A directory of 14 Business Support Organisations (BSO) has been launched with a view to fostering women entrepreneurship in the country.
The directory is expected to help women entrepreneurs get better access to services provided by trade bodies like Bangladesh Federation of Women Entrepreneurs (BFWE) and Dhaka Chamber of Commerce & Industry (DCCI).
The International Trade Centre (ITC), with the support of Small and Medium Enterprise Foundation (SMEF), launched the directory through a virtual platform on Monday, said a statement.
KM Ali Azam, secretary of the Industries Ministry, joined the virtual event as the chief guest. SME Foundation Managing Director (MD) Safiqul Islam and SheTrades Commonwealth Programme Manager Simon Balfe attended the event.
KM Ali Azam said it is not possible to ensure development in the country without the participation of women in economic activities.
Keeping this in view, the government is working to establish a business-friendly ecosystem for women, he said.
"I hope the directory will be helpful for women entrepreneurs to revive the country's economy in the post-corona period," he said.
SMEF MD Safiqul Islam said the publication of BSO Directory under the SheTrades Commonwealth project is a welcome initiative.
The trade bodies featuring in the BSO directory include Bangladesh Association of Call Center & Outsourcing (BACCO), Bangladesh Association of Software & IT Services (BASIS), Bangladesh Women in Technology (BWIT), Women Entrepreneurs Association Bangladesh (WEA), Bangladesh Handicraft Manufacturers & Exporters Association (Banglacraft), and Ecota Fair Trade Forum.
The roll-out of the directory is a key part of the SheTrades Commonwealth project, which is funded by the UK Department for International Development (DFID).
Since the launch of the SheTrades Commonwealth project in 2018, ITC has delivered numerous online trainings, workshops, and coaching to Bangladeshi BSOs and their staff to promote more inclusive service portfolios for women-owned businesses.
The online version of the directory is now available in the publication section of the SMEF web portal-https://smef.portal.gov.bd/site/files/14aca332-deb5-4467-87ff-ca3678d5f7c9.