Story: Bringing women-led businesses in Bangladesh online
The informal sector in Bangladesh accounts for 85.1% of employment, and 91.8% of employment of female workers.
These findings from a recent survey into the impact of the Covid-19 pandemic on women-owned businesses (WOBs) in Bangladesh reveal the urgent need for enhancing digital literacy across the country.
Most Bangladeshis, particularly women, have been vulnerable to restrictions on businesses and places of work, pushing them into economic crisis. Moreover, women are disproportionately represented in sectors severely hit by the pandemic, highlighting the need to not only increase the number of opportunities online, but also to make them more accessible to women.
Recognising these challenges, the International Trade Centre’s SheTrades initiative partnered with Visa to launch a Digital Literacy Coaching programme for women-owned businesses in Bangladesh, with a special focus on the textile and apparel, information technology (IT) and business process outsourcing (BPO) industries. The coaching will better equip women-owned businesses with digital skills and expertise to respond to market disruptions and external shocks, such as the Covid-19 pandemic.
The programme comprises of three virtual training workshops followed by one-to-one coaching sessions offered to the group of WOBs. It began in March 2021 and will run for 12 weeks. Upon completion, each business will have the opportunity to define and develop their own digital strategy, with the support of subject matter experts, trainers and coaches.
The webinars will cover topics including online presence optimization (digital marketing), e-commerce and key considerations when conducting business online.
WOBs will acquire skills to expand their business offerings online by improving their sales channels and connecting to global markets through e-commerce. The SheTrades and Visa digital literacy coaching programme aims to leverage the learning tools and resources offered on SheTrades.com as well as Visa’s valuable expertise in digital technologies and online payment solutions to close the gap and help women owned businesses to thrive. The collaboration between Visa and SheTrades will use this as a pilot to be replicated in different countries.
For queries regarding SheTrades or the coaching programme, please email: womenandtrade [at] intracen.org .
For more information, please visit SheTrades.com: https://www.shetrades.com/en