Friday, June 14, 2024


Dhaka Tribune

Women taking care of business

It only makes sense for the next step in women’s economic inclusion in Bangladesh to centre the SME

Update : 20 Mar 2023, 02:46 PM

While large scale industries such as RMG are indeed the primary drivers of our economy, perhaps no other sector encapsulates Bangladesh as its small and medium sized enterprises (SMEs).

They are the underdogs of our economy, and a base upon which millions of Bangladeshis have built their livelihoods and futures.

However, as it is the unfortunate default in our country, SMEs are not given the due attention from the government that they deserve, and it is worse still for such businesses that are run by women.

This needs to change.

While the private sector and non-profit organizations have picked up the government's slack on this particular front for some time now, recently announced initiatives -- such as the partnership between the Small and Medium Enterprise Foundation in partnership with the International Trade Centre -- signal hope.

As a nation that is witnessing increasing numbers of 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 inclusion in Bangladesh to centre the SME.

For far too many of us, the term “CEO” still conjures up the image of a man in a business suit in a position of authority as these ways of thinking have become entrenched in our culture. But times have changed, and Bangladesh, as a country, has now fully accepted the benefits that having half the country's population be included in the mainstream economy can result in.

SMEs are an integral part of what makes our economy tick, and women will have an increasingly important role to play within that framework.



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