Meta, previously known as the Facebook Company, is celebrating women entrepreneurs and their communities in partnership with the Aspire to Innovate (a2i) program, Bangladesh Women Chamber of Commerce and Industry (BWCCI), and LightCastle Partners. These women-owned businesses have used digital services to extend their business and contribute to the country’s economic development.

According to Bangladesh’s SME Policy 2019, the country has 7.8 million registered small and medium enterprises, which account for nearly a quarter of the country’s GDP. According to a press release, many businesses relied on digital tools to connect with their customers in order to stay afloat during the pandemic.

Salman F Rahman, MP, Private Industry and Investment adviser to the Prime Minister of Bangladesh, attended the Digital Entrepreneurship and Communities Summit held in Dhaka on Monday, May 9.

“Bangladeshi small businesses play an important role in elevating the country on the global stage,” he said during a fireside chat. It’s inspiring to see how digital platforms like Meta are enabling this mission and bolstering the private sector’s resilience.”

“The vision of Digital Bangladesh has a strong focus on supporting small business owners and women entrepreneurs to use digital platforms,” said Zunaid Ahmed Palak, MP, state minister for ICT in Bangladesh. This enables them to reach out to new markets, including customers outside of Bangladesh. We thank Meta and partners for their long-term focused initiatives in this area, as developing skills to achieve this is an important part of the journey.”

Meta’s vice president of public policy for the Asia Pacific region, Simon Milner, spoke at the Summit about Meta’s flagship program #SheMeansBusiness, which was launched earlier this year in Bangladesh.

“Meta is committed to supporting women-owned businesses in Bangladesh by providing them with the skills they need to sustain and thrive in the face of the Covid-19 pandemic,” he said. We appreciate our partners’ support as we work together to realize Bangladesh’s vision of an inclusive and sustainable digital economy.”

#SheMeansBusiness and its strong network of community partners train women entrepreneurs in 32 countries around the world. Meta hopes to help more than 10,000 Bangladeshi women build and grow their businesses through this program.

Watch the live recording of the Summit here.