BEIJING--(BUSINESS WIRE)--Today, in Beijing, Diane Wang, the founder and CEO of DHgate.com, one of the most esteemed women entrepreneurs in China, teamed up with Kathleen Wynne, the 1st female premier of Ontario, Canada, for the benefit of Women Entrepreneurs globally. The theme for the meeting was “Digital era, the best era for women entrepreneurs,” which aims to encourage women to leverage digital platforms to start businesses, especially young women. The women hope to accomplish this through a more effective public and private partnership throughout the APEC region, one of the key goals from the Ontario Delegation’s visit to China prior to the Canadian Prime Minister’s Official visit.
“As digital technologies advance, the percentage of women entrepreneurs in China has been growing fast year over year, reaching 25% by 2017, compared with just 3.6% a few decades ago. There are only a few moments in history when we have the chance to move forward, move fast, and the moment is now.” remarked Diane Wang.
Kathleen Wynne said, “The public should do more to create a more inclusive economy where men and women have the same opportunities in the labor force. We have put out a policy that says we want to see 30% of women on boards in the private sector and in the government we set that to 40%. When you get women involvement at a rate of 30%, there will be different issues that will be discussed.”
China is the world’s largest e-commerce market with over 10 million SMEs selling online. In Canada, 90% of export companies are SMEs, but produce only 25% of total Canadian exports. Digital trade is the unprecedented opportunity for Canadian SMEs to increase their share of the export market while at the same time bring in more quality Chinese products into the Canadian market.
From Polio Patient to Success Story
According to Accenture, digital may be the greatest opportunity in history for women. Dong Liqiong, a polio stricken Chinese entrepreneur, lost her parents early in life, and then her husband. Two years ago, she opened an online store, now her business is thriving and employs 7 other disabled people.
She said, “thanks to technology, now I can stand up, just like I always wanted.” Stories like this are common in China, digital platforms give people the chance to stand up, stand out.
APEC Women Connect is the Answer
During APEC 2017, Prime Minister of New Zealand Jacina Arden mentioned, the lack of social networks is one of the major obstacles holding women entrepreneurs back.
A 2017 APEC study with 500 women entrepreneurs across the Asia Pacific region discovered:
- Maintaining work-life balance is the biggest pain point for women entrepreneurs;
- Access to financial support and capacity building is the most common obstacle for women entrepreneurs;
- Access to global resources through local communities is what women entrepreneurs expect most.
Under these circumstances, the APEC Women Connect program was initiated, to empower women to realize entrepreneurship through digital. The community already has over 70,000 followers, 10 leading global partners, and participation from industry experts, women entrepreneurs, and female leaders.
Diane Wang commented, "Entrepreneurship used to be considered a male-dominated area, but the landscape has changed over the past few years. As more and more technology becomes available, we have seen the percentage of women entrepreneurs grow, and the age of women entrepreneurs is drop. Taking our platform for example, today, most women entrepreneurs on DHgate are actually millennials."
With digital technology, women have a loud voice, but the voice can be even louder, the voice should be louder. Digital era, is the best era for women entrepreneurs.
DHgate.com is the first to market and the biggest B2B cross border e-commerce marketplace in China, providing global importers with quality products at competitive prices. Founded in 2004, DHgate.com has approximately 10 million global buyers from 227 countries and regions, with 1.4 million global sellers offering 40 million products in 8 languages.