With 165 million people, Bangladesh is one of the most populous countries in the world. However, 35% of the population live below the poverty line. Women are the most affected by unemployment and poverty due to domestic violence, a lack of educational opportunities and other psychosocial burdens. This is despite the fact that they make up half of the working-age population. What if these barriers could be removed? What if women could access training, funding and networks?

The Bangladeshi government has implemented various measures over the last ten years to increase women’s participation in economic life. However, these have not been fully implemented in rural areas. There are still too few programmes that train women and enable them to acquire new skills. This is why SA4D launched the Let’s Get to Business project. It has been running since 2019 in the Chittagong region of southeastern Bangladesh.

Overcoming barriers together

With our local partner organisation, the International Organization for Business and Engineering (IOBE), 150 unemployed and underemployed Bangladeshi women in rural areas are empowered through entrepreneurship. Through interactive, sport- and play-based training, the women, aged between 18 and 45, acquire knowledge and skills that are central to successfully starting and running small and micro-enterprises. They also gain access to start-up funding and mentoring. This significantly improves their future prospects and life situation. Not only do they create new and better prospects for themselves but also for their families.

Sustainability beyond the project

In addition to the women, SA4D also supports IOBE in developing and strengthening its organisational skills and network. This is the only way to ensure the sustainability of the project, as IOBE will continue working in the area well beyond the project’s duration.