Digital tool uptake has proven to be a key lifeline for women-led SMEs. Based on this, policymakers at the global, European, and national level must take note, and ensure the right regulatory frameworks are put in place to support women-led SMEs, foster a gendered response to the pandemic, and fast track a sustainable digital transition to ‘build back better’.
Despite the progress made in many sectors towards true gender equality, women remain largely excluded by the business world. This calls for urgent action based on the female contribution to the labour force not only benefiting women themselves – but also having a huge impact on the economy as a whole. Women led businesses and female-founded SMEs were hardest hit by Covid-19 due to their specific characteristics, vulnerability factors, and lower resilience levels.