Action plans stressed to boost number of women in SME

22 Oct 2019 11:04 AM
Image collected : File photo of a woman entrepreneur exhibiting her products during the SME Fair 2019 held at Bangabandhu International Convention Centre in the capital Courtesy
The survey styled ‘Women Entrepreneurs in SMEs: Bangladesh Perspective 2017’ highlighted almost every aspect of women’s participation in business and growth

Short, medium and long-term action plans are needed to boost the number of woman entrepreneurs in small and medium enterprises and to make their success in different sectors sustainable. 

The suggestions came in a survey on women entrepreneurs, published by The Small and Medium Enterprise Foundation in association with Bangladesh Institute of Development Studies(BIDS) last week. 

The survey styled ‘Women Entrepreneurs in SMEs: Bangladesh Perspective 2017’ highlighted almost every aspect of women’s participation in business and growth.

In short-term action plan, spanning two years, the survey report underscores a change in attitude of bankers towards women entrepreneurs.

“Behaviour of some bank officers dealing with SME loan towards women is often very discouraging. Those officers should be given proper instructions and trainings (if necessary) to treat prospective women entrepreneurs properly,” reads the action plan.

Furthermore, it suggests that both the public and private sectors should invest in child care facilities to increase women’s participation in labour force as entrepreneurs.

In addition, the short-term action plan recommends improving transportation system to make commuting affordable, accessible and secure for women, more job trainings by the employers, and ensuring women-friendly working environment.

In medium-term plan, the survey emphasizes quality training facilities for the new entrants to job markets.

“There are about 2 million new entrants to the labour market every year, but only 4% have some type of technical and vocational training. The current skills training systems are insufficient and deliver poor quality of services, which do not meet the current requirements of the industry,” reads the action plan. 

It suggests the government increase the quality training facilities through national training institutes. 

Furthermore it suggests developing training modules according to the market demands and rethinking skills trainings of the labour force so that the facilities can meet the growing demand for skilled workers. 

It also recommends increasing the women access to technology-oriented jobs through public-private partnerships approach, more capacity building training programs and developing women-friendly market places. 

In long-term plan, the survey stresses the need for technical education as well as general education for creating sustainable job opportunities and entrepreneurship among women. 

It also suggests that the government should facilitate more policies in gender issues, accommodations safety issues, transport and trade policies; proper implementation of National Women’s Development Policy 2011 and increase the opportunities for establishing a career path and mobility within and into the markets. 

In addition, the action plan recommends creating more remunerating and secure employment for new entrants in the job market and provide training for both male and female children on household activities from the school level so that they learn the necessity of participation to share household activities in future.