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Women SME entrepreneurs brave pandemic

A study says the women-led SMEs have expanded their business through diversified sales channel in last five years

  • Staff Correspondent
  • 14 December, 2021 12:00 AM
  • Print news
Women SME entrepreneurs brave pandemic

Women small and medium entrepreneurs enjoyed 24 percent increase in sales year-on-year braving the pandemic.

A study showed that the women-led SMEs experienced sales worth $4 million through diversified sales channel in last five years.

Development agencies – Asia Foundation and IDE jointly unveiled the study on Monday.

It was the outcome of a project tiled “Women’s Economic Empowerment through Strengthening Market Systems (WEESMS)” funded by Embassy of Sweden.

A knowledge sharing session was also held on the occasion at Hotel Bengal Blueberry in Dhaka.

It was attended by WEESMS team leader Naveed Akbar, Mahenaz Chowdhury of Policy Advocacy and analytics expert Asif Sultan Raju, among others. The report found that the women-led SMEs received private sector investment worth $259,000 to strengthen the country’s rural economy.

At  the event, the discussants shared the impact, outcomes and explained how Bangladesh made significant progress towards expanding access to finance.

WEESMS team leader Naveed Akbar said the SMEs play a central role in economic growth and job creation in Bangladesh and “there are close to one million such ventures in the country.”

“Lack of information, complex registration paperwork, and reliance on male family members to mediate banking interactions undermine woman entrepreneurs' abilities to access growth capital,” he said.

These enterprises contribute an estimated 23 percent share to the country’s GDP and generate approximately 80 percent of all off-farm industrial jobs across the country, according to the official.