Education & E-leadership

How Digital Technology has been a boon to Women Entrepreneurship

Supriya Sharma - CX Alchemist| Organizational Transformation Coach| Management Consultant - Strategy| Keynote Speaker| Investor| Author| Podcast Host

Dear Ms. Sharma, can you introduce yourself to our readers?

A business alchemist with a vision to illuminate the world with magical experiences, known for consistently sprinkling pixie dust on the quadruple bottomline of varied organizations across Asia, Africa, Europe and North America.

In your opinion, how does digital technology influence female entrepreneurship?

Digitalization is the gold mine if we talk of new vistas in entrepreneurship. For instance, it has been observed that women lack sufficient entrepreneurial skills and role models, which hinders them (compared to their male peers) from recognizing and pursuing more promising deals. Entrepreneurship-relevant human capital can be acquired by means of higher education and work experience, particularly in STEM fields, as well as through frequent interactions with entrepreneurial peers. This avenue remains closed to many women who are currently excluded from labour markets. Internet platforms represent a promising new tool for disseminating entrepreneurial skills among women and providing them with an interface to mentors and role models. High-quality online training and mentoring platforms for female entrepreneurs should prove particularly beneficial for women in regions with few entrepreneurial role models or who face restrictions in access to these role models.

What do you think are the main opportunities for female entrepreneurs nowadays?

A huge scope lies in the existing government programs, such as social welfare programs, which are being redesigned keeping in mind entrepreneurial challenges faced by women and are likely to address their economic and digital inclusion. These programs would enhance women’s economic inclusion by targeting women as beneficiaries of financial transfers to their families or communities. These programs would use digital technologies more extensively for payment, management, or monitoring, thus raising effectiveness. Conditional cash transfer (CCT) programs like Mexico’s “Prospera” or Brazil’s “Bolsa Familia” provide good examples for the complementarities between female economic inclusion and program effectiveness. Some of these programs, including Colombia’s “Más Familias en Acción”, do already use mobile money technologies for money transfer. There is still scope for leveraging such benefits to CTT programs in other countries where they are conducted and for redesigning similar programs to exploit the same type of complementarity between entrepreneurship and female inclusion.

What about the main challenges?

Resources exist, however, what pulls us behind is irrational or mismanaged distribution of these resources to the ones in need.

Is there any trend you currently observe, that is being related to women entrepreneurship?

In spite of the hurdles, women are now inspired more than ever to tread the risky path of entrepreneurship which is supported by the latest research available from the Global Entrepreneurship Monitor reporting that women’s entrepreneurial activity has increased 10%, further closing gender gaps. The good news is that technology has played a remarkable role in this revolution, confirms a published paper in Harvard Business Review. Organizations like the UN agree, so much so in fact that technology has been made a key focus of the UN Women’s innovation strategy for 2018–2021.

Lastly, how would you best describe the successful business leader?

Someone who knows the ‘why’ and can communicate it to the stakeholders. It helps to possess synergy between social awareness, emotional intelligence and abstract (or cognitive) skills.


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