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Grassroots women entrepreneurs awarded for excellence

w phoThree grassroots female entrepreneurs have been awarded in recognition of their outstanding contribution to women empowerment in the country through their entrepreneurship.

Association of Grassroots Women Entrepreneurs Bangladesh (AGWEB), a non-profit organisation, yesterday handed over the award styled “Grassroots Women Entrepreneurs Award-2013” among the recipients, for the first time of its kind, at the Institute of Diploma Engineers in the capital.

The theme of award giving ceremony was “Empowering Grassroots Women through Entrepreneurship” which was sponsored by IFIC bank. Speaker of Bangladesh Parliament Shirin Sharmin Chaudhury handed over the awards as chief guest.

State minister for the ministry of women and children affairs Meher Afroze Chumki, governor of Bangladesh Bank Atiur Rahman and Managing Director of IFIC bank Shah A Sarwar attended the programme as special guests with AGWEB President Mousumi Islam in the chair.

Of the three recipients, one was awarded as champion while two others were as runner-ups. All the winners received a crest along with a certificate. Besides, champion got Tk3 lakh while first runner up got Tk2 lakh and the second runner up got Tk1 lakh.

The championship award went to Mokseda Begum, an owner of a handicraft shop at Gobindonagar of Thakurgaon. She started her business with a very small capital in the year 2001 but now around 300 contract-basis workers are working in her organisation. She was earlier, awarded by the Ministry of Youth and Sports in 2011 for her creative works.

Kohinur Akhter from Jessore, won the first runner up for her struggled journey in her 14 years of business career. She started her business with only Tk50,000, which now stood at Tk5 lakh and around 300 contract-basis workers are working in her institution named “Kohinur Handicrafts”.

Shahanaz Begum Rosy from Dinajpur, won the second runner up award for her entrepreneurship in SME business. She is the proprietor of Glamour Fashion House and Rose Beauty Parlor. A total of 12 regular employees and 20 contract-bases workers are now working in her institutions.

Receiving the championship award, Mokseda Begum said, “I had to face difficulties in getting capital to start my small business. As no banks helped me to get any capital without collateral, I did not give up, rather, decided to start my business with my won savings.”

She is yet to take any loan from the bank as her capital is now around Tk14 lakh. Addressing the function, she urged the banks to arrange loan facility for the new women entrepreneurs without collateral.

IFIC bank provided loan of Tk3 lakh to Piara Begum, a proprietor of Rukhsana Jamdani Weaving Factory from Narayanganj through mobile banking at the function as part of its new financial service product “Grassroots Women”. It also handed over a cheque of loan worth Tk5 lakh to five grassroots entrepreneurs at the function.

Shirin Sharmin Chowdhury called upon the women entrepreneurs to engage themselves in innovative business as she said, “Women have to bring diversification in their business to attract customers, otherwise, they will be looser in business if everyone do the same business.”

Mousumi Islam place a set of recommendations, which include keeping 30% allocation in total loan disbursement and bring down interest rate at 5% on loan for women entrepreneurs.

The award-giving ceremony was addressed, among others, by Meher Afroze Chumki, Atiur Rahman and Shah A Sarwar.

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Source: Dhaka Tribune  & daily Star

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