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Fostering Women's Entrepreneurship in ASEAN

Transforming Prospects, Transforming Societies

image of Fostering Women's Entrepreneurship in ASEAN

Entrepreneurship is a key means through which women can both empower themselves and contribute to inclusive and sustainable development. A vital part of this agenda includes the 61.3 million women who own and operate businesses within the ten member States of ASEAN. It is the particular challenges and opportunities that the recently introduced ASEAN Economic Community (AEC) will bring to women entrepreneurs which provide the impetus and focus for this report. The measures set out in the AEC Blueprint 2025 are expected to affect the prospects for SME growth in various ways. This publication proposes critical actions that can be taken by ASEAN governments to address the particular constraints facing women entrepreneurs — in association with the finance sector, entrepreneur associations, international agencies, civil society and other key actors — towards the realization of both the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development and the AEC Blueprint 2025.

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Women entrepreneurs and the AEC

Across the ten ASEAN member countries, an estimated 61.3 million women entrepreneurs own and operate businesses — accounting for 9.8 per cent of the total ASEAN population. Indeed female ownership is relatively high across the region: in 2016, the proportion of fi rms with female participation in ownership was 69 per cent in the Philippines, 64 per cent in Thailand and 51 per cent in Viet Nam.

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