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Empowering Women in Tech: Insights from National Appstore- bdapps’s journey

In the ever-evolving landscape of mobile applications, bdapps stands out as a beacon of empowerment and inclusivity. As the largest mobile application monetisation platform in Bangladesh, bdapps has not only revolutionised the digital landscape but also played a pivotal role in empowering women in the technology sector.

bdapps- The National App Store of Bangladesh:
bdapps, an initiative of Robi Axiata Ltd., has been recognised as the National App Store by the ICT Division. This recognition is a testament to bdapps’ commitment to facilitating the implementation of Smart Bangladesh vision by fostering innovation.

A Flourishing Developer Community:
bdapps boasts a rapidly growing developer community with over 50,000 active developers. With 25% of the developers being female, bdapps offers a truly gender-inclusive platform. As the national app store, bdapps, therefore, is very much leading the drive for including women in the ongoing digital revolution taking place in the country.

Empowering Female Developers:
The growing participation of women in bdapps didn’t happen by chance; it is rather an outcome of a carefully crafted program targeted to increase women’s participation in the platform. Two of these groundbreaking initiatives undertaken by bdapps are the She Squad Program, and Project Khadijah. Currently, 43% of women app developers are students, 24% are freelancers, 15% are homemakers, and the remaining 18% are represented by private job holders, teachers, entrepreneurs, etc.

bdapps She Squad Program:
Launched in 2021, the She Squad Program is a community-driven initiative that selects female developers as She Squad leaders. These leaders then serve as ambassadors, introducing bdapps to other women and teaching them how to leverage the platform for financial independence.

The current She Squad cohort comprises more than 30 leaders, including students, homemakers, freelancers, and software developers. The program’s success lies not only in introducing more women to technology and app development but also in its dedication to helping women achieve financial independence, regardless of their background.

Project Khadijah:
Initiated by Samin Yeasir Hasan, a bdapps Campus Ambassador from Rajshahi University of Engineering and Technology (RUET), Project Khadijah addresses the disparity in opportunities for Madrasa students, particularly females. The project provides training to female Madrasa students from Grades 9-12 on using bdapps to create digital services. Additionally, it offers training in Spoken English and Graphics design. The results have been promising, with participants generating revenue within the first month of the program, demonstrating the potential for economic empowerment through technology.

Women’s contribution towards bdapps:
Women have been part of bdapps’s journey since its inception. In the first year of bdapps’s journey in 2015, we had only 45 women app developers. That number has risen to 12,500 app developers as we speak today at the end of September 2023.

With regards to the earnings that our women app developer had from bdapps, we find that in 2015, they earned 10,000 taka, which in 2023 (till date) stands at more than 22 crore taka. Out of the 75 thousand apps that are currently hosted on bdapps, women app developers have created more than 25 thousand apps.

Under the Project Khadija initiative, an on-campus training workshop was organised recently for 60 female students of Rajshahi Mahila Fazil Madrasa. They were also given detailed guidance on how to earn from the platform by hosting their apps on it. Beating all expectations, 20 of the participants had already earned 5,000 taka on average within one month of completion of their training; collectively, they had earned one lakh taka in that month. Therefore, women’s participation is increasing rapidly with specially curated projects like She Squad and Project Khadija.

Inspiring Stories of bdapps Women Developers:
Farah Sayed Abdul Bari: Leading the Way
Farah Sayed Abdul Bari, a She Squad leader at bdapps, joined the platform in 2021. Her story is one of resilience and determination. After the loss of her father, Farah became the pillar of support for her family of five, including her three sisters. She recognised the importance of financial stability from a young age, and bdapps provided her with that opportunity.

Farah didn’t stop at personal success; she embraced her role as a She Squad leader and even mentored her own mother, Niharika Momtaz, on the bdapps platform. She also initiated a project to install a vending machine for sanitary napkins at Milestone College and created a health and hygiene app on bdapps. With her exceptional leadership, Farah continues to inspire and guide her team of female developers as one of our prominent She Squad leaders.

Niharika Momtaz: Rediscovering Identity
Niharika Momtaz, mother to She Squad leader Farah, had dreams of becoming a lawyer but married early, putting her ambitions on hold. After 18 years of marriage, her husband’s passing placed the responsibility of four children squarely on her shoulders. Amidst the chaos of raising a family and managing a household, Niharika realized the importance of her own identity.
With the support of her daughter, Niharika ventured into the world of bdapps. Despite her initial unfamiliarity with laptops, she persevered and created apps, discovering that determination and memory transcend age. Today, she’s a successful bdapps developer, carving out her own path alongside her daughter.

Bushra Faria Noor: Rising from Adversity
Bushra Faria Noor, another remarkable SheSquad leader, faced immense challenges when her mother passed away suddenly. Her father, already ill with two damaged kidneys, was the sole breadwinner. The family had to sell their inherited assets to fund his treatment, leaving them in dire financial straits.

But bdapps came to the rescue. With the revenue she earned, Bushra is now able to cover household expenses, including rent, and fund her younger sisters’ education. Her story is a testament to the transformative power of bdapps.

Kaifun Nahar: Overcoming Obstacles
Kaifun Nahar, a She Squad leader from a small town with poor internet connectivity, faced numerous hurdles on her journey to success. When the COVID-19 pandemic hit, her family struggled due to her father’s limited income. Enter bdapps, a blessing in disguise.

Despite her initial doubts, Kaifun persevered, eventually becoming a successful bdapps developer. She now leads a team of female developers from her town and university, empowering them to earn through the platform. Kaifun’s story is proof that determination can overcome any obstacle.

Syedun Nessa Oni: Building Her Empire
Syedun Nessa Oni, a current She Squad leader, underwent multiple career shifts before discovering her true calling in the tech world through bdapps. With unwavering persistence, she earned her first revenue and now leads a team of over 30 female developers on the platform. Her confidence in the field has grown so much that she successfully launched her tech-based startup, Bee Technology & Research Hub.

In the world of bdapps, women are not just developers; they are trailblazers and leaders. Through programs like the She Squad Program and Project Khadijah, bdapps continues to empower women in Bangladesh, transforming lives, and communities, one app at a time.

bdapps is not just a platform; it’s a force for change, breaking barriers, and creating opportunities in the technology sector. As the largest mobile application monetisation platform in the country,
bdapps is not just shaping the future of technology in Bangladesh; it’s shaping the future of its people, regardless of gender or background.

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