Southeast Asian e-commerce markets could grow by more than $ 280 billion by 2030 Try to encourage and activate women entrepreneurs more, a new report from International financial company found.
Amy Levinstra, director of IFC’s East Asia-Pacific gender program, told CNBC on Thursday that the “anonymity” of e-commerce has reduced many of the barriers traditionally entered by women and given them the opportunity to grow in new sectors.
Many of the inequalities women face in the traditional retail space are still “bleeding through the Internet,” she said, including access to funding.
Levinstra called on major e-commerce players to work harder to support women salespeople and seize market opportunities.
This includes extending funding for women, providing training and encouraging them to participate in higher value sectors such as electronics, she said.
“For platforms that have financial options, this is a great way to attract more women and help them thrive by making sure they are aware of the financial offerings and can use them,” Levinstra told CNBC’s Squawk. To. ” Asia Box. “
A woman wears a protective mask while waiting for customers inside her shop in Jakarta, Indonesia on Tuesday, March 31, 2020.
NurPhoto | Getty Images
His remarks are in the context of the Covid-19 epidemic, which is said to have disproportionately harmed women.
The IFC report, which uses data collected from the Southeast Asian e-commerce site Lazada, shows that in 2019, women were working to achieve gender equality in e-commerce. But even with the rise of online retail over the past year, the extra care tasks and time constraints faced by women have taken a step forward.
“Before the epidemic, women kept themselves – in some cases by selling more than men and even … by participating men,” Levinstra said.
In the Philippines, for example, women used to make up 64% of Lazada sellers, but their sales fell by 27% during the epidemic.
“This has changed under the epidemic, and this is how we started to close the gap, and the opportunity to close that gap reaches a total of $ 280 billion,” he said, referring to the market opportunity mentioned in the report. .
Correction: This article has been updated to accurately reflect the growth estimate for the 2030 report.
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