HSBC in partnership with BRAC proposed a solution to empower women from marginalized and vulnerable communities in Jamalpur (Sadar and Dewangonj) to have improved access to decent employment and increased income. Through this two-year project, 640 disadvantaged girls and young women are to be skilled in local demand-based handicraft and tailoring for securing better livelihood opportunities. They will also be empowered through entrepreneurship opportunities, supported by digital and financial skills training.

The duration of the project is 24 months. The project consists of several cycles to accommodate several batches.

The two months long training consisting of 160-hour classes in handicraft and tailoring was provided to all 20 learners at each training centre, in a classroom set-up and by the experienced trainers. As educational level of up to class 8 is pre-requisite for participants to receive digital and financial skills training, 30% of each batch were trained on Facebook posts, post boosting, targeted0 marketing, customer service etc., and financial services and payment gateways such as Bkash, Bank Transfer etc. required for online business. After the completion of skills training, assessment of the participants was conducted to ensure that the participants have successfully received the training and are able to utilize it for securing income generating opportunities in future.

Additionally, each graduate is vigorously followed-up thrice during the project tenure to ensure that they are engaged in decent employment or income generating activities.

Till date, out of the 320 girls under the skill development program, 113 girls opened their own online businesses and are being involved in Aarong’s supply chain. Over Tk.2 crores has been funded till date to the program by HSBC.

Additional Findings from Research
According to a survey on 15 girls from the program:

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