EMK Centre arranged an event titled "Role of Finance in Making Entrepreneurship Inclusive'' on 14 November to mark Global Entrepreneurship Week 2021.
Deputy Chief of Mission of the US Embassy Helen LaFave attended the event as the chief guest speaker, reads a press release.
Sharawat Islam, managing director of Truvalu Enterprises, Bangladesh and Anwar Faruq Talukder, chief SME business officer at Dutch Bangla Bank were present as lead speakers in the event.
The event was moderated by Asif Uddin Ahmed, acting director at the EMK Centre and assistant professor of ULAB.
"As the United States and Bangladesh approach the 50th anniversary of diplomatic relations, there is no better time for us to further strengthen our friendship and collaboration to ensure Bangladesh's inclusive economic growth and increase trade and investment," said Helen Lafave, who began her assignment as Deputy Chief of Mission at the US Embassy in Dhaka in September.
She added, "For sustainable and inclusive economic growth, we know women's representation in the commercial landscape is critical.Limited funding, difficulty accessing the right networks, gender biases, and lack of general support remain all-too-familiar barriers to entry that we must rectify. We need more women business leaders to strangle the gap".
Sharawat Islam shared her experience of teaming up with EMK Centre's event E-Clinic remarking, "Entrepreneurs are not aware of the issue of what type of financing they need. The need of educating new entrepreneurs with right financial knowledge is mandatory in order for them to receive funding. I am glad that EMK took the initiative to fill this knowledge gap and Truvalu is proud to be a partner to it."
Upon asking about the barriers for women and underserved communities in the entrepreneurial ecosystem, Anwar Faruq Talukder answered, "The percentage of women receiving loans from banks is extremely low. Social barriers and the lack of proper knowledge are to blame for it. The gap needs to be mitigated if we plan to reach the targets laid by the government to become a developed country".
The event ended with Asif Uddin Ahmed remarks, "EMK pledges to foster inclusive entrepreneurship in this country. We are doing it by supporting women entrepreneurs and entrepreneurship for people with different abilities. When they earn, their ratio of investment in the family is much higher. When we are investing in women, we are investing in the next generation."
Sean McIntosh, public affairs officer of the US Embassy, Dhaka was also present on the occasion.