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Supporting women entrepreneurs through the pandemic, from government to the private sector

In September 2020, Vanessa Erogbogbo, Chief of the Sustainable and Inclusive Values Chains section at the International Trade Centre, spoke with Meredith Preston McGhie, Secretary General of the Global Centre for Pluralism.  She explored the effects of the pandemic in emerging economies, particularly on micro, small and medium-sized enterprises, which are predominantly run by self-employed women. These types of business have been hard-hit by the pandemic, which has exacerbated gender inequalities in the economy. She discussed how governments and the private sector have a role to play to provide women entrepreneurs with access to the digital economy, to family-friendly policies like childcare and flexible work and to the “green jobs” of the future.

In her closing remarks, Vanessa described the help and care that she has seen people extending to one another during the pandemic, and how this inspires her:   

“We think of the economy as this big thing [with] systemic obstacles…but really, it’s us as individuals who make it turn and who can make the difference.  Many of us doing many little things are what can make the big difference in the end.”