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Going for Growth

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presents the scores, where available, for East Asia and Pacific region countries on this indicator. The scores consider the following five conditions: training programs have wide geographic availability, are accessible to women as well as men, are affordable for most of the intended beneficiaries, are culturally appropriate, and take into account women’s time burdens for the length of training. Countries score 1.0 if they meet one or none of the conditions, they score 2.0 if they meet at least two conditions, and so forth. The quality of SME support and training varies from a low of 2.0 in countries such as Indonesia, Thailand, and Vietnam to a high of 5.0 for Australia and New Zealand. Clearly, efforts can be greater in many of the region’s economies to support women-led businesses and provide targeted SME training. Globally, training courses for the export of services do not seem to be reaching women; while 75 percent of businesses in the service sector are owned by women, women make up only 4 percent of participants in training courses for businesses in the sector (ITC, UNCTAD, and WTO 2007). Business development services in general are also unevenly available and accessed by women entrepreneurs in the Asia Pacific region. Country-level work (for example, in Vietnam) reveals constraints on both the supply and demand sides (VWEC 2007). Service providers lack a clear understanding of the specific needs of local businesses, particularly those led by women. Business development service firms in the region lack consulting skills and experience; in particular, they cannot articulate effectively the value of consulting services to clients. On the demand side, a lack of awareness and resources limits effective demand for business development providers. Both deficits must be addressed—strengthening provider supply and stimulating client demand—to promote the graduation from microenterprises to larger, selfsustaining enterprises.

Opportunities to Learn and Reform: Going to Scale Unleashing and enabling women entrepreneurs to “go for growth” and move from small-scale, largely household-based production to larger, viable, commercialized enterprises require a number of steps. • Trading across borders must become easier in terms of complexity, number, and costs of procedures. Governments have more control over some of these variables than others; while international shipping costs

Economic Opportunities for Women in the East Asia and Pacific Region  

The East Asia and Pacific region has made great progress, relative to other regions, with regard to both economic development and, specifica...