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With the rapid adoption of mobile devices and increasing bandwidth penetration, consumers have switched rapidly from brick-and-mortar stores to online marketing sites. In Asian economies, where women sometimes face unfavorable working and business environments and their participation in economic activities is restricted by a lack of access to necessary resources, e-commerce can be an effective platform for starting their own businesses.
With the Internet and related technology acting as equalizers, opportunities for women to contribute to family incomes and spending on household necessities are greater than ever. This can help them become important players in revitalizing rural as well as urban community economies. To assist women in taking advantage of current opportunities, the Asian Productivity Organization (APO) is organizing a five-day workshop on e-Business Modeling for Women Entrepreneurs in Taipei, ROC, 19–23 June 2017.
The workshop, attended by 30 participants from 14 APO member countries, is aimed at sharing innovative e-tailing ideas, strategies, and methodologies. It will also allow women entrepreneurs to discuss trends in customer migration to online market sites, challenges in staying current with new trends, and surviving in future online and digital markets.
Online markets or e-tailing sites are the first interfaces where consumers are introduced to new goods and services. Customers can evaluate products and share their experiences with others on e-tailing websites, which are critical factors in creating brand images leading to both first-time and repeat purchases. The online market is often referred to as a “blue ocean” since it transcends geography and offers huge scope for expanding the customer base. With 60% of the world’s population residing in Asia, the region has huge e-commerce growth potential.
The APO workshop will also help participants develop action plans for scaling up online SME businesses and e-commerce, integrating socioeconomically less-privileged groups in inclusive development efforts. The workshop, consisting of interactive thematic presentations, sharing of country experiences, individual and group exercises, and field visits, is structured to enable women entrepreneurs to understand the essentials of business structure and financial mechanisms. It will also describe frameworks governing e-commerce transactions as well as methodologies and tools for e-business modeling, planning, and data collection and analysis.
The workshop is conducted by three APO resource persons: Ascenders Technologies Private Limited Director & COO Jayalakshmi Thirugnanam of India; Ajou University Professor Cheul Rhee of the ROK; and eOneNet.com Sdn. Bhd. President Fione Tan of Malaysia. Five local resource persons from the ROC will share case studies: Department of MIS Professor and Vice-dean Dr. Shiaw-chun Shang, National Chengchi University; Wonderfulfood Founder and CEO Maggie Chen; Department of International Affairs Director General Dr. Grace Lih-Fang Lin, Council of Agriculture; Small and Medium Enterprise Administration Deputy Director General Mei-Hsueh Lin, Ministry of Economic Affairs; and Tan Hou Co. Ltd. Vice President Salome Hwang, Tan Hou Co. Ltd.