Asia-Pacific sets 50 per cent target for women business ownership by 2030

Asia-Pacific economies should do their best to dismantle barriers preventing women entrepreneurs from owning businesses, so that by 2030 half of the enterprises can be owned by women.

Participants of the 2017 APEC Public-Private Dialogue on Women and the Economy held in Hue on September 28
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This was proposed by Vice President Dang Thi Ngoc Thinh at the event themed “Public-Private Dialogue on Women and the Economy” organised on September 28 in Thua Thien-Hue province, according to newswire Vietnamnews.

At present, almost all women business owners are from the medium-sized segment. However, their enterprises’ revenues are similar to those owned by men. According to statistics published by the General Statistics Office of Vietnam, in 2015, Vietnam had 95,906 enterprises owned by women, equaling 21 per cent of total valid enterprises. 40,003 of these enterprises are small and medium-sized.

Regarding the revenue of enterprises owned by women, the average annual revenue of a small-sized enterprise is $548,000 and a medium-sized enterprise is $5.69 million, while the figures are $543,000 and $5.76 million, respectively, for enterprises owned by men.

In order to realise ownership equality, Thinh suggested that each APEC economy should build up institutions and laws on gender equality to promote women’s empowerment. Enterprises should also map out strategies and policies on encouraging the involvement of women in finance, economy, and society.

“Both men and women working in the public and private sectors should understand the capabilities and power of businesswomen, and do more to help them contribute to the national economy and society,” Thinh added.

According to UN Assistant Secretary-General Lakshmi Puri, empowering women means enabling them to work equally in all productive sectors—agriculture, manufacturing, services, and technology sectors, in value and supply chains, trade and investment networks, finance (not only micro finance), and in entrepreneurship at the local, national, regional, and global level.

“This APEC Public-Private Dialogue provides us with an ideal platform to strategise on how to best contribute to unlocking women’s power in the world’s most dynamic and consolidated economies represented by the APEC,” Puri stated. 

The event is one of three organised in the framework of the Women and  the Economy Forum of APEC 2017 taking place on September 26-29 under the theme “enhancing women’s economic inclusion and empowerment in the changing world.”

By Ha Vy