Fostering Women's Entrepreneurship in ASEAN

Transforming Prospects, Transforming Societies

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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.




Fostering Women’s Entrepreneurship in ASEAN: Transforming Prospects, Transforming Societies was prepared by the Social Development Division of the United Nations Economic and Social Commission for Asia and the Pacific (ESCAP) under the overall leadership and guidance of Shamshad Akhtar, Under-Secretary-General of United Nations and Executive Secretary of ESCAP. Kaveh Zahedi, Deputy Executive Secretary for Sustainable Development, also provided valuable guidance. Nagesh Kumar, Director, Social Development Division (SDD), provided substantive direction with a team led by Cai Cai, Chief, Gender Equality and Social Inclusion Section, SDD, and comprising Grace Puliyel, Diana Rodriguez, Ulrike Guelich (GEM Thailand Team Leader) and Donald Clarke. Additional inputs were provided by Sharita Serrao and Sze Ki Wong.


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