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Home Women Empowerment New online marketplace ‘weHatbazar’ to boost local women entrepreneurs in South Asia

New online marketplace ‘weHatbazar’ to boost local women entrepreneurs in South Asia

Women's Tabloid News Desk
Women's Tabloid News Desk

In a significant move for women’s entrepreneurship in South Asia, the online marketplace weHatbazar has been launched in Bangladesh, offering a dedicated platform for small women entrepreneurs to showcase their products. This innovative marketplace integrates F-commerce, P-commerce, and homemade products into an e-commerce setting, providing new opportunities for women to expand their businesses and reach a wider audience.

The inauguration ceremony for weHatbazar was held on May 16, 2024, at a prominent hotel in the capital city, Dhaka. The event was graced by Social Welfare Minister Dipu Moni, who highlighted the transformative power of information technology in empowering women. “The use of information technology is an example of how a person can change. We are witnessing the externalisation of women’s creativity,” Moni stated.

Joining Moni at the event were notable figures such as Junaid Ahmed Palak, the Minister for Posts, Telecommunications, and Information Technology; Md Shamsul Arefin, Secretary of the Information and Communication Technology Division; Meher Afroz Chumki, President of Bangladesh Mahila Awami League; and Souleymane Coulibaly, Lead Country Economist of the World Bank, among others.

weHatbazar, the first online marketplace of its kind in South Asia, initially features 100 local merchants offering a variety of domestically produced items. Nasima Akhter Nisha, General Secretary of e-Cab and Managing Director of weHatbazar, shared that the platform is set to expand to 1,000 entrepreneurs over the next 18 months. Notably, the marketplace includes established brands like Bibiana, Tan, and Gutipa, showcasing a diverse range of products across 12 categories.

The platform aims to address critical challenges faced by women entrepreneurs by providing a structured online space for their businesses. This initiative is expected to significantly boost the visibility and sales of their products, facilitating growth and sustainability. The development of weHatbazar has been supported by various international and local stakeholders, including the Government of Australia under the Cyber and Critical Tech Cooperation Program (CCTCP) of the Department for Foreign Affairs and Trade (DFAT) and the Government of the Republic of Korea through the UN Women initiative.

Nasima Akhter Nisha further mentioned that while the platform will initially be web-based, mobile applications are in the pipeline, set to be released by the upcoming Eid. This progressive approach ensures that the platform evolves with user feedback, continually improving to meet the needs of its entrepreneurs.

weHatbazar stands as a beacon of hope and a practical solution for many women looking to scale their businesses. By leveraging technology and fostering a supportive community, this marketplace is poised to make a lasting impact on women’s economic empowerment in South Asia.

This initiative not only provides a commercial platform but also serves as a testament to the potential of digital solutions in promoting gender inclusivity and economic growth. As weHatbazar grows, it will undoubtedly inspire more women to venture into entrepreneurship, driving a wave of innovation and economic prosperity in the region.

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