Dhaka, Bangladesh
Women entrepreneurs in districts to be connected with ICT network

Women entrepreneurs in districts to be connected with ICT network

Women entrepreneurs in districts are going to be connected with cellular phones and ICT based network, delivery and service, which would help them expand their business along with empowerment, reports BSS. The platform aims to provide networking opportunities to women entrepreneurship at the district and national level, offer access to timely and accurate information using innovative mobile technology, and improve the advocacy capacity of women's business forums. These steps will enable the project participants to take a leading role in fostering a business environment that is more conducive to women's entrepreneurship in Bangladesh. Cellular phone operator Banglalink in association with Asia Foundation and the District Women's Business Forums (DWBFs) today launched the initiative "Connecting Women Entrepreneurs through Innovative use of Information and Communication Technology" to empower women across the country. The initiative will facilitate cellular phone network in Rangpur, Rajshahi, Sylhet and Barisal districts initially, and will ensure delivery of ICT-based services and business tools to connect district-level women entrepreneurs with modern technology. State Minister for Finance M A Mannan inaugurated the project at the Nawab Ali Chowdhury Senate Bhaban in Dhaka University. Speaking on the occasion, the state minister said the government is working for the development and empowerment of women. "If the women become self-sufficient, the economy of the country will be more dynamic," he added. Banglalink Marketing Director Solaiman Alam, Asia Foundation Assistant Director Syed Al Mukit, Professor Muhammad Abu Yusuf and fashion designer Bibi Russel also spoke on the occasion with former adviser of Caretaker Government Rokeya Afzal Rahman in the chair. Under the project, Banglalink seeks to enhance the voice and influence of women entrepreneurs through networking opportunities and advocacy with key stakeholders, strengthening and expanding women entrepreneurs' access to information through the strategic use of mobile technology. As one of the key components of the project, a business guide will be developed for prospective and existing district women entrepreneurs in order to help them navigate through relevant regulations in opening and running their businesses. The business guide will also include contact information for key businesses and government institutions, and will complement the mobile network as a source of information and a tool for fostering networking connections among women entrepreneurs. Apart from access to information, the project will also offer access to finance through the use of mobile finance services; access to markets through the use of SMS/Apps based services to upload product information online; and access to training through the capacity development of DWBF members to effectively manage the mobile network for information dissemination, networking and advocacy with public authorities and access e-commerce services as applicable.

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