The first-ever two-day International Women Entrepreneurs Summit kicks off on Wednesday in Dhaka aiming to connect domestic women entrepreneurs with their global counterparts.
Around 4,000 women entrepreneurs, professionals and experts from 50 countries are expected to participate in the summit, Mantasha Ahmed, president of the Bangladesh-India Business Council (BIBC), said at a joint press conference in the capital on Tuesday.
Besides, hundreds of women entrepreneurs from different parts of the country will also take part in the conference both physically and virtually.
The BIBC has organised the summit at the Radisson Blu Dhaka Water Garden in collaboration with the Bangladesh Investment Development Authority (Bida) and the Association of Fashion Designers of Bangladesh.
Speaker of the Parliament Shirin Sharmin Chaudhury will inaugurate the event to be held on 23-24 November.
Bida Executive Chairman Lokman Hossain Miah said, "This conference will boost the confidence of women entrepreneurs and encourage them more."
"It will create a new bridge. Entrepreneurs can build networks to sell products. They will get a fair price for their produce. We want inclusive development."
In the summit, parallel sessions will be arranged to highlight eight promising sectors for women entrepreneurs in Bangladesh.
The sessions will be on "Graduation of SMEs", "Agro and Food Processing", "Health Services", "ICT", "Care and Wellness", "All about Startups", "Women in Big Industries" and "Media and Entertainment".
Senior government officials and industry pioneers will attend the event.
According to the organisers, top business leaders, policymakers, corporate icons and successful women entrepreneurs will speak in each session.
Representatives from China, Japan, India, Greece, Malaysia and Maldives have already arrived in Bangladesh.
Bangladesh is one of the few South Asian countries where, in the last decade, women's employment rates increased significantly. Women's labour force participation in Bangladesh increased from 30% in 2008 to 38% in 2018, according to the World Bank.
According to Meta, more than 70% of female-led businesses were set up on Facebook since the pandemic, along with a 65% increase in Instagram businesses owned by women. The digital platform has become a threshold for women entrepreneurs all over the country who are dominating in specialised fields.
Zara Jabeen Mahbub, director of PR at BIBC, said, "We are committed to promoting and enabling Bangladeshi female-Led businesses in collaboration with government, private and other global trade networks."
"Developing policy frameworks and areas of forces to mainstream women's interests. Enhancing female entrepreneur visibility. Mitigation challenge and business prospects through networking and mentoring," she added.
To participate in the summit, women entrepreneurs can register at https://bibcbd.org/apply-now.
Bida executive members Mohsina Yasmin and Avijit Chowdhury were also present at the press conference.