GET IN TOUCH

Empowering Women Entrepreneurs in the Digital Space: #SheMeansBusiness Offline Workshops

Profile
LightCastle Analytics Wing
June 1, 2023
Empowering Women Entrepreneurs in the Digital Space: #SheMeansBusiness Offline Workshops

Small and Medium-sized Businesses (SMBs) play a crucial role in Bangladesh’s economy, contributing 25% to its GDP and providing direct employment for 7.8 million people. In recent years, digital platforms have revolutionized trade, enabling SMBs to actively participate in the market. However, the adoption of digital platforms in semi-urban and rural areas has been hindered by a lack of digital literacy. Recognizing this digital divide, Meta and LightCastle Partners, in collaboration with Aspire to Innovate (a2i) program and Bangladesh Women Chamber of Commerce and Industry (BWCCI), expanded the SheMeansBusiness program to Bangladesh in 2022.

Holistic Support for Women Entrepreneurs

Led by LightCastle Partners and its consortium partners, the SheMeansBusiness program offers a comprehensive support system to empower women entrepreneurs in launching and expanding their ventures.

The program imparts valuable knowledge, fosters meaningful connections, and leverages technology to help participants overcome barriers and achieve sustainable growth. With a global presence in 38 countries, the campaign has already trained over a million women worldwide.

Enabling Policy Environment

Beyond equipping women entrepreneurs with digital skills, the program aims to foster an enabling policy environment for digital commerce in collaboration with public and private sector stakeholders. This multi-faceted approach ensures that women-led businesses not only receive individual support but also benefit from a supportive ecosystem that encourages their growth and success.

Three Phases of Empowerment

The SheMeansBusiness program in Bangladesh, carefully designed by LightCastle Partners, consists of three distinct phases: physical workshops, online training sessions, and on-demand instructional videos. This comprehensive approach equips female entrepreneurs with the necessary knowledge, networks, and digital tools to thrive in the evolving digital space.

Impactful Training Sessions

During the initial phase of the expansion, LightCastle Partners conducted 24 physical training sessions, benefiting over 1,100 female entrepreneurs across 7 divisions in Bangladesh. Participants from diverse industries, including fashion, retail, hospitality, handicrafts, and education, showcased the demand for digital literacy across SMB sectors.

The day-long training sessions focused on the effective utilization of digital tools and platforms such as Facebook, Instagram, Whatsapp, and Meta Business Suite. The courseware was localized in Bengali to facilitate effective knowledge transfer. Certified trainers from LightCastle and BWCCI, part of Meta’s global pool of trainers, conducted the sessions, ensuring high-quality training delivery.

Empowering Results

The impact of the training sessions has been highly beneficial for the participants. Over 89% of attendees reported feeling significantly more confident using Meta’s tools after the training. Many entrepreneurs experienced a notable increase in audience and customer engagement, leading to sales growth ranging from 10% to 50% post-training.

Testimonials from participants highlight the program’s success. Afsana Akhter, Founder of Gutipoka, expressed her gratitude for the program, as it not only improved her business’s sales but also attracted a genuine fanbase that appreciates the artistic value of her products. Lopa Mirza, Owner of Testy Spoon, credited the program for enhancing the quality of her content and expanding her reach, resulting in orders from all over Bangladesh.

Future Outlook

In the first year of the expansion, the SheMeansBusiness program aims to positively impact over 10,000 female entrepreneurs in Bangladesh, empowering them to enhance their resilience and achieve their full potential through business growth.

Conclusion

The SheMeansBusiness program has made a significant impact in empowering women entrepreneurs in Bangladesh. By addressing the digital divide and providing holistic support, the program has equipped female entrepreneurs with the necessary skills and tools to thrive in the digital era.

With the collaboration of Meta, LightCastle Partners, a2i, and BWCCI, women-led businesses are not only receiving individual support but also benefiting from an enabling policy environment. The program’s success serves as a model for empowering women in entrepreneurship and driving digital transformation in emerging economies.


Profile
WRITTEN BY: LightCastle Analytics Wing

At LightCastle, we take a data-driven approach to create opportunities for growth and impact. We consult and collaborate with development partners, the public sector, and private organizations to promote inclusive economic growth that positively changes the lives of people at scale. Being a data-driven and transparent organization, we believe in democratizing knowledge and information among the stakeholders of the economy to drive inclusive growth.

For further clarifications, contact here: [email protected]

Want to collaborate with us?

Our experts can help you solve your unique challenges

Join Our Newsletter

Stay up-to-date with our Thought Leadership and Insights