the forefront. E-commerce has inarguably reduced the burdens of conducting business. It has provided a significant opportunity to women entrepreneurs to excel and explore global and regional markets. The pandemic has brought along a change in the shopping behaviors. It has led to a simultaneous acceleration of expansion of e-commerce business in the region. E-commerce can be a powerful tool for connecting with customers and be a part of wider supply chain. It can bring 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.
Keeping this in view, this training has been organized covering two aspects. First segment of the training shall involve sectoral discussions with leading experts, entrepreneurs, and trade consultants for sharing experiences/expertise gained, how digitally diversified /reinvented their enterprises during the Covid 19 pandemic and discus the recent innovations, trends and challenges encountered, and solutions adopted to overcome the challenges created by the pandemic. The second part of the training shall involve sessions on enhancing the capacity of the women entrepreneurs of South Asia to use digital and online platforms for promoting business through e-commerce and creating awareness on the existing opportunities. Additionally, this training would seek to establish a network amongst the women entrepreneurs by providing an opportunity to showcase their products, services and share their entrepreneurial journey along with a panel session led by women entrepreneurs sharing their experiences, stories through the pandemic with an aim to inspire and encourage fellow women entrepreneurs to expand their business with e-commerce and digital marketing.