Women can add nearly US$300 billion to e-commerce in Southeast Asia and Africa, IFC Research

The International Finance Cooperation (IFC) published two reports on women and e-commerce: Women and E-commerce in Southeast Asia and Women and E-commerce in Africa which look at how investment in women entrepreneurs on e-commerce platforms could help the economy thrive post COVID-19 crisis. The reports argue that e-commerce markets in Southeast Asia and Africa could grow by over USD$280 billion and USD$14.5 billion respectively between 2025 and 2030 by promoting the number of women selling on online platforms and capacitating them with better training and financial support. According to the reports, despite the surge of e-commerce and digital entrepreneurship in both regions due to COVID-19 crisis, further efforts are still required to promote women’s entrepreneurship and help women overcome e-commerce challenges. ‘E-commerce in Southeast Asia and in Africa is thriving. However, widespread differences between men and women in digital and financial inclusion continue to hold back women entrepreneurs. E-commerce firms are well-positioned to reverse this trend and create more business and leadership opportunities for women,’ highlighted IFC’s Managing Director Makhtar Diop.