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BSS
  09 Apr 2022, 14:04

E-commerce emerges as blessings for rural women

DHAKA, April 9, 2022 (BSS) - Ummay Salma, an young lady of Kholodanga village under Arabpur Union of Jashore district, has become a successful women entrepreneur by taking facilities of ‘Digital Bangladesh’, thanks to the Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina for ensuring internet services across the country.

Ummay Salma is also helping around 50 women of her village by giving those opportunities to work from home.

“I am working with very unique product like wedding hoop art. Earlier, it was my hobby. Due to the huge responses from my well-wishers, I have become an entrepreneur. Now, I am felling proud as around 50 women of my village are working with me from their home,” said Salma, owner of the Salma’s Embroidery.

Despite having no showroom, Salma is running her business smoothly through using e-commerce platform.  

“I started my business in 2014. At first I used only facebook for running my business. Now, I am using e-commerce platform ‘Anondomela’ which is helping me to expand my business,” she mentioned.

‘Anondomela’, an online marketplace of the United Nations Development Programme (UNDP) for entrepreneurs, has created linkages between entrepreneurs and marketplace that helps the country's small entrepreneurs being self-reliant by offering fair prices and various selling options.

Salma informed that she took part at the Dhaka International Trade Fair (DITF)-2022 through the ‘Anondomela’ platform.

She said easy access to information and communication technology (ICT) immensely helped people across the country in overcoming the hardships during Covid-19 pandemic.

Talking to BSS, Additional Secretary of the Commerce Ministry and Head of the E-Commerce Cell AHM Shafiquzzaman said during the miserable days of lockdown and virus panic, normal life and even emergency services were hampered in almost everywhere in the world and Bangladesh was not an exception.

But, the people here enjoyed the blessing of ICT to make life easier, he added.

He said Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina's flagship digital Bangladesh campaign opened the door of opportunity in front of the rural women entrepreneurs as now they can sell their products in fair price easily without exposing to the virus by staying at home.

He said the government is working to run e-commerce sector in a more disciplined way shrugging off recent anomalies by some companies.

 "The e-commerce sector gained a fast expansion in the country during the COVID-19 pandemic period beyond our expectations. We are working to operate the sector in a more disciplined way," he added.

He said the government is providing training to the entrepreneurs, specially the women entrepreneurs to run their business through e-commerce platform smoothly.

He informed that UNDP, through its ‘Anondomela’ and SWAPNO projects, is providing capacity building training.

UNDP Bangladesh National Consultant (Anondomela Initiative) Sarah Jita said the Covid-19 pandemic has affected all spheres of life and business but one of the hardest hits is the already vulnerable SME sector due to dependence on a short cash cycle, supply chain disruption, and loss of sales.

For this, she said, UNDP had launched ‘Anondomela’, an online business platform in April 2020, for responding to the COVID-19 crises. During the lockdown period, ‘Anondomela’ provided the opportunity to many entrepreneurs to continue their business activities and survive, she added.

She said the online platform also tried to improve capacity of the members through different trainings.

Targeting different festivals like the Pahela Baishakh, Eids, Puja, Christmas etc., she mentioned that ‘Anondomela’ strategized expediting sale of their products.

Though the platform both the male and female entrepreneurs, a significant number of women entrepreneurs (around 80 percent) are doing their online business.

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