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!!!!!