LAHORE: "Small and Medium Enterprises (SME) sector has become highly conducive for women entrepreneurs with advent of the e-commerce facility in the present era."
It was observed by the speakers at an awareness seminar organized by Women Entrepreneurs Development Cell (WEDC) of the Small and Medium Enterprises Development Authority (SMEDA) the other day at SMEDA premises. Tania Buttar, Deputy General Manager/In charge WEDC, Muhammad Raza, Manage Policy and Planning Division, Muhammad Asif, Manager Business and Services Development and Usman Tariq, Assistant Manager, Financial Services Department of SMEDA addressed the seminar and gave detailed presentations on the respective areas.
Tania Buttar, DGM and Head Women Entrepreneurship Department, in her address of welcome, informed that the government as well as top management of SMEDA was committed to enhance economic empowerment of women in the SME sector. She said that pandemic of Corona had made the e-commerce an eternal part of business in the era of social distancing. She informed that SMEDA had launched a series of training programmes to enhance e-commerce skill in the SME sector, which are also open for women entrepreneurs.
During question-answer session, the women entrepreneurs urged to hold more awareness sessions on SMEDA services for women so that the women can avail of the fullest benefits of such services.
Meanwhile, CEO SMEDA Hashim Raza has assured to expedite the efforts for women empowerment in the country through SME development programs. He said SMEDA had set up an exclusive Women Business Development Cell to arrange business awareness and development activities across the country to promote the women-based business startups as well as the businesses already being run by the women entrepreneurs. He observed that with the continued efforts of SMEDA, the number of women entrepreneurs were increasing day by day.
Regarding SMEs access to finance, CEO SMEDA told that SMEDA was working both on demand and supply side by making SMEs bankable and also building capacity of the financial institutions to develop program lending schemes for SMEs. He highly acknowledged the cooperation of present Governor State Bank of Pakistan for his efforts for introducing easy and collateral free credit facilities for SMEs.
It is note able that the continuous collaborative working of SMEDA and the State Bank of Pakistan has really succeeded to create a favourable financial environment for SME sector in the country. SMEDA had helped the banking industry design various products for SMEs, which has enhanced access of SMEs to the formal source of financing.
Copyright Business Recorder, 2021