E-commerce platform helping transgender people become entrepreneurs

Manisha Meem Nipun, a member of the transgender community, changed the myths about the transgender community by becoming an entrepreneur, overcoming social barriers and financial issues.

Social barriers were about to assail Nipun’s dream, but her incisive determination led her to achieve the goal with the help of e-commerce platform ‘Anondomela’. This social platform has practically helped Nipun create an identity for herself as an entrepreneur, reports BSS.

Anondomela, a United Nations Development Program (UNDP) online marketplace for entrepreneurs, has created connections between entrepreneurs and the marketplace that helps small entrepreneurs across the country become self-sufficient by offering fair pricing and various business options. sale.

“I dreamed of becoming an entrepreneur. I worked as the executive director of the Pathchola Foundation. Due to the Covid-19 pandemic, it was essential to do something else to support my expenses,” said Nipun, a resident of Khulshi area under Chattogram town.

In this situation, the online platform “Anondomela” became a beacon of hope in Nipun’s life. Thanks to the platform, Nipun now manages his business.

Not only Nipun, four other people from his community became entrepreneurs by taking the facilities of the e-commerce platform.

Now, Niopun runs her business from home with a reputation.

She said easy access to Information and Communication Technology (ICT) has helped people across the country immensely to overcome the hardships rendered by the Covid-19 pandemic, through the implementation of the “Digital Bangladesh” by the current government.

UNDP launched Anondomela (www.anondomela.shop) as a free alternative marketplace. Entrepreneurs host their products on the site, allowing buyers, from the comfort of their homes, to order products directly from SMEs.

Speaking to BSS, Ministry of Commerce Additional Secretary and Head of E-Commerce Cell AHM Shafiquzzaman said that during the miserable days of lockdown and virus panic, normal life and even emergency services were hampered almost all over the world and Bangladesh was no exception.

But, people here appreciated the blessing of ICT to make their lives easier, he added.

He said Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina’s flagship digital campaign in Bangladesh has opened the door for rural women, transgender and marginalized community entrepreneurs as they can now easily sell their products at a fair price without exposing themselves to the virus by remaining at home.

He said the government is trying to manage the e-commerce sector in a more disciplined way by ignoring recent anomalies of some companies.

“The e-commerce sector has witnessed a rapid expansion in the country during the period of the COVID-19 pandemic beyond our expectations. We are working to make the sector operate in a more disciplined way,” he added.

He said the government is providing training for entrepreneurs, especially women entrepreneurs, to run their business smoothly through the e-commerce platform.

He informed that UNDP, through its Anondomela and SWAPNO projects, provide capacity building training.

Through search engine optimization, Sharmin Islam, gender analyst at UNDP, said that they try to reach the products of their entrepreneurs all over the country and also across the world.

“I can give an example i.e. a customer from abroad searches for jamdani shirt and the first Google search comes up jamdani entrepreneur jamdani shirt from Anondomelashop for boys and men. We have API connectivity with Ekshop which allows us to showcase products globally and these products are also available in other ekshop networks like Daraz bd, priyo shop etc.” she added .

She said: “I am happy to say that the anondomela platform has specified categories for entrepreneurs with disabilities, transgender entrepreneurs, marginalized community entrepreneurs so that we can promote them specifically and customers can also support them by buying products in these categories.”

In addition to social barriers, she said, they also faced all the other challenges of CMSMEs. “We also selected disabled and transgender entrepreneurs and gave them smart phones so they could run their businesses online as part of a pilot program,” she added.
She said they also receive training for e-commerce. “Next, we planned to design training modules and capacity building trainings for entrepreneurs with disabilities. We are planning to start advocacy on credit facilities for them,” he added.

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