1. In the space provided below, please describe how your current professional work relates to financial inclusion. Make sure to highlight the responsibilities of your job and recent projects and activities in which you have been involved. (400 word limit) *
Financial inclusion has become a significant issue in developing countries those want to achieve Sustainable Development Goals like Bangladesh where the large number of people are still far from the access to basic financial services and formal financial institutions. Specially women, marginal farmers, informal sector enterprises are excluded from financial inclusion. Only 31% of the adult population has an account at formal financial institutions. If semi-formal and informal financial services are taken into account, the proportion of adults with access to financial services rises significantly to 79.25%.
I am Ms. Mohsena Khanom, CEO of de temp?te, a Chartered Certified Accountant with ACCA and IIAB Member. I am also an Associate Member of Institute of Internal Auditors of Bangladesh (IIAB), Income Tax Practitioner (ITP) as well as Affiliate member of CIPFA & ACMP.
With more than 10 years of experience in Financial Accounting, Management Accounting and Internal Auditing. Aspiring to leverage my professional expertise and experience to achieve organizational goal.
I am engaged in providing consultancy services in SME sectors those who have been facing financial difficulties in business and helping them to access credit which can be invested in their small-scale income-generating activities. I also help people save their cash so that they can make future investments or respond to unforeseeable risks.
My team is involved in providing intensive training on accounts & finance under SEIP (Skills for Employment Investment Program) project in Bangladesh as well as various training relating to their profession to build up their further career in Finance & Accounting (BPO). We know that the absence of financial inclusion can also contribute to slower economic growth and persistent income inequality. Therefore, we train unskilled and young people to enter the job market.
When talking about financial inclusion, we often focus on closing the gender gap in financial account ownership as a means of empowering women. As a valued member of SHE TRADES, we are supporting women-owned businesses in Bangladesh. Our aim is to connect three million women to market by 2021 to increase economic growth and job creation by increasing the participation of women-owned businesses in international trade.
With a team of some young professionals, we are working with so many young entrepreneurs (especially women) to help them for their business growth and capacity development. I strongly believe your platform will provide me the opportunity where I can achieve broader knowledge to make better changes in their community.
2. This program is seeking participants who have the potential to make important policy impacts. Why and how do you think you are well-suited to effect change in financial inclusion policy? (400 word limit) *
As a member of ACCA, being involved in a global network and other financial inclusion policymaking bodies in developing countries, I can provide with other professional bodies members with the tools and resources to share, develop and implement their knowledge of financial inclusion policies.
As a CEO and a professional accountant, I have oversight over all matters relating to the companys financial health. This includes creating and driving the strategic direction of the business to analyzing, creating and communicating financial information.
Be an IIAB Member, I can provide independent assurance to management that the organizations risk management, governance and internal control processes are operating effectively. I also offer advice on areas for enhancements.
By occupying professional degrees like CIPFA Affiliation and other degrees, I take on a vast array of other roles in businesses of all sorts including in the public sector, not-for-profit sector, regulatory or professional bodies, and academia. The communication with people from different, race, religion and environment will help to develop new perspectives and insights into financial Inclusion.
The SME and e-commerce market in Bangladesh have experienced significant growth in the last five years. While there are no concrete gender disaggregated statistics on e-commerce use in Bangladesh. It is estimated that an overwhelming majority of online shoppers and entrepreneurs are women. The long, cumbersome process of obtaining a trade license deters many and cultural norms can make the process especially difficult for women to go through the registration process on their own. Using my skills and intimate understanding of the company and the environment in which I enable them to adopt a pragmatic and objective approach to solving issues.
To transact on SME and e-commerce platforms in Bangladesh, businesses need their own bank accounts and to obtain a bank account they need to be officially registered with the government. By involving with TARA Program in Brac Bank, here is an opportunity to co-ordinate its activities with the Bank for Reconstruction and Development. This is important because financial inclusion is crucial in helping people save money for emergencies, get loans to start businesses and ultimately resulting in an improvement in their overall wellbeing.
I attended in many corporate affairs where I got opportunity to share regarding foster sustainable economic growth in developing countries by financing private sector investment, mobilizing capital in the financial markets and providing advisory and risk mitigation services to businesses and governments.
3. Identify a financial inclusion challenge in your country . Provide some evidence of this challenge. Ideally, addressing this challenge should be a priority for your institution. Please do not suggest proposed policy solutions. (400 word limit) *
Study results revealed that SMEs have noteworthy contribution to GDP, employment generation, poverty alleviation and women empowerment. it is also assessed that performance of SMEs did not fulfill the expectation of the country may be due to merely lack of access to institutional financing and Industry wise financial challenges such as, product or service costing due to semi or non-skilled staff, source of financing due to lack of knowledge and information, lack of industry knowledge among entrepreneurs, lack of administrative action by suitable planning. Small and Medium Enterprises facing these challenges comparatively more than others. On the other hand, the majority of banks emphasize on urban needs but it is true that we realize a large portion of financial needs come from rural areas.
The industrial sector makes up 31 percent of the country’s gross domestic product (GDP), most of them are coming from SMEs. The total number of SMEs in Bangladesh is estimated to be 7,900,000 establishments. Of them, 93.6 percent are small and 6.4 percent are medium. 55.71% SMEs rarely understand the product marketing and due to lack of market research they could not sustain. Besides, 18.57% material price increased than before along with 20% higher transportation cost. Among 50% of the SME entrepreneurs could not run their business due to capital shortage and 32.85% entrepreneurs are facing hassles with bank loans. Additionally, 32.85% SMEs could not survive due to lack of skilled manpower.
As a financial service provider, we are working on to make a mindset to address the rural needs by taking multiple steps and providing service to them as required, Such as Management Consulting, Project Finance & Banking Advisory, Finance & Accounting BPO, Tax & VAT Advisory to overcome the barriers of SME sectors growth. Additionally providing Training & Mentoring to the SME stakeholders to grow themselves in absence of third party.
5. This fellowship is seeking participants who will be able to disseminate the information and skills learned during the fellowship in their home institution or with other interested stakeholders. Please outline your plans for disseminating the information you learned during the fellowship with your colleagues, coworkers and other institutions. Be as specific as possible. (500 word limit) *
By experiencing this fellowship program, I will be able to present regarding financial inclusion with other interested stakeholders, colleagues, coworkers and other institutions. I strongly believe that it will be easier for me to share with them for being a member of different professional bodies as well as my professional network. Now I would like to discuss my plans for disseminating the information and skilled what I will learn during my fellowship.
The following list of potential stakeholders or audiences who might be targeted in my dissemination planning:
Corporate affairs can be arranged with various professional bodies where I can meet them and share my knowledge about financial inclusion in a regular basis.
Via a newsletter I will try to spread out the financial inclusion policy within government and nongovernment bodies, through a series of conference and workshops with my fellow members and colleagues for their understanding.
Email distribution lists, discussion forums, blogs and social networking are included in my plan.
For the purpose of disseminating, I will arrange meetings, discussions, round-tables, forums & presentations.
As I shared before I have a qualified professional team who have been providing professional services like company formation, financing, accounts preparation, TAX & VAT filing and auditing. Therefore, I can share with them so that they can disseminate with other stakeholders and work accordingly. By engaging stakeholders, I shall establish their needs and wants. I will design and deliver dissemination activities in a way that suits my target groups.
Various training sessions and workshops will be arranged where I will be able to engage with the young people as well as enable to make them skilled which help them to be self-dependent. Following the workshop, a community of practice will be formed with course coordinators from other communities, with the aim to help, share, practice and embed the policy across other parts of the country.
Online repositories, YouTube videos, web conferences are also can be powerful tools for me. By engaging with policy development, briefing papers and reports, I will write Journal articles, book chapters and other academic publications.
However, it is noteworthy to point out that effective dissemination is a continual process and an integral part of my plan.
6. How did you become interested in financial inclusion?
Financial inclusion improves income and increases savings enabling the previously underserved to invest in necessities, such as healthcare, education, food, growing their business, and managing financial risk. Digital inclusion, in particular, lowers the cost associated with sending and receiving payments such as subsidy payouts, or remittances, and paying recurring bills. Receiving social benefits through mobile phones saves recipients the commuting and waiting time. In other words, financial inclusion enhances economic empowerment, which in turn improves overall welfare while providing the building blocks for further growth.
Bringing entrepreneurs and their businesses into the formal financial sector is an important first step to building better-connected financial markets. It allows connecting with young entrepreneurs who need capital. Gaining access to financial services enables entrepreneurs and MSME owners to help invest capital and grow their businesses. This in turn empowers them to make better business decisions, which result in business expansion, job creation, and support economic prosperity.
Reducing the size of informal finance provides greater transparency in financial transactions by increasing security and regulatory oversight. Financial inclusion and account ownership can help reduce corruption, discourage tax evasion, and allow for more effective subsidy payouts. Reverting to digital payments for subsidy and pension payments instead of the traditional cash disbursement method cuts down administrative costs and improves efficiencies.