Aspire to Innovate (a2i) and Bangladesh Small and Cottage Industries Corporation (BSCIC) signed a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) on Tuesday to incorporate small and cottage industry entrepreneurs across the country into e-commerce and assist with their digital skills development.
The MoU will allow BSCIC entrepreneurs to access ekShop, an aggregated e-commerce platform launched by the a2i project of the ICT Division.
The MoU was signed on 9 February at the a2i office, read a press release.
According to the memorandum, a2i will help set up e-commerce platforms for BSCIC entrepreneurs and provide necessary market linkage. BSCIC's display centres in 64 districts will also go online.
With the inclusion of BSCIC entrepreneurs in ekShop's nationwide network, they will be able to avail ekShop's logistics services and online payment facilities. ekShop will also help BSCIC entrepreneurs gain e-commerce exposure both at home and abroad.
a2i will also arrange technical training for the workers, entrepreneurs, and associations engaged in production and marketing.
BSCIC Chairman Md Mostaq Hasan NDC (Additional Secretary), a2i Project Director Dr Md Abdul Mannan PAA (Additional Secretary), Policy Advisor of a2i Anir Chowdhury, and other officials were present during the signing ceremony.
BSCIC Chairman Mostaq Hasan said that in line with Bangladesh's Vision 2041, BSCIC will start providing one-stop service as the fifth organization of the government.
a2i's project director Md Abdul Mannan, PAA (Additional Secretary) said, "ekShop has been marketing products made by Bangladesh's marginal entrepreneurs to countries like Malaysia and Singapore. With the Skills Portal, ekPay and DSA, a2i can now provide BSCIC entrepreneurs access to several digital services."
Rezwanul Haque Jami, Team Lead of ekShop said "BSCIC entrepreneurs are playing a significant role in Bangladesh's GDP and digitization of their enterprises and their inclusion in e-commerce will make the country's economy more dynamic."
Market-related skills training will be arranged for entrepreneurs at the BSCIC centres under this MoU. "On-the-job-training" will also be arranged in BSCIC's industrial cities.
a2i and BSCIC will also work together to facilitate citizen services, transform digital services, and implement digital service delivery systems.