100% of Women-Owned Businesses Hire or Teach Other Women To Succeed
Shopee’s 2023 ShopeeSapotLokal Building Connected Communities study(1) finds that 100% of Malaysian women who achieve economic inclusion share their success by uplifting other women in B40 and rural areas. For 1,015 female sellers surveyed on the marketplace this Ramadan period: two-thirds hire single, rural, or impoverished women, or source directly from women-owned suppliers; a third facilitate networking opportunities and training programs.
These findings demonstrate that Malaysian women in the digital economy are not only supporting household dependents during peak Ramadan e-commerce sales(2), but are a driving force in giving back by lowering barriers to entry, widening access to customers, and providing more flexibility in time management to other women like themselves.
When asked “How has Shopee opened up new opportunities for women sellers like yourself?” – eight in ten respondents value the benefits and freedom of starting an online storefront easily with minimal investments and scaling it for sustainable growth, whereas two in ten respondents value the time they get to support their family, pursue their own aspirations, and enhance their skills.
Having achieved success for themselves this Raya, women on Shopee have been able to save time and effort in establishing alternative revenue streams, build relationships with resellers, vendors, and infrastructure partners they have no prior contacts with, and figure out how to invest in attracting their first customer base, especially for marginalised or impoverished women in rural and B40 communities. Not to mention, juggling their careers on top of household responsibilities and raising children.
#ShopeeSapotLokal’s community of women sellers have a sense of purpose and are capitalising on opportunities to drive greater inclusion by appealing to younger generations of Malaysian shoppers who shop purposefully online(3). When Generation Z choose to buy from women-owned stores, the survey helps them understand why these women think it’s important their business is supported: 60% of respondents are driven by career growth, financial empowerment, and long-term stability. 40% believe in making a positive impact with products that improve lives and by being role models for women and children.
Kenneth Soh, Head of Marketing at Shopee Malaysia, said, “Our belief is that e-commerce should be accessible to all. With this survey, Shopee’s community of empowered business-women are getting their voices heard. They’re advocating for a multifaceted approach to uplift other women and encouraging online shoppers to support them. These women are playing a significant role in Malaysia’s digital economy, and we’re sitting up listening and giving them the platform to succeed.”
Their growing participation in e-commerce allows Malaysian women to give their point of view on how to upskill other women to unlock their growth potential. 70% of women surveyed identified understanding people and delivering on trust as critical to success — 30% prioritise marketing as important to improve store content and deliver on their brand story, 20% focus on engaging shopping experiences to increase orders, and 20% emphasise customer service for star ratings and positive reviews. Only a third think upskilling is needed in navigating the platform features or optimising operations.
When asked which Shopee marketplace feature they utilise most to grow given their specific needs and constraints as women entrepreneurs, 36% of women sellers want to become preferred sellers or achieve Shopee Mall status. 25% want to leverage influencers and Shopee Live for higher visibility, 23% seek Seller Education Hub and Shopee Bintang Komuniti support, and 18% would like to capitalise on Big Campaigns.
“Championing other women’s success means they can help each other define how Malaysian communities are built, communicated with, and how value-based businesses are run. 90% of women surveyed would recommend Shopee as a platform of choice to other women sellers promoting value-based shopping and inclusion,” Soh concluded.
Notes to Editor