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September 2012

Luna Shamsuddoha: Empowering Women Entrepreneurs in Bangladesh

By | News, Rebecca Self

Six years ago this week, the Trestle Group Foundation shot this film with its very first entrepreneur, Luna Shamsuddoha of Dohatec in Dhaka, Bangladesh:

Luna Shamsuddoha will strike absolutely no one as a shrinking violet.

As she looks back at what’s changed since our partnership, though, she says:

It’s given me so much confidence as a woman in technology. I’ve seen a change in myself. I can’t stop talking about education. I’m heard in many places — in government, in NGOs, in Universities — saying, ‘Girls should study science, math, English.’ It’s the Trestle Group Foundation program that gave me the confidence to be in these positions.

Luna also shared that in Bangladesh, where 40% of the country still live on under $1 per day and 50% of the population is under 18 years of age, little opportunities make a big difference. “I never realized that before the program,” she said. “There haven’t been too many women entrepreneurs in technology. As Bangladesh moves into this new IT space, I’m encouraging girls in Universities and schools. It makes a difference.”

As a trustee of Independent University Bangladesh, a member of the Board of Governors of  the Underprivileged Children’s Educational program, founder and President of Bangladesh Women in Technology, Mrs. Shamsuddoha is one-woman force for social progress in her home country.

She is not alone. Government initiatives, increased access to microfinancing opportunities, and continued support from businesses, academic institutions and non-governmental organizations outside the country provide support to greater numbers of women entrepreneurs.

And Dohatec? Is it the next Microsoft? In Bangladesh it is! Since 2006 Dohatec developed Public Procurement MIS and is creating the electronic government procurement (e-GP) for the Government.

As a source of inspiration, income and increased opportunities in the future, Luna is exactly the kind of entrepreneur the Trestle Group Foundation seeks to empower and support.

Luna will be in Zurich this week for the 6th Trestle Group Foundation Annual Event. We look forward to hearing more about how she and Dohatec have grown.