How Women-owned Businesses Transform in the Digital Era

New report by KAS, Woomentum and LKYSPP examines the opportunities and challenges women-owned businesses in Singapore, South Korea and Vietnam face when digitising their businesses.

On 14 December, Konrad Adenauer Stiftung (KAS), Woomentum and Lee Kuan Yew School of Public Policy (LKYSPP) released the second edition of “The Path to Success: How Women-owned Businesses Transform in the Era of Digitalisation”. 

The report highlights the challenges women-owned small-and-medium enterprises (WSMEs) face when digitising their businesses. It studies how the adoption of digital tools can narrow the gender gap in business, across four pillars: access to financing; access to mentoring, networking, and skills; business processes and management; and crisis management as a result of COVID-19. 

It covers Vietnam, Singapore and South Korea, complementing its first edition which included Cambodia, Indonesia, Malaysia and Myanmar.

Similar to TFGI’s report on the Platform Economy in Southeast Asia, the report examines the outcomes of rapid digitalisation on WSMEs across the 4 pillars, and how WSMEs can continue to thrive in the digital economy with support from the public sector.   

 It additionally provides a unique lens to digital inclusion in the region, sharing gender-based benefits and challenges female entrepreneurs face. For example, virtual events may seem like a damper to some due to a lack of in-person interactions, but it’s actually a boon for women entrepreneurs who have to juggle both  family and work commitments at the same time. 

Both reports provide policy recommendations and frameworks to foster a digitally inclusive economy, focusing on a multi-stakeholder approach that encompasses the different users of technology in Southeast Asia. This includes enhanced public awareness on government schemes, business training and skills development for employees and the development of regulatory sandboxes across the region.

At the Tech For Good Institute, we welcome the opportunity to work together with partners and all stakeholders, so that Southeast Asia may realise the full potential of this digital age.

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Mouna Aouri

Programme Fellow

Mouna Aouri is an Institute Fellow at the Tech For Good Institute. As a social entrepreneur, impact investor, and engineer, her experience spans over two decades in the MENA region, South East Asia, and Japan. She is founder of Woomentum, a Singapore-based platform dedicated to supporting women entrepreneurs in APAC through skill development and access to growth capital through strategic collaborations with corporate entities, investors and government partners.

Dr Ming Tan

Founding Executive Director

Dr Ming Tan is founding Executive Director for the Tech for Good Institute, a non-profit founded to catalyse research and collaboration on social, economic and policy trends accelerated by the digital economy in Southeast Asia. She is concurrently a Senior Fellow at the Centre for Governance and Sustainability at the National University of Singapore and Advisor to the Founder of the COMO Group, a Singaporean portfolio of lifestyle companies operating in 15 countries worldwide.  Her research interests lie at the intersection of technology, business and society, including sustainability and innovation.


Ming was previously Managing Director of IPOS International, part of the Intellectual Property Office of Singapore, which supports Singapore’s future growth as a global innovation hub for intellectual property creation, commercialisation and management. Prior to joining the public sector, she was Head of Stewardship of the COMO Group and the founding Executive Director of COMO Foundation, a grantmaker focused on gender equity that has served over 47 million women and girls since 2003.


As a company director, she lends brand and strategic guidance to several companies within the COMO Group. Ming also serves as a Council Member of the Council for Board Diversity, on the boards of COMO Foundation and Singapore Network Information Centre (SGNIC), and on the Digital and Technology Advisory Panel for Esplanade–Theatres on the Bay, Singapore’s national performing arts centre.


In the non-profit, educational and government spheres, Ming is a director of COMO Foundation and Singapore Network Information Centre (SGNIC) and chairs the Asia Advisory board for Swiss hospitality business and management school EHL. She also serves on  the Council for Board Diversity and the Digital and Technology Advisory Panel for Esplanade–Theatres on the Bay, Singapore’s national performing arts centre.


Ming was educated in Singapore, the United States, and England. She obtained her bachelor’s and master’s degrees from Stanford University and her doctorate from Oxford.