Women entrepreneurship gains pace thru e-commerce
Advocate Moon Das, a well-educated woman of the Chandpur Town, is very happy being an entrepreneur by breaking all social barriers through the e- commerce platform. And now, she is a role model of the thousands of women across the country.
E-commerce platform for entrepreneurs has created linkages between entrepreneurs and marketplace that helps the country's small entrepreneurs to become self-reliant by offering fair prices and various selling options.
"I had a long-cherished dream to do something for underprivileged women through becoming an entrepreneur. I started the journey as an entrepreneur from 2016. Along with my legal career, I opened a company called "Traditional Store BD" and became a beacon of hope for the impoverished rural Jamdani weavers," said Moon while sharing her life story with BSS.
With her planning and collaboration, the weavers are making different types of jamdani products such as jamdani shirts and ties out of just making jamdani sarees which has created huge demand across the country.
Moon Das said, "My father is a retired government official and my mother is a headmistress of a primary school. We are a small family with two sisters, mother and father. Although no one in the family is involved in the business, I have come to the business thinking of the underprivileged women in the society. Now, I produce various products through weavers and sale them through e-commerce marketplace.
She also said that like other women entrepreneurs, she joined an e-commerce platform when small and medium entrepreneurs faced a crisis due to the Covid-19 pandemic. Talking to BSS, Additional Secretary of the commerce ministry and head of the E-Commerce Cell Md Hafizur Rahman said during the miserable days of lockdown and virus panic, normal life and even emergency services were hampered in almost everywhere in the world and Bangladesh was not an exception.
But, the people here enjoyed the blessing of ICT to make life easier, he added. He said Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina's flagship digital Bangladesh campaign opened the door of opportunity in front of the rural women entrepreneurs as now they can sell their products in fair price easily without exposing to the virus by staying at home. He said the government is working to run e-commerce sector in a more disciplined way shrugging off recent anomalies by some companies.
"The e-commerce sector gained a fast expansion in the country during the COVID-19 pandemic period beyond our expectations. We are working to operate the sector in a more disciplined way," he added.
He said the government is providing training to the entrepreneurs, specially the women entrepreneurs to run their business through e-commerce platform smoothly. He informed that the government has already provided training to around 7,000 people on e- commerce. Among them, more than 3,000 trainees are women, he added.
National Project Manager, SWAPNO and WING Project of UNDP Bangladesh Kajal Chatterjee said along with digital device, access to information (a2i), access to financial resources, access to information and access to market and less employment opportunities are also big challenges for the country's rural and underprivileged people.
Digital entrepreneurship could be a good solution to all these challenges, he added. During Covid, he said, UNDP came with a solution for the CMSME entrepreneurs and starting from capacity building workshop for Joyeeta Foundation, SME foundation and BSCIC entrepreneurs, Anondomela started including entrepreneurs from all over the country.
"With our connectivity through ekshop delivery network, our entrepreneurs are getting delivery and pick up facility from and to rural areas", he added. He said that they have given 200 smart phones to their root level entrepreneurs from various UNDP project and others based on preset criterion so that they can run their business with that phone.
We are creating market linkages for the underprivileged people. Differently able entrepreneurs and transgender entrepreneurs are also getting trainings and access to online marketplace to run their business online.
He said marketing is the most crucial thing for online business which is they are trying to do for their entrepreneurs. Through social media page and group, they promote and run many campaigns to create opportunities for all entrepreneurs, he said. -BSS