The United Nations To Enable Women-Led Digital Businesses In Anglophone Africa Scale Up And Expand To New Markets


The United Nations To Enable Women-Led Digital Businesses In Anglophone Africa Scale Up And Expand To New Markets

Women digital entrepreneurs have a lot to bring to the table. A recent study published by the International Finance Corporation revealed that, by 2030, women could add nearly $15 billion to the e-commerce sector if we manage to close the gender gap.

With the objective to contribute to narrowing this gap, the United Nations Conference on Trade and Development (UNCTAD), launched in 2019, the initiative eTrade for Women, which empowers women digital entrepreneurs based in developing countries to help them become changemakers in their societies.

The United Nations To Enable Women-Led Digital Businesses In Anglophone Africa Scale Up And Expand To New Markets

Rebeca Grynspan, the head of the organization made women’s empowerment a priority for the organization; she says “As UNCTAD’s Secretary-General, I commit to putting women’s empowerment at the heart of our work” (International Women’s Day, UNCTAD).

Each year, UNCTAD nominates influential women entrepreneurs leaders in their region, the eTrade for Women Advocates, to inspire future generations to follow their path and create more awareness of the challenges faced by women digital entrepreneurs. For the year 2022-2023, among the five outstanding women nominated, Damilola Olokesusi, the founder of Shuttlers in Nigeria, was selected to represent Anglophone Africa. Shuttlers is currently one of the fastest growing technology-driven transportation start-ups and is revolutionizing the way professionals and organizations commute in the busy cities of Africa. The company is also experiencing exponential growth as it just raised $1.6m seed funding to expand to new countries on the continent.

To support women entrepreneurs, eTrade for Women regularly organizes Masterclasses, which are uniquely empowering events that combine learning sessions, inspirational moments with influential leaders, networking opportunities, and Policy Dialogues. Further to the Masterclass, the opportunities to joineTrade for Women Communities, a global network that enables women entrepreneurs to interact with like-minded peers. The members of the Communities also benefit from the support of the United Nations to develop their skills, grow their businesses, and ultimately impact their ecosystem.

For the first time, the eTrade for Women initiative is being organized in Nigeria, a free Masterclass for women digital entrepreneurs based in Anglophone Africa. The event titled ‘Scaling Up Women-Led Digital Businesses, An Opportunity for Africa’s Development’ will be set up in collaboration with Damilola and will take place in Lagos from the 6th to the 9th of December. It promises to be innovative and enlightening.

The call for applications is now open. This Masterclass is for you if:

  • You are a woman, and you are the founder/co-founder of your business.
  • You have a track record of 2 to 5 years in this role.
  • Innovative technologies and digital tools are at the heart of your business model and operations.
  • You are based in one of the following countries: Cameroon, Ethiopia, Gambia, Ghana, Kenya, Liberia, Nigeria, Rwanda, Sierra Leone, Tanzania, and Uganda.
  • You want to make a difference and impact your ecosystem.

If you meet these criteria, you can apply here. Applications will close on 9 September 2022 at 11.59 pm.

eTrade for Women benefits from the support of Germany, the Netherlands, Sweden, and Switzerland.

To know more about eTrade for Women: