eTrade for Women - Helping Women Digital Entrepreneurs Integrate Design Thinking to Scale their Businesses


UNCTAD eTrade for Women


Design Thinking Facilitation, Course Design, Venture Design Support


Africa, Asia & Latin America 


6 Months

Project Challenge:

How might design thinking help eTrade for Women Digital Entrepreneurs Refine and Scale their Businesses to Accelerate Impact and Achieve SDG Goals?

Project Brief

UNCTAD eTrade for Women builds communities of women digital entrepreneurs established in developing countries and economies in transition and committed to making a difference. As part of their commitment to support women entrepreneurs to deliver more impact, eTrade for Women is providing Masterclasses. These are unique empowerment events for women digital entrepreneurs designed to help them reach the next level of their work.

eTrade for Women engaged MIDEVA Labs to design and facilitate virtual and in-person workshops for women entrepreneurs based in Africa, Asia and Latin America with the goal of enabling them to leverage the design thinking approaches to design better environments for themselves and their communities, as well as driving their business growth.

Additionally, MIDEVA Labs was to design an online training module for the women digital entrepreneurs beneficiaries of the initiative with a focus on applying the design thinking method to solve problems with innovative business solutions that can be scaled up and make an impact to accelerate the SDGs.


We worked with UNCTAD eTrade for Women to assess the skills gap for women digital entrepreneurs, design and facilitate relevant sessions (both in-person and virtual) including, human-centered design and leveraging business design to scale their business for impact) for over 100  women digital entrepreneurs in Africa, Asia and Latin America. The project entailed collaborating with the UNCTAD eTrade for Women team to assess innovator needs and design a contextually relevant workshop, deliver the workshops and do a post-evaluation of the impact of the programs.

We also leveraged a human-centered design approach in designing an online course (“Leveraging Design Thinking to Scale your Business and Achieve Impact” which is currently being piloted.)

Key Outcomes

The program was specially organized for women digital entrepreneurs to enable them to leverage the design thinking approach to design better environments for themselves and their communities, as well as drive their business growth and impact. The participants were able to:


  • Use the design thinking approach to produce innovative and industry-leading ideas and compete with other digital businesses.  
  • Better understand and engage meaningfully with different stakeholders such as customers, employees, experts and public actors.  
  • Showcase their skills through tangible, real-world project challenges and gain visibility in their markets.  
  • Apply aspects such as business prototyping to refine how their business is delivering value to their customers and other stakeholders.

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