COVID-19 has disrupted economies and companies are scrambling to address these challenges while building stronger and more resilient supply chains. At the same time, consumers have become accustomed to new behaviours: e-commerce and home delivery. This points to the need for investments in websites and apps, and possibly new layouts of physical stores to ensure long-term social distancing.
On top of these new challenges, many women entrepreneurs are constrained by systemic barriers, such as unequal and undervalued care responsibilities, limited access to capital, professional and sector networks, and narrowing market, customer and business development opportunities.
To realize the full economic contributions of women entrepreneurs, it is imperative that public and private sector stakeholders enhance their support to women entrepreneurs. The WE EMPOWER programme of the European Union (EU), UN Women and International Labour Organization (ILO) will host a virtual café to connect women’s business associations , identify critical components of a coordinated approach to supporting women’s entrepreneurship, and identify good practice policies and practices in the context of COVID-19.