Griffith duo to equip women entrepreneurs in Latin America with digital business skills

Dr Elaine Yang and Dr Catheryn Khoo-Latimore will travel to Ecuador and Mexico to run digital business training for women entrepreneurs.

Women in Ecuador and Mexico will receive online business training as part of a new project being led by Griffith University researchers that aims to increase the success rate of women entrepreneurs in Latin America.

There are high rates of entrepreneurship among women in Ecuador and Mexico, but their businesses often struggle with unprofitability and have lower growth expectations compared to women in other regions and men in general.

Dr Catheryn Khoo-Lattimore and Dr Elaine Yang, from the Griffith Institute for Tourism, hope to change this by running a series of training workshops in early 2020.

They plan to empower women entrepreneurs to succeed in international tourism markets by cultivating their digital entrepreneurial competency through a gendered approach in the design of the training and associated materials.

The project aims to provide six cohorts of 20 women tourism entrepreneurs with tourism business and digital skills that will increase their ability to meet market needs.

The practical training, which is expected to be delivered in February and March 2020, includes setting up, promoting and managing their businesses on sharing economy and social media platforms.

Dr Khoo-Latimore said that women entrepreneurs’ access to and adoption of digital platforms cannot be assumed to happen naturally, and that existing training opportunities were gender-biased towards men.

“Business technology training are often assumed to be gender neutral, and yet the design of marketing materials for technology training do not speak to women,” she said.

“It addresses a gap in technology training for women entrepreneurs through a gendered approach in the design of promotional materials and training delivery.”

By the end of the workshop, attendees will have an online shopfront from which they can access and manage international visitors to their countries.

“This training project will equip women with the confidence and digital competency critical to the sustainability and profitability of their businesses in the digitised and globalised tourism market.”

Local MP Angie Bell said the Morrison Government is committed to promoting people-to-people and institutional linkages between Australia and Latin America.

“Congratulations to Griffith University on a $39,100 Council on Australia Latin America Relations grant for empowering women in tourism through entrepreneurial digital competencies,” she said.

“Griffith University are known for their innovative projects, and this is a great example of how they are building relationships around the globe, which in turn promotes the Gold Coast as a diverse and dynamic community.”