ILO equips women-led micro and small businesses with digital skills with Microsoft’s support

More than 30,000 women entrepreneurs in 10 countries will be helped to digitize their businesses, through a programme developed by the International Labour Organization (ILO) with Microsoft Corporation’s support.

The Women in Digital Business (WIDB) initiative aims to bridge the gender digital gap and support women-led micro- and small businesses through tailored support services that take into account their different cultural, educational, and financial challenges.

The ILO’s International Training Centre in Turin (ITC-ILO) has helped design the programme, which includes a range of learning paths that provide participants with a deeper understanding of key digital skills relevant to their business.

They cover topics such as website development, social media management, search engine optimization, and data analysis – essential skills for businesses looking to expand their online presence and customer base. The programme also includes opportunities for networking, peer-to-peer learning, and mentoring from experienced digital entrepreneurs.

WIDB will use a Training of Trainers approach, building on existing ILO and Microsoft Philanthropies field networks, and will ensure expert trainers and coaches are equipped with skills and resources to accompany women entrepreneurs with curated training content through the WIDB training platform . It will be launched on 17 April – International Digital Women’s Day.

Mia Seppo, Assistant Director-General for Jobs and Social Protection at ILO described the collaboration with Microsoft as “a testament to the ILO and Microsoft’s commitment to women’s economic empowerment in the digital world. As we celebrate International Digital Women’s Day, let us join forces and work together to ensure that this initiative is a resounding success, empowering thousands of women entrepreneurs around the world. Let us strive to leave no one behind and build a more inclusive, equitable and prosperous digital economy for all.”

Naria Santa Lucia, General Manager for Digital Inclusion, Microsoft Corporation said, “It is essential that we work diligently and together to create inclusive opportunities for women to engage in the digital economy and create sustainable business models. We’re proud to support International Labour Organization in these important steps forward.”

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