While patriarchy still has a firm footing in Bangladesh, women have begun to emerge from their traditional homemaker roles and embark into the competitive world to sustain a proper livelihood for themselves and their families. The British Council is always working towards women empowerment and in improving their accessibility to tools that may help them compete on equal grounds with their male counterparts. This January, the Society programme of the British Council recently delivered an extensive week-long residential training for trainers working with women aspiring to set up their own businesses. The participants were trainers from Bangladesh Women Chamber of Commerce and Industry (BWCCI). The training was conducted with an aim to develop the capacity of facilitators on women entrepreneurship and to orient them to learn about the necessary technical expertise to run a business. They have also been coached about ways in which they can deal with emotional intelligence and utilise opportunities and challenges in the calculative world of business. After completion of the training, the trainers will conduct the same exercise with 120 women entrepreneurs in Rangpur, Rajshahi, Khulna, and Sylhet.

The comprehensive training consisted of two modules on women entrepreneurship, which were developed by one of the project technical partners Infolady Social Enterprise Limited (iSocial). The first module focused on dealing with emotional intelligence, identifying diverse and innovative ways of marketing, networking, campaigning, and sales promotion, and ways to manage the human resources. The second module addressed the advance business planning exercises, which emphasised on orientation on business model canvas, identification of the break-even point to determine the price, account management, and understanding the difference between value chain and supply chain. At the end of the practice, the participants were awarded with a certificate.

Jimi Parvin, one of the participators of the training said, “The training was highly innovative. I think the difference between the value chain and supply chain would also help the women entrepreneurs to understand their business properly. I am hopeful that I would be able to deliver this training similarly.”

In alignment with SDG 5 (gender equality) and SDG 8 (promoting economic growth), the British Council works in areas such as social enterprise and women and girls empowerment programmes to create social impact opportunities for young volunteers, professionals and leaders across the country.