Tuesday, November 15, 2011

BWCCI joins with Every Woman Every Child global effort

Bangladesh Women Chamber of Commerce and Industry (BWCCI) has made commitment to raise awareness about cervical cancer by disseminating information about cervical cancer and its prevention to 30,000 Bangladeshi women, said a release Tuesday.

The Chamber will also take initiatives to motivate 20,000 young mothers to be inoculated to prevent cervical cancer and 30,000 women to do paps smears test annually.

BWCCI president Selima Ahmad made the commitment at the United Nations Every Woman Every Child private sector dinner meeting with the UN Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon which was held at a city hotel.

The theme of the meeting was 'Women's and Children's Health in Bangladesh: Challenges, Solutions and Innovations'.

The Chamber will conduct the campaign by disseminating the information through leaflets, letters, counseling, hotline centres, training programmes, meetings and roundtable discussions by 2016.

Ms. Ahmad expressed her solidarity with the unprecedented global efforts of Every Woman Every Child on behalf of BWCCI.

Wednesday, July 20, 2011

Curbing corruption for women entrepreneurship development

Information is like a weapon to fight against corruption. One of the basic rights of all individuals is access to information. For a business person, trade information is a vital element for the development of entrepreneurship as well as to avoid corruption if some one faces any problem of corruption. So proves the case of Ms. Sharmin Hasan Bony.

Bony, a women entrepreneur of Khulna, runs a Boutique business named “Sawpno Choan Boutique”. Since her childhood she has been sincere and artistic. Using her creative skills she started her own business but when she wanted to expand and regularize it she came across some problems. As a member of BWCCI, she participated in various awareness building trainings and gained many important business related information. With the help of her newly gained knowledge and skills, Bony was able to face the problems in her way to success.  Among them one is mention worthy how she tackled a corruption related problem.

On 6 March, 2011 she went to the local City Corporation Office to process her trade license but she was asked for extra charge. She knew the fee for issuing a trade license is much less of what the officer was telling her. So asked for additional charge, she reacted upon this saying it is not legal to ask or give extra money to get it. The officer did not pay heed to her and denied any assistance. The same day she went to BWCCI’s Anti Corruption Hotline Centre to check the information about Trade license which she learnt from participating in Anti corruption training. The next day, she went to the City Corporation Office again and being asked for extra money for trade license again, she showed her BWCCI Membership ID to the concerned officer. She then showed him the Citizen Charter where amount for trade license was mentioned to be Taka 260/=. So she gave him the exact fee instead of the officer’s extra demand of taka 560/= and  finally she got her trade license without taking part in corruption.                                                                                                                                                                

Monday, July 4, 2011

Smriti’s small step in fighting corruption

BWCCI has always been vocal against corruption in business and has undertaken many activities to increase awareness among women entrepreneurs so that they engage themselves into action of reducing corruption and run their business in proper ways. One of such activities are capacity building training on avoiding corruption. These trainings have provided women entrepreneurs with the skills and information necessary to avoid corruption in business places.  Today we will share a story with you where an entrepreneur takes a small step in fighting corruption using her knowledge and confidence gained from BWCCI training.

Smriti working in her shop

When Ms. Smriti Parvin started her shop ‘Projapati Boutique and Tailors’ at Rajshahi, she was aware of the reality that many obstacles would come in her way. She realized the grim fact more closely when in every step she took to survive her business, she was facing corruption problems. Then in 2010 she took part in an awareness building training on anticorruption organized by BWCCI in cooperation with USAID-PROGATI. The training highlighted  on the core business related areas which are mainly corrupted and provided information to participants on how to equip themselves against those.

So during last January, 2011, when she went to the City corporation office in her district for trade license she came across a man who issues trade license. He informed her that she would have to pay 400 taka for issuing a trade license. Smriti remembered the learning from her training that trade license is one of the major problem areas where women entrepreneurs falls victims to corruption. “I was feeling some wrongdoing in his approach and refused giving him the money. I was committed not to falling victims to corruption again and decided to gather more information.”

Being suspicious of the man’s attitude, she demanded to see his supervisor. After much effort, she managed to meet with the supervisor and learnt about the actual amount to issue a trade license which is 200 taka only. She then informed him about the man in his office who asked her for extra money. The supervisor instantly took action against the man and finally, on 28 January 2011 Smriti was able to get a trade license legally.

Actually, sometimes all we need is to take a small step and raise our voices to make things proper!! Isn't that true!!!!!

Wednesday, June 1, 2011

BWCCI’s outstanding venture to commemorate 100 years of Int’l women’s day

Over the last ten years, we have evolved as a vibrant platform for women in business and industries. Instilling women entrepreneurship development led ethos all over the business community, Bangladesh women chamber of commerce and industry is going strong in providing support to its members to help them grow in business. As a continuation of its journey towards ‘progressive women, prosperous Bangladesh’, this year BWCCI has honored women entrepreneurs for their contribution in the field of business. The award was launched this year to commemorate 100 years of International Women’s Day. It was aimed to recognize the women entrepreneurs of BWCCI who have achieved significant success in the business arena and six successful women entrepreneurs from six divisions have received this prestigious award. 

This year's winners are- Bilkis Ahmed from Barisal, Dilara Amzad from Rajsahi, Gazi Laily Akhter Shapna from Sylhet, Yeasmin Morshed Chowdhury from Chittagong, Shayla Sultan from Dhaka and Lutfun Haque Pia from Khulna. Recognizing the important role that the media has played in its journey, BWCCI also awarded two representatives from print and electronic media who have made noteworthy contributions to the development of women entrepreneurs in Bangladesh. They are- Sanaul Haq, special correspondent of ATN Bangla News in electronic media category and Munima Sultana, senior reporter of the Financial Express in print media category.
                                           Award Winners with Commerce Minister and BWCCI President

The award ceremony was held on May 24, 2011 at the Multipurpose Hall of the Institution of Diploma Engineers, Dhaka with Mr. Muhammad Faruk Khan, MP, Honorable Minister, Ministry of Commerce of the Government of People’s Republic of Bangladesh as the Chief Guest. The inaugural award ceremony took place with around 300 women entrepreneurs, diplomats, bank personnel, media representatives, and members of civil society from across the country in attendance.

We hope to continue this initiative each year as a flagship program. As Abraham Lincoln said “That some achieve great success, is proof to all that others can achieve it as well”, we believe that more and more women entrepreneurs will be encouraged through this endeavor to flourish their businesses and contribute to the country’s development.

Progressive business women, transformers of future Bangladesh

Bangladesh is a land of smiles and opportunities where women are almost half of the total population. Everyday, more and more women are coming out of their conservative periphery and making bold steps in the business arena. These women entrepreneurs are energetic, innovative, willing to learn, hard working, and have the ability to take risks. Just a little handholding takes them a long way and enables them to graduate from micro to sustainable small and medium size entrepreneurs. And this is where Bangladesh Women Chamber of Commerce and Industry (BWCCI) come in. Recognizing the potential of women entrepreneurs and their need to be fulfilled to play a more effective role in private sector development of the country, Bangladesh Women Chamber of Commerce and Industry (BWCCI) was formed in 2001. Its aim is to encourage and strengthen women’s participation in the private sector as entrepreneurs through promoting a women friendly business environment. This organization acts as a nucleus to assist, activate, inform, organize and assimilate Bangladesh’s women entrepreneurs.
WNBA Launching ceremony
Starting with only 24 women entrepreneurs, BWCCI has come a long way and still working effectively with more than 2500 members for the advancement of the courageous women entrepreneurs of our country. The members of BWCCI are individual entrepreneurs of micro, small and medium enterprises from the entire range of socio-economic spectrum. The rapid increases in its membership from diversified sectors every year and expansion of its working areas and services across the country may be mentioned here as one of the indicators of its successful and dynamic journey towards its enlightened vision. BWCCI has endorsed Women’s National Business Agenda (WNBA) in Bangladesh which is the first ever national document for women entrepreneurship development.

The day has gone when Bangladeshi women were only recognized for being just a daughter or wife or a mother. Now, they are making their identities as business women, contributors to the national economy. So for all the women entrepreneurs out there, this is what BWCCI wants to say-“Let us carry ourselves with the honor and dignity of a proud woman, knowing that we are part of a great group. Let us walk, talk, today and everyday - let the whole world see us shine”.