Selima Ahmad

Selima

Selima Ahmad

President of the Bangladesh Women Chamber of Commerce and Industry

Bangladesh

Selima Ahmad, President of the Bangladesh Women Chamber of Commerce and Industry (BWCCI) is the developing world’s personification business woman who was acutely aware of the need for a national body, which represented the interests and supported the initiatives of women entrepreneurs. As a successful businesswomen herself with longstanding experience in the private sector, Ahmad took the initiative to form a Chamber of Commerce devoted exclusively to facilitating the advancement of women entrepreneurs. Drawing on her business experience and involvement with several trade organizations, including the Federation of Bangladesh Chambers of Commerce and Industries, Bangladesh Automobile Assemblers and Manufacturers Association, Bangladesh Handicraft Manufacturers and Exporters Association, Bangladesh Association of Publicly Listed Companies, Ahmad convinced and mobilized women entrepreneurs, the government and development partners of the need for the creation of BWCCI. Ahmad feels that with the achievements in women empowerment the developing economies will hugely benefit. The contribution of women entrepreneurs will help to achieving MDG goals and the impact will assist in alleviating poverty. She has been working for the private sector development for last 28 years and helped to promote the development of more than 7,000 women entrepreneurs by planning, designing and facilitating different programs. She supports these initiatives by providing training, business counseling, credit linkages, acting as guarantor, and lobbying government and policy makers on behalf of women entrepreneurs across Bangladesh. She developed 600 grassroots women through training and access to information to ensure their active and increased participation in socio-economic and civil life and to broaden the opportunity of women’s social network. Despite her many accolades, Ahmad’s proudest achievements are the changes that are visible in the lives of the members due to the support of BWCCI. She organized the 1st Women’s National Business Agenda (WNBA), 2009 and successfully steered all stakeholders to make the WNBA declaration. Her dynamic advocacy for access to credit for women entrepreneurs has created a separate allocation of 100 crore taka in the national budget as well as a separate allocation of fund by the central bank with low rate of interest and without collateral for women entrepreneurs in Bangladesh