The Bangladesh Association of Software and Information Services (BASIS) will provide training and mentoring to some 3,000 women ICT entrepreneurs to strengthen capacities and help generate sales worth £28 million ($38m) by 2020.
The initiative is a part of “Commonwealth-SheTrades”, a project officially launched in April and funded by the United Kingdom's Department for International Development.
International Trade Centre (ITC) is coordinating and implementing the global project, initially working to increase competitiveness of women entrepreneurs in agriculture, apparel and services sectors in four Commonwealth countries -- Bangladesh, Ghana, Kenya and Nigeria.
The project will provide governments with better tools and information to implement gender-responsive policies and share best practices, said the organisers.
They said it also aims to drive increased trade, productivity and competitiveness for women entrepreneurs and women-owned companies to ensure that they play an active role in international trade.
The Bangladesh part of the project was launched yesterday through a press conference at Pan Pacific Sonargaon Dhaka.
Commonwealth-SheTrades was endorsed by UK Prime Minister Theresa May during the opening of Commonwealth Business Forum in London, said Nicholas Schlaepfer, senior programme Officer at ITC's Women and Trade Programme.
“Women entrepreneurs in Bangladesh will receive tailored support that will enable them to propel their existing market representation and secure greater access to global trade,” said Schlaepfer.
The project will address challenges faced by women entrepreneurs in Bangladesh, including access to and control over land, cumbersome business and financial institutional processes among other entrepreneurial challenges, he said.
BASIS Senior Vice President Farhana A Rahman said they felt privileged and happy to work with ITC in such a big project.
“In Bangladesh women's participation in the ICT sector is increasing day by day. Under the initiative of SheTrades, BASIS will work on empowering women of Bangladesh,” she said.