British charity Transform Trade (legally known as Traidcraft Exchange) inaugurated its first women-run community shop called ‘Shodaipati’ at Bakoshpul Bazar in Manirampur Upazilla in Jashore district, Bangladesh on November 10, 2022 This is the first of 100 targeted rural community stores. which will be co-managed and managed by rural women entrepreneurs in the northern, southern and central regions of Bangladesh. Over 500 people attended the event as guests, including local influencers, FMCG distributors, government officials, community members, and more.
During the inauguration, the Additional District Commissioner (General) Mr. Rafiqul Hasan was present as the main guest of the ceremony. He proudly stated that as CDA, he fully supports the initiative to create women business owners in his community. Mr. Md Ali Hasan, Deputy Commissioner (Land) of Manirampur, said that this is a timely initiative by Transform Trade and he expects this project to leave a sustainable livelihood flow for the women. Mr. Azizul Haque, Executive Director of Ulashi Sreejoni Sangha (USS), the implementing partner of this project, said that women will lead inside and outside their homes, and they are proud to be part of this initiative. Kazi Shahed Ferdous, Country Director of Transform Trade, said the WEE project aims to empower 15,000 marginalized women through 100 women’s community shops and will set an example of integrating women into formal value chains in Bangladesh.
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This initiative is part of the European Union and Transform Trade co-funded project titled “Empowering Women’s CSOs for Good Governance (WEE)” which aims to empower rural women and their local CSOs to promote good governance and inclusive sustainable development. The Women Community Store is an effort of this project to integrate marginalized rural women into a formal value chain to help them become economically empowered. The project also helps to give women the necessary business and sales skills as well as the confidence to run these stores.