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Entrepreneurship helps promote innovation, offer employment and income generation opportunities, as well as address multiple challenges that can contribute to the achievement of the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs). It offers diversity through business participation and opportunity, and has the potential to contribute to women's empowerment, as well as help create opportunities to bridge regional and urban-rural gaps. Entrepreneurship is a critical element for driving economic growth. In Asia Pacific, micro, small and medium sized enterprises (MSMEs) are the backbone of the economy, accounting for an average 97 per cent of all enterprises and 69 per cent of the national labour force.

Although many enterprises, both female and male-owned, face challenges, women entrepreneurs face additional layers of constraints, undermining their ability and potential to contribute to the economy. This is largely owing to existing gender inequalities in terms of gendered roles and the care burden, lower female labour force participation rates, and lower levels of engagement of women in wage employment and the formal sector, as compared to men.

The objective of this paper is to showcase good practices of portals and hubs in the Asia Pacific region in support of women's entrepreneurship. The different types of approaches highlighted in the paper range from one-roof system (ORS) to facilitate business registration processes, entrepreneurship hubs which provide access to networks and knowledge, and one-stop shops (OSS) that offer support covering the life-cycle of a woman entrepreneur's journey. The paper also discusses good practice examples of building an entire ecosystem to support entrepreneurs, which may not specifically target women, but could be adapted towards this end. For ease of reference, the different approaches are referred to, under a generic term of OSS. This paper aims to build a case and spur discussion among countries in the region to adopt a comprehensive support system that can accelerate the potential of women's entrepreneurship in the region.
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