SEIP-BWCCI Project organized an inception workshop on Implementation Guideline of Gender Action Plan with BWCCI and SEIP-BWCCI Project Staff at the Conference Room of BWCCI on 22 June 2022. The officials of BWCCI as well as SEIP-BWCCI Project staff and some graduated trainees of SEIP-BWCCI Project participated in the workshop. Ms. Mahbuba Farjana (Joint Secretary), Gender and Social Development Specialist-SEIP, Finance Division, Ministry of Finance, GoB moderated the workshop where total 18 people participated. There was a brief presentation on Gender Action Plan and an open discussion was held after the presentation. All the participants are advised to raise awareness of the concerned stakeholders on gender equality of the project and organization level.
SEIP-BWCCI project had organized a consultation meeting with the graduated trainees of SEIP-BWCCI project at the PIU office on 25 April 2022. Ms. Suraia Jabin, Gender Specialist, Asian Development Bank moderated the session in the presence of Ms. Mahbuba Farjana, Consultant (Joint Secretary), Gender and Social Development Specialist, SEIP, Finance Division, Ministry of Finance, GoB along with SEIP-BWCCI project staffs. 11 graduated trainees of Tranche-1 and 3 from different trades participated in the consultation meeting. The graduated trainees shared their training experiences, challenges during and after training and success of their life after receiving the training under SEIP-BWCCI project.
Bangladesh Women Chamber of Commerce and Industry (BWCCI) and SME Foundation jointly organized a 03 days long “EID FAIR-2022” with the diversified products of Bangladeshi women entrepreneurs at “Ananda Angan, Bangladesh Mohila Samity, New Baily Road- Dhaka” during 21 April to 23 April 2022. The fair was inaugurated by Ms. Selima Ahmad MP, President- BWCCI and Ms. Farzana Khan, General Manager-SME Foundation. Among others, the Vice President, Treasurer and Board Directors of BWCCI and the Deputy General Manager of SME Foundation were present in the inauguration program. It is to be noted that Dr. Md. Mafizur Rahman, Managing Director of SME Foundation also paid a visit to the fair on 23rd April 2022.
There were 32 stalls in the fair with attractive products of women entrepreneurs. There were traditional nakshi katha, saree, salwar kameez, panjabi, baby dress, household items, home décor items, leather & jute products, traditional & handmade ornaments, bamboo made products, herbal products etc. As the fair was organized on the eve of the Holy Eid ul Fitre, the women entrepreneurs participated in the fair with all festival items and they sold huge products in the fair. All the women entrepreneurs enjoyed it a lot and they were very happy with their bumper sales.
The Signing Ceremony of the 1st Amendment to the Contract on Grants for Training between SEIP and BWCCI was held on 27 March 2022 at the Conference Room, Skills for Employment Investment Program (SEIP) 15th Floor, Probashi Kallyan Bhaban, 71-72, Old Elephant Road, Eskaton Garden, Ramna- Dhaka. Ms. Selima Ahmad MP- President BWCCI and Md. Ekhlasur Rahman (Additional Secretary) – Executive Director –SEIP signed the contract from BWCCI and SEIP respectively. Among others, the Sr. Vice President-BWCCI, Treasurer and one Sr. Director- BWCCI, the concerned DEPDs and the AEPDs and Consultants of SEIP, the Chief Coordinator, SEIP-BWCCI Project were present in the event. The EPD-SEIP delivered his welcome speech. He hoped to strengthen the working relation between SEIP and BWCCI in the days to come while President-BWCCI gave her special thanks to the Sr. Secretary, the honorable sitting Minister and the former Minister of the Ministry of Finance for their cordial support to the women entrepreneurs as well as to BWCCI. She also gave thanks to the EPD, concerned DEPD and AEPD and all other officials of SEIP for their cooperation in implementing the SEIP-BWCCI Project. The President-BWCCI expressed her satisfaction saying that after successful completion of the Women Entrepreneurs Skill Development Centre (WESDC) – Gazipur, the most deserving women of the country will get opportunity to take part in the residential skill based training course. The inclusive support of entire SEIP team would be highly acknowledged by the Board of Directors and the entire members of BWCCI she added.
BWCCI has celebrated the IWD 2022 at its secretariat in Dhaka on 8th March 2022. Ms. Selima Ahmad, President, BWCCI joined the program virtually from abroad and wished all the members with her welcome speech. Ms. Sangita Ahmed, Senior Vice President of BWCCI and all the Board of Directors, general members and BWCCI’s staffs joined the program. Ms. Selima Ahmad, President, BWCCI said that collectively we can “Break the Bias” through the economic empowerment of women. President has inspired all the women entrepreneurs to come forward and work strongly for the development of the country. At the same time, BWCCI’s divisional offices celebrated the IWD 2022 in each division with the divisional members.
On the eve of the occasion of International Women’s Day 2022, an MoU has been signed on 7th March 2022 between BWCCI and Standard Chartered Bank. On behalf of Ms. Selima Ahmad, President, BWCCI the MoU has been signed by Ms. Sangita Ahmed, Senior Vice President of BWCCI and Sabbir Ahmed, Head, Consumer, Private and Business Banking, Bangladesh. Among the BWCCI’s Board of Directors Ms. Sabina Alam, Ms. Selina Quader, Ms. Abida Ali, Ms. Lipi Khandkar and Ms. Munmun Rahman were present there along with the Officials of BWCCI. Mr. Shawkat Alam, General Manager Business Banking, Mr. Mishael Abu Imam, Head, Business Banking Products, Mr. Jalaluddin Baybers, Head, Priority Sector Lending, Nusha Tabassum, Product Manager Business Banking and Shafwat Adnan Alam, Product Manager Business Banking joined the ceremony from SCB. The objective of the MoU is to work jointly on the access to finance for women entrepreneurs to empower them economically. SCB will provide loans to BWCCI’s eligible members on the basis of BWCCI’s reference.
An MoU has been signed on 6th March 2022 between BWCCI and LightCastle, Bangladesh. On behalf of Ms. Selima Ahmad, President, BWCCI the MoU has been signed by Ms. Sangita Ahmed, Senior Vice President of BWCCI and Mr. Ivdad A.K Mojlish, Managing Director, LightCastle. Ms. Ridma Khan, Director, BWCCI and other High Officials from both the parties were present there. The term of this MoU is for the duration of 03 months. The objective of the MoU is to conduct needs assessment, develop capacity of women entrepreneurs through training on Facebook program modules and to conduct policy dialogues with the key policy stakeholders on opportunities for digital commerce.
Bangladesh Women Chamber of Commerce and Industry (BWCCI) with the support of the United nations Development Programme (UNDP)- Bangladesh organized the “Kickoff Workshop” of the Capacity Building Training for Anondomela Platform Users in Bangladesh” on 21st November 2021 at the Bangabandhu International Conference Centre (BICC), Agargaon, Sher-e-Banglanagar, Dhaka. The workshop was chaired by Ms. Selima Ahmad MP- President-BWCCI. Mr. M A Mannan MP, Honorable Minister, Ministry of Planning, Government of the People’s Republic of Bangladesh was the Chief Guest and Mr. Zunaid Ahmed Palak, MP, Honorable State Minister, Information Communication Technology Division, Government of the People’s Republic of Bangladesh attended the workshop as the Special Guest. The program was successfully held with the delightful online presence of Mr. Sudipto Mukherjee, Country Representative UNDP-Bangladesh through Zoom Platform. Among other distinguished participants, Dr. Nazneen Ahmed, Country Economist, UNDP, senior officials of UNDP, The Anaondomela Platform Users, the divisional leaders and Board Directors of BWCCI attended the workshop.
Mr. M A Mannan MP- Honorable Planning Minister, in his speech as the Chief Guest said that the Government of Bangladesh has undertaken different affirmative actions for the development of women and women entrepreneurs as well. He commented that the women entrepreneurs are now involved in diversified businesses with many innovative ideas. He stated that in the COVID pandemic situation women entrepreneurs are facing lots of challenges, so he said “This is the time to change and this is the time for online business, jointly we can achieve many things. Capacity building training can help develop the skills of women entrepreneurs”. Finally he inaugurated the workshop saying that Bangladesh will be a dignified country in the world very soon.
Mr. Zunaid Ahmed Palak, Honorable State Minister, Information and Communication Technology Division (ICT) Government of the People’s Republic of Bangladesh as the Special Guest thanking all for inviting him to the occasion said that Bangladesh has made lots of changes in the last 12 years, improvement in digital economy and online business is one of the best examples. Access to Internet has already been expanded up to the remote areas of the country. Union Digital Centre is actively working. 4G network is available everywhere. The people of all sectors are getting the benefit of the website of digitalhat.net especially it has been very successful in the last Kurbani Eid (Eid ul Azha). Now the capacity of the women entrepreneurs need to be developed further. Unique Business Identity should be ensured. The government has taken series of initiatives already like (i) Creation of interoperable digital platform, (ii) Development of Central Complain Management Software, (iii) Central Logistic Tracking Platform and (iv) Paperless Office Management system are under process. He hoped that by January 2022, there will be a significant change in this sector. Women entrepreneurs will get space in Hi Teck Parks to establish business incubation centres. In addition, successful women entrepreneurs can also avail one time grant of Taka 50,000/-. Master trainer pool will be formed to train the startups. He also shared that government has many other projects including “She Power”. The women entrepreneurs can also avail this facilities. He also informed the house that linkages with Paypal, Amazon etc. is under process. Finally he hoped that the country will move forward with the joint initiatives of women entrepreneurs.
Mr. Sudipto Kumar Mukherjee, Country Representative, UNDP Bangladesh in his speech delivered virtually said that Anondomela Platform is formed in the COVID-19 pandemic situation with its own fund. But this is a good start to cover more areas after successful completion of the pilot phase. He said graduation of BWCCI from LDC status to middle income country is under process, so women empowerment is a must for this. He also gave importance on digital equality besides the economic equality.
Dr. Nazneen Ahmed, Country Economist- UNDP said that through the Anandomela platform UNDP wants to set an example. UNDP supports the government initiatives. She hoped that Anondomela platform will be like Joyeeta in online platform. So she requested to include the underprivileged people for sustainable development in this sector.
Ms. Selima Ahmad MP and President- BWCCI as the Chairperson of the workshop said that the Government of Bangladesh is very much women friendly. Thanking UNDP Country Representative, the Chief Guest and the Special Guest as well as the participants she said that BWCCI will continue its efforts for the development of women entrepreneurs where the support of the Government and UNDP is needed. There was a short question and answer session in the workshop where the women entrepreneurs participated. The opening session was moderated by Ms. Selima Ahmad and Ms. Ridma Khan- Director-BWCCI. Around 100 participants including the representative of Bangladesh Bank, concerned organizations, trainer and trainees of the project, UNDP officials, board directors, divisional representatives, members and staff of BWCCI attended the programmes. Finally the workshop was concluded with the vote of thanks from Ms Sabina Alam- Director- BWCCI. It is to be noted that two online and offline trainings were held at the same venue after completion of the Kickoff Workshop.