A United Nations Capital Development Fund (UNCDF) report supported by payments technology company Visa explores the best ways to sustainably improve digital and financial capabilities of small and micro-businesses, especially women-led, via e-commerce in Bangladesh.
Bangladesh has in recent years seen growing adoption of digital financial services. However, more than 62 percent of the households do not have Internet access at home. In rural areas, only 8.7 percent of the poorest 20 percent of households have Internet access at home. Meanwhile, the Covid-19 pandemic has sharpened the need to support the small and micro businesses that even now endure the consequences of reduced demand as they struggle to cover wages, pay suppliers and stay afloat.
Against this backdrop, UNCDF and Visa are implementing a digital and financial literacy project in Bangladesh. The Build Back Better – Enhancing Recovery and Resilience of Small and Micro-Businesses project empowers entrepreneurs in Bangladesh with the financial and digital literacy skills they need to confidently adopt and leverage new digital services to improve their competitiveness and performance. The project partners have already reached more than 110,000 small and micro businesses with the basic modules, impacting 5,202 of them.
The report explores and evaluates the best ways to reach the less digitally and financially literate segments of the community, especially women, to ensure that ultimately no one is left behind in the digital era.