Women-led Firms on the Web: Challenges and Solutions

Research
Date period
30 October 2018

Promoting women’s economic opportunities has become a major global development tenet that permeates the United Nations 2030 Sustainable Development Goals. This paper assesses the position of women engaged in e-commerce, examines the regulatory challenges faced by small firms (including those run by men and women) in selected economies in Africa, South Asia, and Southeast Asia, and provides a series of policy options to alleviate challenges for cross-border e-commerce firms led by women. The paper, which draws insights from firm-level surveys, finds that there is no meaningful difference between women and male-led firms in terms of their e-commerce performance and that women-led firms face the same regulatory barriers as their male analogous. However, the share of women-led firms engaged in e-commerce remains small and reflects the share of women-led firms in the overall economy.