By Diana Cordova & Amy Smith
After a long, eight thousand mile journey across the Atlantic, Bangladeshi Sadya Rahman arrived in Denver prepared to embrace what she considers “the opportunity of a lifetime”. Through the Center for International Private Enterprise’s ChamberL.I.N.K.S (Leaders, Innovators, and Knowledge Sharing) program, she earned the special opportunity to travel to Denver for an internship at the CWCC. As the Divisional Advocacy Coordinator of the Bangladesh Women Chamber of Commerce and Industry (BWCCI), Rahman brought her own expertise, along with many questions about operating an effective women’s chamber of commerce.
In her role at the BWCCI, she supports women entrepreneurship through advocacy by dispersing questionnaires, conducting research, and meeting with women entrepreneurs to discuss gaps and issues pertaining to women in business. After gathering data, she submits recommendations to policymakers to implement laws cultivating fairness and equality for women in business. The three main issues concerning women in business in Bangladesh are social barriers, capacity building, and financial barriers. Although these problems are still prevalent, women entrepreneurship grows stronger with each passing year.
During her six weeks at the CWCC, Rahman shadowed staff members to gain experience and knowledge about membership outreach, legislative advocacy, communications planning and tools, and financial management. She attended meetings and compiled information about the CWCC’s mentorship program, weekly newsletters, the leadership collaborative, leads groups, monthly luncheons, and business after hours networking events.
Outside of work, Rahman found time to explore the Mile High City. She took a stab at American cuisine, listened to John Denver (who happens to be her favorite musician), went shopping at the 16th Street Mall, experienced shortness of breath on a hike, and witnessed her first real snowfall—which she says was “like a piece of heaven”.