Publication Date



Key Points

• In several Central and West Asian countries, women are less likely to become entrepreneurs, and their businesses are more likely to be informal, stay small, generate less revenue, and employ fewer people.

• Information and communication technology (ICT) tools not only improve business performance but can also be used to overcome challenges specific to women entrepreneurs—time and mobility constraints; access to formal financial services, information, skills, and personalized advice; and participation in business networks.

• However, lack of ICT skills, lower purchasing power, and cultural barriers hinder women entrepreneurs from accessing and using ICT.

• Governments, financial service providers, and business development service providers have room to more effectively leverage ICT to serve women entrepreneurs.

• Women represent an unmet market opportunity for the private sector, opening up public–private partnership options to develop sustainable initiatives and services.


Suggested Citation
Martinez, I., & Nguyen, T. (2014). Using information and communication technology to support women's entrepreneurship in Central and West Asia. Manila: Asian Development Bank.

Required Publisher's Statement
This article was first published by the Asian Development Bank (