B20 forum calls for digital capability building for women Empowerment

Diane Wang, Founder, Chairperson, and Chief Executive Officer of DHgate

To encourage inclusive, resilient, and sustainable economic growth through empowering women, the B20 Indonesia Women in Business Action Council (B20 WiBAC) held a forum on the theme of Accelerating Inclusion of Women MSMEs in The Global Economy on June 17th.

Who highlighted the B20 WiBAC forum?

Diane Wang, Co-Chair of the B20 Indonesia Women in Business Action Council, and Founder, Chairperson & Chief Executive Officer of DHgate Group, attended the forum as a panelist, addressed the topic of enabling digital skill training, professional women community, and multilateral cooperation to accelerate cross-border knowledge sharing and technical support in financial, investment, and digital inclusion for women MSMEs across the globe.

Other attendees included Shinta Kamdani, Chair of B20 Indonesia, Ira Noviarti, Chair of the B20 Indonesia Women in Business Action Council, and CEO, President Director of Unilever Indonesia, and other gov’t officials, private sector business leaders, CSOs, NGOs, philanthropists, women networks and platforms, and other stakeholders. The forum was attended by 150 offline and around 1,000 online participants from G20 member countries.

How key is digitalization to women empowerment?

“Digitalization offers enormous opportunities for women’s empowerment, and for more equal participation in labor markets, financial markets, and entrepreneurship,” Diane commented, pointing out the critical challenges confronting women who engage in entrepreneurship.

“Entrepreneurship is often the only alternative for labor force participation for women. However, even in the most developed G20 countries, lower female enrolment rates in higher education deter women from fully realizing the chances offered by digitalization. An APEC Women Digital Usage Survey showed that 63% of female respondents referred to a ‘lack of professional digital skills’ and over 50% expressed a strong need for training in digital tools.”

Diane believes that lowering the barriers to accessing digitalization is key to helping more women join entrepreneurship, saying, “To empower more people with skills to monetize social impact, DHgate launched MyyShop, a social commerce SaaS platform in 2020.”

“We are aiming to lower the barrier for people to start and run a cross-border e-commerce business, help MSMEs, and especially entry-level merchants and individuals succeed using the social commerce tools and services available through the MyyShop platform,” she said.

What are the initiatives championing women today?

Moreover, the accessibility for everyone to obtain entrepreneurial ability in social e-commerce is also the primary approach to empowering local MSMEs to go global via digital platforms including cross-border e-commerce. The APEC CBET, a Cross-Border E-commerce Training program launched by DHgate in 2014, offers e-learning courses with the most practical and hands-on knowledge, skills, and entrepreneurial guidance via live broadcasting.

This program has successfully trained hundreds of thousands of MSMEs, women entrepreneurs, and policymakers across more than 50 economies over the past 7 years; in the past year alone, 100,000 participants have been successfully trained. The project has been recognized and endorsed by leaders of the United Nations, APEC, and G20 countries.

It is also fundamental to make concrete progress in promoting women empowerment initiatives by leveraging local networks to enhance the impact of cooperation across different markets. In recent years, DHgate has not only worked closely with the B20 but also joined force with the APEC Business Advisory Council (ABAC) and BRICS Women Business Alliance (WBA) to deliver women empowerment programs and e-learning opportunities.

This includes the Women Connect Global Summit, Her Power Women Entrepreneurship Competition, and the APEC CBET programs around the globe, with contributions and endorsements from leaders in the UN, B20, ABAC, BRICS, private sector, and many more.

“This year, we are glad to witness the initiation of OGWE (One Global Women Empowerment) by WiBAC, and I am willing to work together with all parties to develop pilot workshops through the OGWE platform. I believe this helps us to better communicate with G20 representatives,” Diane said, ending her speech by reiterating her strong willingness to further collaborate more resources and deliver more women empowerment projects together.