Aiming to empower women entrepreneurs of Bangladesh,  under the initiative taken by International Trade Centre (ITC) ‘Commonwealth-SheTrades’ project has been launched at Pan Pacific Sonargaon today, July 19. This 2 year long project is going to be coordinated and implemented by ITC. For empowerment of ICT women entrepreneurs, BASIS will work along ITC.

Nicholas Schlaepfer, Senior Advisor, Women and Trade Programme, ITC, Ms. Jasmine Gourley, Trade Policy Analyst, DFID, Farhana A Rahman, Senior Vice President, BASIS and Shoeb Ahmed Masud, Vice President (Admin) were present in the project launching ceremony.

A dedicated project of ITC’s global SheTrades initiative, the SheTrades in the Commonwealth Bangladesh project 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. Through intensive training and mentoring activities, the goal is to strengthen the capacities of 3,000 women-owned businesses with a view to generate sales worth £28 million ($38m) by 2020.

SheTrades was officially launched in April and funded by United Kingdom’s Department for International Development (DFID). During the opening of the Commonwealth Business Forum (CBF) in London, SheTrades was endorsed UK Prime Minister Theresa May.  

SheTrades in the Commonwealth – Bangladesh will address challenges faced by women entrepreneurs, including access to and control over land, cumber some business and financial institutional processes amongst other entrepreneurial challenges.

‘Women entrepreneurs in Bangladesh will receive tailored support through SheTrades in the Commonwealth enabling them to propel their existing market representation and secure greater access to global trade and most importantly the training for them will be free of cost ,’ said Nicholas Schlaepfer, Senior Programme Officer at ITC’s Women and Trade Programme.

Ms. Jasmine Gourley, Trade Policy Analyst, DFID, said- We basically are working with different associations to train them so that they can help even more women, even after the programme finishes and this another goal of us.

BASIS Senior Vice President Farhana A Rahman said- BASIS has been working with ITC for a long time. BASIS feels privileged and happy to work with ITC in a big project like SheTrades. In Bangladesh ICT sector women’s participation is increasing day by day. Under the initiative of SheTrades, BASIS will work on empowering women of Bangladesh. Apart from BASIS, women from any other associations can certainly take part in this project. 

The SheTrades in the Commonwealth project will provide governments with better tools and information to implement gender-responsive policies and share best practices. Over a two-year period, ITC will initially work to enhance the competitiveness of women entrepreneurs in the agriculture, apparel and services sectors in four Commonwealth focus countries: Bangladesh, Ghana, Kenya andNigeria.

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