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APEC Women’s Business Activator Program

The APEC Women's Business Activator Program 2024 intake has closed.

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Despite being a priority for many APEC economies, the effective implementation of policies to lift the number of women entrepreneurs remains an ongoing challenge.

Within the APEC region, several economies are already adopting measures to increase the number of women-led, owned, and managed businesses in the global marketplace. They include ongoing efforts to improve women's access to finance, markets, information, services, and resources.


However, real change in these areas remains slow across the region and the region is not on track to achieve Sustainable Development Goal 5, including the target on economic empowerment, by 2030. According to the OECD, policy makers already use tailored programs to

support growth-oriented women entrepreneurs, but more is needed to cultivate ‘women’s entrepreneurial aspirations’ and to ‘address market failures in areas of skills and finance and improve access to networks. 

The APEC Women’s Business Activator Program aims to help women-led businesses grow globally by strengthening the capacity of private sector participants from women-led SMEs to build business competencies and help navigate barries to both local and global markets. The APEC Women’s Business Activator Program supports participants to navigate and overcome barriers to full and equal participation and leadership, including in entrepreneurship, and as related to gender inequalities and other inequalities.

Selected women candidates from eligible economies will receive free access to training material, participation in online workshops, personalised mentoring, and all travel costs to attend an intensive 3-day session in Melbourne, Australia. Selected women candidates from non-eligible economies can still participate in the program but will not receive funding for travel.

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