Archive for the ‘Asia’ Category.
SAARC Chamber Women Entrepreneurs Council (SCWEC) and Zonta Club Kathmandu Nepal jointly organized a talk program on the topic “Effective Advocacy: How to Advance a Reform Agenda to Encourage Entrepreneurship” on of April 26th 2013. The keynote speaker was Ms. Karen Kerrigan, President and CEO of Small Business Entrepreneurship Council (SBE Council), USA
Ms. Pramila Acharya Rijal, Chairperson of SCWEC and Founder President of Zonta Club of Kathmandu Nepal welcomed all the participants and gave a brief introduction of the SAARC Chamber Women Entrepreneurs Council and Zonta Club of Kathmandu Nepal which focuses on the advancement of women on the national and regional level.
Ms. Karen Kerrigan, who is also Chair of the Center for International Private Enterprise (CIPE), shared SBE Council’s mission which is “Protect small business, Promote Entrepreneurship”. Entrepreneurs are job creators. Currently 200 million are unemployed where 75 million are 25 years and under. In the next 15 years, 600 million new jobs will be needed worldwide.
Ms. Kerrigan also shared some of the recommendations on world entrepreneurship forum such as:
- Reform Regulations
- Promote Proper Governance
- Create early education and young adult entrepreneurial curricula
- Promote lifelong entrepreneurial education
- Empower entrepreneurial women, Minorities
- Understand entrepreneurship
- Create new “ Entrepreneurial Friendly” Institutions
- Foster Positive Entrepreneurial Attitudes
Continue reading ‘Advancing Entrepreneurship in Nepal’ »
On Tuesday, May 28th, the Bangladesh Women’s Chamber of Commerce and Industry (BWCCI) signed an agreement with the United Nations Population Fund (UNFPA) to carry out a 3 year program that aims to empower women in Bangladesh. The project is titled, “Economic opportunities and sexual and reproductive health and rights- a pathway to empowering girls and women in Bangladesh” and has a budget of $527,888.
According to UNFPA Bangladesh representative, Arthur Erken, identifying and and addressing power imbalances is a critical aspect of promoting gender equality. One major imbalance in Bangladesh is a limited role for women in their families when it comes to reproductive decision-making. By increasing access to and utilization of information and services related to reproductive health, the project seeks to give women more autonomy to manage their own lives.
The 3-year project will also channel this increased autonomy towards economic empowerment by improving the entrepreneurial and technical knowledge and skills of women, which will allow them to start their own business enterprises. When paired with increased control and knowledge of reproductive health, this initiative will tackle challenges of technical know-how and long-term sustainability with regards to women operated businesses.
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“The sessions in Dhaka and Kathmandu helped develop structure and set direction and proper governance guidance to our business associations, which usually tend to be run according to individual chairperson’s goals. Setting vision and mission based on a membership needs assessment is such a simple idea that we learned…so basic but yet hardly used as we tend to overlook membership requirements in our day to day chamber activities and operations” – Rezani Aziz, Sri Lanka
Despite severe challenges, Women Business Associations are playing effective roles in promoting interests of their members. However, CIPE has observed that most women business associations in South Asia are struggling to perform optimally.
CIPE took this challenge and an opportunity to work with a selected group of eleven business associations in the South Asia region aiming at strengthening institutional capacity to become stronger advocates for their members. In the first phase of this project, CIPE organized a two-day session for the group in Dhaka in January 2013. Continue reading ‘CIPE Hosts Sessions for Women Associations in Kathmandu’ »
Pakistan – The Uks Research Centre partnered with the All Pakistan Newspapers Society (APNS) to host the “Women in Media Awards” in Karachi. The ceremony recognized four first-place awardees and three runners-up in the areas of print, television, radio, and online. The awards celebrate women journalists from across Pakistan whose work has generated better awareness and understanding of gender equality and women’s role in the society. The ceremony attracted more than 50 attendees, and CIPE Pakistan Deputy Country Director Hammad Siddiqui presented on the importance of training journalists to support the democratic process. Uks also used the occasion of International Women’s Day to launch its new guidebook, Powerful Women – Powerful Nation, which will serve as a training tool and guide for journalists to conduct gender-sensitive reporting. Read more about the winners on the CIPE Development Blog: www.cipe.org/blog/2013/03/13/powerful-women-powerful-nation-changing-the-way-women-are-portrayed-in-pakistan/.
“Studies show that investing in women is a high yield investment as gender equality in access to education, healthcare, political participation, and economic participation is key to a country’s competitiveness and prosperity. It is a fact that women-run small and medium-sized enterprises (SME’s) drive economic growth and create jobs. This is true in my country and it is true around the world.” – Melanne S Verveer and Assistant Secretary for South and Central Asia.
According to the World Bank, South Asia has the largest number of economically deprived and undernourished people in the world. Despite this it also has the world’s largest working age population and 25% of world’s middle-class consumers. If stabilized, the benefits of economic growth in the region would not only help alleviate policy, but would also extend to developed countries by supplying quality goods and services. On top of everything, peace in this region will also be ensured.
One of the ways to improve the economic conditions of South Asian countries is engaging women in economic development through entrepreneurial activities. To help support women interested in entrepreneurship, the U.S. State Department organized a two-day South Asia Women’s Entrepreneurship Symposium in Dhaka on 9-10 December. One hundred and twenty women entrepreneurs from eleven countries in the region, including Central Asia, participated in the event, which focused on creating cross-border linkages between women entrepreneurs and leaders in South Asia. During the symposium, participants in breakout sessions discussed the challenges and opportunities for women entrepreneurs in technology, governance, trade, and entrepreneurship. Continue reading ‘South Asian Women Entrepreneurs Come Together in Bangladesh’ »
Women Entrepreneur Association of Bangladesh (WEAB) president, Nasreen Fatema Awal, was recently recognized by the Industries Minister as a vital player in driving Bangladesh’s economy. The award, known as CIP status, is granted to recognize contributions to job creation and economic growth. Ms. Awal’s CIP card grants her certain privileges such as travel priority, access to functions with municipal corporations, and membership in policymaking committees. While these privileges provide many benefits to WEAB’s ability to foster enterprise, the recognition alone is a wonderful accomplishment.
As an example of the work that the organization has completed to earn such recognition from the government, WEAB recently announced that it will open a marketing outlet for female entrepreneurs. Working with the SAARC Chamber Women Entrepreneurs Council (SCWEC) WEAB arranged an to open the facility in Dhaka, Bangladesh. WEAB, sees the outlet as a platform for women entrepreneurs to better market their products and grant them access to markets that have so far been blocked. In addition, WEAB will use the facility as a training center to further develop members’ innovative skills. Ms. Awal was quoted as saying, “Small and Medium entrepreneurs are constantly striving to move forward. But they do not know where to market their products…and how to improve quality.” The new marketing outlet will be a good opportunity to help women entrepreneurs in Bangladesh accomplish both.
Thanks to Kharuba Khatun (WEAB) for sharing this information.
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Selima Ahmad (right)
The Bangladesh Women’s Chamber of Commerce and Industry hosted a roundtable with Finance Minister AMA Muhith entitled “National Budget 2012-13 and Women Entrepreneurs.” Attended by members of parliament, NGO representatives, women activists, academicians, and the media, the event explored the possibilities for creating an environment in which women entrepreneurs could flourish.
Acting on a statement that “the government emphasizes women development in the greater inerest of the country,” Finance Minister Muhith pledged to allocate Tk 1 billion ($12 million) as a special fund to promote the development of women entrepreneurs. Muhith agreed to BWCCI’s request to release funds on the condition that the chamber develop a comprehensive plan on how the money will be used. He noted that in the past, special funds for other sectors have been set aside but were misused because of weak implementation plans.
Continue reading ‘Budgeting for Women in Bangladesh’ »
SAARC Chamber Women Entrepreneurs Council which was established in the year 2001 in Sri Lanka, has been organizing events in Kathmandu, Nepal on the occasion of International Women’s Day with the objective of developing and promoting women entrepreneurs in the South Asian region.
On the occasion of 102nd International Women’s Month, SCWEC organized an event, “Women Chefs Taking Taste beyond Borders,” on 30th March, 2012 in Kathmandu, Nepal. The woman chefs were from Bangladesh, Bhutan, India, Maldives, Pakistan, Sri Lanka, and Nepal. It provided a platform to women chefs from South Asia to share their challenges and achievements of their career. It was an inspirational event for women looking forward to develop their career in the culinary industry.
Continue reading ‘Women Chefs Taking Taste Beyond Borders’ »
The SAARC Chamber Women Entrepreneurs Council was established in the year 2001 in Sri Lanka, with the objective of developing and promoting women entrepreneurs in the South Asian region. The Council works towards facilitating co-operation and networking among the women of the SAARC region for the socio economic empowerment. The SCWEC Chair rotates country wise and at present Nepal has got the opportunity to head the Council.
Realizing the importance of a consolidated effort for synergy and effective advocacy through networking, SAARC Chamber Women Entrepreneurs Council (SCWEC) has been organizing an event in Kathmandu, Nepal on the occasion International Women’s Day since the year 2009. The event focuses on women’s strength and ingenuity from the South Asian region.
This year SCWEC is organizing a “Women Master Chef Event,” which has been scheduled to be held on 29th March, 2012 in Kathmandu, Nepal. Continue reading ‘International Women’s Day in Nepal’ »
Volume 6 of the GROW newsletter features an overview of women’s entrepreneurship in Asian developing countries by the Federation of Indian Chambers of Commerce and Industry, which profiles women’s business organizations in the region and makes recommendations for the promotion of women’s entrepreneurship. The issue also includes a description of women entrepreneurs in Pakistan by Arjumand A. Qazi, highlights from the CACCI Women Entrepreneurs Council session at the 2011 CACCI Conference in Istanbul, and more.
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