UNCTAD partners with DHL to empower women in e-commerce


The partnership will help improve the skills of female digital entrepreneurs and facilitate their access to global trade.

© 2020 insta_photos/Shutterstock | Warehouse worker scans barcode on e-commerce shipping box.

UNCTAD’s eTrade for Women initiative has partnered with Deutsche Post DHL Group, a major player in international logistics, to help women overcome some of the barriers to global digital trade.

According to a recent UNCTAD study, insufficient access to reliable and affordable trade logistics is one of the main challenges faced by many e-commerce businesses in developing countries.

These barriers often affect more female business owners than their male counterparts, as they also tend to have less access to knowledge, financing and support.

“This collaboration with DHL allows us to continue public-private dialogue and build more inclusive digital economies,” said Shamika N. Sirimanne, who heads UNCTAD’s technology and logistics division.

“Women have a key role to play in e-commerce, so improving their participation will have a huge impact on development,” Ms. Sirimanne added.

The partnership preceded UNCTAD’s 2022 E-Commerce Week, a global forum to discuss the challenges and opportunities associated with e-commerce and the digital economy.

Targeted support for women in the developing world

As part of a pilot activity, two small business owners who are members of eCommerce Communities for Women entered the very selective DHL GoTrade GBSN Scholarship Program April 5.

They are Sofia Chandi, who runs a flower business in Ecuador and Edith Tialeu, who sells African home decor and accessories across Africa and Europe from Cameroon.

The 12-month program will provide Ms. Chandi and Ms. Tialeu with training, mentoring and new business skills to improve the overall management of their businesses, including providing logistical support to reach new markets.

“This is a wonderful opportunity to connect people and improve lives,” said Steven Pope, Head of GoTrade, Deutsche Post DHL Group.

“Partnering with UNCTAD will increase our impact by enabling women-owned businesses to gain better access to the global market and become agents of change for their communities.”

Joint efforts between eTrade for Women and Deutsche Post DHL Group are expected to expand the scholarship program to benefit more female digital entrepreneurs in developing countries in the coming years.

The eTrade for Women initiative is funded by the Netherlands and Sweden.


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