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Empowering women through SMEs

  • Published at 12:04 am November 4th, 2019
Web-SME-loan
Photo: COURTESY

We need to reconnect with our roots and recognize SMEs as an integral part of the economy

One of the more immediate ways for the Bangladesh economy to grow even faster is for our nation’s small and medium enterprises to be given more priority than they enjoy currently.

Considered to be one of the cornerstones of our economy, it is unfortunate that SMEs, in our nation’s long march towards industrialization, fell by the wayside.

To that end, it is heartening to see the importance of SMEs being discussed more and more around the country. Case in point: Standard Chartered Bank and the Small and Medium Enterprises Foundation’s recent five-day training program for women entrepreneurs on SME business management.

This is an excellent initiative.

As a nation that is increasingly seeing more women be introduced into the mainstream economy -- as evidenced by their majority participation in our RMG sector -- it only makes sense for the next step in women’s economic emancipation to be SME-centric.

Of course, there are other benefits in propping up our SMEs.

A robust SME arena would no doubt help Bangladesh continue to make strides in the World Bank’s Ease of Doing Business Index, something which has hindered Bangladesh from being a particularly attractive destination for foreign investors.

As our economy continues to make further strides, we need to reconnect with our roots and recognize SMEs as an integral part of any healthy economy. To that end, it is high time that we started focusing on them.

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