Western and Central Africa
Eastern and Southern Africa
Eastern Europe and Central Asia
E-commerce has the potential to become a significant part of the economic activity in developing and LDCs by offering the opportunity to access wider markets without the constraint of having to establish and maintain physical stores. SMEs in these countries, however, face numerous hurdles in order to develop their online presence from availability of ICT, access to the required skills and financial support to limited infrastructure and networks. The E-Solutions initiative actively supports SMEs on their digital journey through its training programme, research and facilitation of innovative solutions, collaborative structures, partnerships and digital tools and technologies.
Country based projects typically begin with a needs analysis
to identify the local capabilities, barriers and assess the level of enterprise
readiness. These early stages will consist of establishing consensus and
ownership among local institutions – including
the important task of defining one or more entities that can represent and
handle transactions on the account of local SMEs in international markets. If
the country has passed a readiness assessment, the e-Solutions programme will
build on the set of recommendations to identify opportunities and barriers.
A pilot phase involving a limited number of enterprises will
demonstrate the potential to solve barriers and serve as a template for future
phases. In the next phase a scaled-up programme of support seeks to empower
local partners to cascade the learning and extend the capabilities to a much
wider selection of enterprises. Work on improving the policy and institutional
environment takes place at regular periods through policy dialogue platforms.
Projects in ProgressRwandaThe project aims open e-Commerce opportunities to SMEs in Rwanda, through building capacities in understanding and preparedness to market goods and services online toward consumers and professional buyers. Together, ITC and GIZ supported by DHL and in partnership with MINEACOM aim to boost understanding among small firms and service partners in Rwanda of what it takes to succeed in e-Commerce, enabling access to markets and providing them the tools and support to do so. ITC and GIZ aim to initiate a positive cycle of learning and investment that will support the Rwandan Government in its objectives to be a leader in digital business in Africa.AzerbaijanThe action aims to help small and medium sized enterprises (SMEs) from Eastern Partnership (EaP) countries integrate into global value chains and access new markets with a focus on the European Union (EU). The intervention will assist SMEs in producing value-added goods in accordance with international and EU market requirements, while linking them with buyers from global value chains and markets, in particular within the EU. As part of this process, the assistance will improve sector specific services to SMEs along the selected value chains by strengthening the capacity of local business support organizations (BSOs). QatarThis project aims at building greater awareness and consensus for action in QDB / TASDEER to support the development of international B2B e-Commerce from Qatar. A selection of the most export-ready SMEs is coached through the basics of preparing for B2B e-Commerce: building an online catalogue and inventory, understanding international market demand and pricing for their products, and advice on necessary capabilities for market access, logistics and payments. Recommendations will be built for QDB on how to support the development of this market channel, and guidelines (based on experience with the selected firms) of the requirements for success in e-Commerce channels. An e-Learning on B2B e-Commerce will be built based on the experience of the project.Central American WBEs/HandicraftsThe overall objective of this Initiative is to strengthen Central America capacity to trade in goods and services in view of taking advantage of the EU-Central America Association Agreement (AA). The specific objective of the Initiative is to enhance the export competitiveness of Central American Women Business Enterprises (WBEs) producing craft products for the gifts and home decoration industry to sell their products on‑line. The expected result is to increase the craft products for the gifts and home decoration industry sold on‑line by the Central American WBEs. It is expected that increased sales by WBEs will also have a positive effect on the final beneficiaries: the rural and urban households involved in the production of crafts will receive more orders from WBEs and will be better connected with market trends by producing crafts based on WBEs new designs.For latest news on the last e-commerce workshop in Panama, click here.
ToolsTraining CurriculumThe e-Solutions Programme is used at many different levels within a developing e-Commerce economy to drive awareness and offer deep technical skills of trading internationally online. The Programme develops starter skills, core skills and assists with implementation depending on what is required. What makes e-Solutions unique is that it can develop an SME’s e-Commerce business through the whole lifecycle of set-up, management at home and scale up for international growth. The training is based on the e-Commerce process chain, which is separated into four sections: Establishing an online business, International e-Payment, Cross-border delivery, and Aftersales.The training has three main stages: starter, core and advanced. The starter stage introduces the participants to the basic concepts and skills needed to establish an e-Commerce business. The core stage will aid in setting up effective business strategies, market research and preparing their business for e-Commerce. The advanced stage focuses on the more complex methods of selling, platforms and marketing techniques, as well as information catered to the specific region or country concerned.Train the coachLocal coaches are employed by e-Solutions to fulfil the requirements of the project concerned. They have relevant experience and skills in a given field to best serve the participants and ITC. The coaches are given in depth training suited to the needs of the specific project. The training allows for the knowledge learned to be fully absorbed and transmitted throughout the project.The e-Solutions Programme does not seek to replace or compete with private sector partners. The intention of the Programme is to partner with private sector firms where possible to ensure improved access and appropriate support for small enterprises from developing and least developed countries.
Completed ProjectsMade In SenegalMade in Senegal is an online platform for Senegalese enterprises to share their products. This was a joint project between the Ministry of Commerce of Senegal, the Organisation Internationale de la Francophonie (OIF), the International Trade Centre (ITC) and the private sector.Connect UEMOAConnectUEMOA is an online platform created to promote commercial opportunities as well as the products from the West African region. This portal provides a directory of enterprises in different sectors as well as a marketplace with digital products.