Digital2Equal is an IFC-led initiative launched in 2018 in partnership with the European Commission that brought together 17 leading technology companies operating across the online marketplace to boost opportunities for women in emerging markets.

Under the initiative, participating companies made measurable, time-bound commitments specific to each company’s goals and participated in knowledge-exchange sessions on implementing gender innovations, including contributing to thought leadership on how the digital economy can increase women’s access to jobs and assets.

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

E-commerce is thriving in Africa and Southeast Asia. IFC leveraged data from Digital2Equal members Jumia and Lazada, two of the largest e-commerce platforms in Africa and Southeast Asia respectively, and found that this growth could be even higher if we invest in women entrepreneurs on e-commerce platforms.

The reports ‘Women and E-commerce in Africa’ and ‘Women and E-commerce in Southeast Asia’ form the first large-scale research in both regions to show the extent of women’s participation in e-commerce and how online platforms can benefit women business owners. Most notably, the reports find that if the gap in sales between female and male vendors could be closed by 2025, an additional $280 billion would 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.

Member Companies

The companies participating in the initiative consist of global travel company Airbnb, Inc., global transportation platform Didi Chuxing Technology Co., Brazilian online marketplace Elo7, social media company Facebook, South African recruitment app Giraffe, global technology company Google LLC, leading "super app" in Southeast Asia Grab, African e-commerce company Jumia, Southeast Asian marketplace platform Lazada, online professional network LinkedIn, Kenyan work platform Lynk, Latin American e-commerce site Mercado Libre Inc., Chinese online lender and Ant Financial brand MYBank, Indian e-commerce firm Myntra Jabong, customer relationship management platform Inc., South African home cleaning service app SweepSouth, and global ride-hailing firm Uber.

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