The Future of Business: Women and the Digital Economy

Women’s active participation in the economy is crucial to reduce global economic disparities, ensure sustainable growth, and increase democratic participation. To this end, CIPE supports women-owned businesses by investing in skill-building and tailored assistance programs for women worldwide.

With the rise of the digital economy, there is an enormous opportunity to leverage digitalization to empower women entrepreneurs, enhance democratic governance, and promote widespread economic prosperity. However, advanced technology may also create new forms of inequality if historically marginalized groups are not actively included and safeguarded. In Central America, many women remain excluded from the digital economy due to barriers such as insufficient digital skills and/or limited access to resources, poor connectivity, weak networks, and inadequate financing. Moreover, women are significantly more likely to experience online harassment and violence.

To provide a safe path to digital transformation for individual women entrepreneurs, CIPE and its partners in Latin America adapted CIPE’s self-paced, online digital economy course for micro, small and medium-sized enterprises (MSMEs), called Harnessing the Power of the Digital Economy. The course encompasses several topics such as accessing and joining the digital economy; marketing an online business; managing an online business; financial literacy; and adopting digital security best practices.

In March 2023, CIPE launched the Spanish-language version of the course in San Jose, Costa Rica during an event which emphasized that digital education for MSMEs, and specifically women-owned SMEs, is fundamental for the future of business, employment, and work. As the digital economy expands in the region, it is imperative that it is inclusive of women and marginalized communities so that economic opportunity in the digital age is accessible to all.

By providing technical training to women in business, CIPE helps level the playing field and create a more equitable business environment. CIPE aims to achieve a digital ecosystem that is inclusive, competitive, and diverse. The goal of such digital transformation is to provide every woman entrepreneur with the opportunity to realize her potential and positively impact the future of her business, family, community, and broader economy.

CIPE and its partners will continue to share updates about its digital economy programs in Central America via the website and social media channels on Twitter, Facebook, and LinkedIn.

Published Date: April 12, 2023