Women and E-Commerce: A $300 Billion Market Opportunity

Digitally enabled platforms are estimated to create 70% of new value added over the next decade, and past estimates of the global digital economy range from an average of 4.5% to 15.5%. And yet, gaps in access risk further excluding women from these economic opportunities. As digitalization continues to transform business operations and revolutionize the way people access products and services, are women able to seize opportunities in burgeoning sectors in the digital economy?

To address this question, IFC leveraged data from Digital2Equal members Jumia and Lazada, among the largest e-commerce platforms in Africa and Southeast Asia respectively, to publish the first large-scale research on women and e-commerce. Women and E-commerce in Africa and Women and E-commerce in Southeast Asia show to what extent women are participating on and succeeding in online commerce and how the COVID-19 pandemic changed the e-commerce landscape.

The reports find that an additional $280 billion could be added to the value of the Southeast Asian e-commerce market and $14.5 billion to the African e-commerce market, between 2025 and 2030, if gender gaps were closed—an opportunity to put nearly $300 billion in the hands of women entrepreneurs.

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Jaylan Elshazly
Disruptive Technologies Lead
Evangelia Tsiftsi
Communications Specialist, Gender and Economic Inclusion
+1 202-473-4159