Dhaka, Saturday, 12 June 2021

Meet Bangladeshi woman entrepreneur

2021-01-27
Meet Bangladeshi woman entrepreneur

Apparel Correspondent: Bangladesh is beset with many potentials. Here women besides men are becoming the entrepreneurs and contributing to the national economy on a remarkable scale.

Like men, the women entrepreneurs have many success stories. But Covid-19 pandemic has created a great impact on their way of business this year. So, they have taken multiple steps to survive in this crisis.

Similar other women entrepreneurs, Parveen Akhter, owner of Rajshahi Nakshi Ghor, was faced with dilemma at the beginning of the pandemic.

“I was busy with my workers to make products for the buyers before the pandemic. My business was going on well with the handsome number of orders. The buyers cancelled the orders when pandemic began. I never taught that I faced such an unexpected crisis,” Parveen told The Apparel News over the phone.

After marriage, Parveen Akhter went to her father-in-law's house and took training on making handicrafts. Being skilled, she became an entrepreneur in 1997 with a small amount of capital. During this period, she received many awards in recognition of her innovative works thru participating in various fairs.

Parveen who also received the SME Foundation’s National Women Entrepreneur award in 2017, said I am a fair-based entrepreneur and produce products for attending fair round the year. But all the fairs were postponed this year for reducing the spread of virus infections which created a negative impact on my business.

“I started selling products on Facebook market place seeing some women entrepreneurs. It was my new experience in F-commerce (selling products on Facebook). Primarily, customers placed orders on a limited scale and I faced so much trouble to sell products in this way. We had to bring the products to the doorsteps of the customers following health rules. At first, it was really difficult for me to do business on Facebook, now it has become easier as customers have got confidence in my business professionalism,” Parveen said.

There are no fairs mean there are no incomes for me. Thanks to the Bangladesh Small and Cottage Industries Corporation (BSCIC) for arranging a 5-day long fair on October 18 at its Motijheel office. I got a satisfactory response from customers at the fair. And it paved a way for me to recover the losses for the pandemic, the 43-yer-old added.

Besides these, she said she has some hawkers (on contract basis) who are selling her products at the different residential areas in Dhaka.

Regarding the customer’s satisfaction of selling product like this, Parveen said this is a fruitful business module in the point of time as customers can check the products with their own and get practical option to choose their desired products. Thus they are responding well now.

However, Parveen and other women entrepreneurs are joining in the virtual fair. When asked she said, “I have already taken part in the digital fair like other women entrepreneurs in the city. Of course, there were many challenges to sell products virtually. Selling experience on Facebook has helped me to draw the customers’ attention and got a positive response from them.”

“There is no alternative to arrange real fair as the growth of online market is still relatively small in the country. BACIC has played a remarkable role in arranging a fair amid this pandemic. I hope they will arrange more fairs shortly. I also request the concern authorities to reconsider the decision and allow to arrange fair for the entrepreneurs like us,” she said.

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