The government has launched a project to train 3,000 rural underprivileged women as freelancers and entrepreneurs and create job opportunities for them.
The main objective of the Women ICT Freelancer and Entrepreneur Development Programme is to develop female ICT freelancers and entrepreneurs so the less educated rural women can generate incomes from home.
SME Foundation, in collaboration with the Access to Information (a2i) Programme of Prime Minister's Office and Bangladesh Women in Technology (BWIT), a forum for women entrepreneurs, professionals and corporate forerunners in the ICT sector, has taken the initiative.
An agreement was earlier signed among the three parties; a pilot programme has been initiated to develop 300 female ICT freelancers and entrepreneurs by conducting 10 training sessions on graphic design, data entry and accounting.
The foundation, BWIT and a2i will work with support from the women and children affairs ministry to help make the programme a success.
Any underprivileged girl or woman with at least secondary school certificate qualification and basic computer literacy can sign up for the programme.
A pool of ICT trainers will also be developed as part of the initiative. SME Foundation, BWIT and the a2i will nurture the entrepreneurs and freelancers to help sustain them in the competitive marketplace.
Job fairs will also be arranged under the programme, and linkage will be set up between the Bangladesh Association of Software and Information Services to facilitate easier access to jobs.
The ICT entrepreneurs will also be able to borrow funds from SME Foundation on single-digit interest. Kabir Bin Anwar, project director of the a2i, Syed Md Ihsanul Karim, managing director of SME Foundation, and Luna Shamsuddoha, president of BWIT, spoke at the media briefing.