The government has taken a special project to help create more women entrepreneurs in the country's thriving ICT sector, providing them with the necessary training and some other initial supports.
"The 'She Power Project' is designed to create more female entrepreneurs in the ICT sector, which will also be a leap forward in women empowerment," State Minister for Information and Communication Technology (ICT) Zunaid Ahmed Palak told BSS.
The project has been developed under the guidance of the ICT division, which is funding also for its implementation across the country, the state minister said.
The Executive Committee of the National Economic Council (ECNEC) on May 2, 2017, approved the project involving an estimated cost of Taka 81.89 crore.
"Initially the project will be implanted from March to November this year, but the government has a plan to expand it in future so more women can be involved in the ICT sector," Palak said.
Briefing the project design, Project Director Solaiman Mondol said initially a total of 10,500 women will be provided with necessary training to achieve three primary goals of the project. The goals include creating 4000 women entrepreneurs, developing the skill of another 4000 women in providing internet-based services and engaging 2500 women in call centres.
Women aged between 18 and 40, have basic knowledge in ICT and can read and write English, will be eligible for participate in the project. Trainings will be given in 21 upazillas across the country.
The upazillas include Savar of Dhaka, Faridpur Sadar, Tangail Sadar, Jamalpur Sadar, Mymensingh Sadar, Hathajari of Chittagong, Comilla Sadar (South), Noakhali Sadar, Rangamati Sadar, Sylhet Sadar, Poba of Rajshahi, Pabna Sadar, Bogra Sadar, Naogaon Sadar, Rangpur Sadar, Dinajpur Sadar, Fultola of Khulna, Jessore Sadar, Kushtia Sadar, Barisal Sadar and Patuakhali Sadar.
The project director said currently they are selecting vendors who will be providing trainings to the women. The nine-month training will start in March after selection of the vendors by February. All the participating women will have to go through a three-month training programme, followed by two months of internship.
To be entrepreneurs, the women will get training on websites, graphic design, data entry, software development, mobile app development and Google translation.
For providing IT services, the women will get training on troubleshooting and repairing laptops and desktop computers, printers and smartphones.
For becoming call center agents, the women will be given training on document management, database management, document scanning, e-publishing and managing incoming and outgoing calls.
The participants in all the three training programmes will get an internship for two months when they will get a monthly internship allowance of Taka 3000 to 4000 each. On completion of internships, they will be placed at related local organisations for gathering practical experience before starting their own business.
"The women, who will successfully complete the training at all levels in three categories, will be given Taka 20,000 each from the project fund for buying a laptop," the project director said.
According to the ICT division, the government so far trained 20,000 women in ICT at union-level under the Learning and Earning Program besides providing continuous training to women in hard to reach areas across the country using Mobile ICT Training Bus.