Connecting women to markets through improved e-commerce capacity

October 04, 2021 | 17:38
More than 70 representatives from GREAT's business partners and ethnic minority women working in agriculture and tourism attendeda training course to learn about promoting and selling their products and services on Lazada’s e-commerce platform.
More than 70 representatives from the GREAT Program,learnt how to promote and sell their products and services on Lazada’s e-commerce platform.
More than 70 representatives from the GREAT Program learnt how to promote and sell products and services on Lazada’s e-commerce platform

The Australian government-funded Gender Responsive Equitable Agriculture and Tourism (GREAT) Program hosted an online training course on October 4 focused on promoting agricultural products and community-based tourism services on Lazada Vietnam, one of the most popular e-commerce platforms in the country.

The training course was part of GREAT’s broader support to address digital inclusion and strengthen the capacity of business partners and ethnic minority women so they can better connect with markets and improve business performance. Building digital skills is integral to the GREAT Program’s COVID-19 Response and Recovery plan to support local communities and businesses to rebound from the COVID-19 pandemic.

Phil Harman, GREAT Team leader, highlighted the importance of digital inclusion in the activities of partners and the potential for greater digital inclusion to empower women.

“Digital skills are necessary business skills these days. However, COVID-19 has highlighted the digital divide for both women and ethnic minority communities. We are working to ensure that ethnic minority women have both the skills and tools needed to capitalise on e-commerce platforms including Lazada,” said Harman.

James Dong, chief executive officer of Lazada Vietnam and Thailand said: “Being able to digitalise and pivot online has been a lifeline for many businesses – especially those in traditionally offline sectors such as agriculture and tourism. Women and ethnic minorities have suffered the brunt of the pandemic, so it is heartening to see programmes like GREAT drive initiatives that equip businesses and communities to sell effectively on e-commerce platforms like ours. We believe this will also help mitigate the impact of supply chain disruptions and challenges in the long run for these groups.”

The GREAT Program is a flagship programme of the Australian Government’s Aus4Equality portfolio.

More than 70 representatives from the GREAT Program,learnt how to promote and sell their products and services on Lazada’s e-commerce platform.

The programme is scheduled to run until December 31 with an investment of AUD33.7 million ($24.45 million) over four years. The Provincial People’s Committees of Son La and Lao Cai provinces are the programme’s key counterparts.

The programme is working with business, NGOs, and government partners to build more inclusive business and market systems within the agriculture and tourism sectors in Son La and Lao Cai provinces.

By ensuring that businesses, and the wider market systems within which they operate, engage with and benefit women and ethnic minorities, more people can participate in and benefit from related economic activities and growth.

It also advocates for and educates on gender equality, working directly with businesses, the government, and NGOs to influence policies, attitudes, and practice.

As of June 2021, the programme has achieved positive results, including 15,415 women having increased income, 834 women having new jobs, 82 per cent women having improved confidence in their technical capability and AUD7.6 million ($5.5 million) co-invested by the private sector.

Many products of GREAT partners have been exported to high-end international markets including the EU, US, Japan, and South Korea or being distributed in large supermarket chains in Vietnam such as Tops Market and AEON Mall.

By Thai An

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