Making their mark - the tale of a women's enterprise
Six young women from Bakerganj sub-district in the Barishal district are trying their luck in a group business. Despite having very different backgrounds and circumstances, they are united by the same goal. All want to become entrepreneurs, financially independent and an asset to their families.
The women’s story began when they attended EYW soft skills training. This proved to be a turning point in their lives because it inspired them to start their own business. Together, they decided to design and produce women’s traditional clothing using the batik block printing technique. They brought their idea to project staff and asked for support.
EYW provided entrepreneurship training to improve the young women’s tailoring skills and sharpen their business knowledge. Even at this early stage, the women began reaching out to sellers to find out about customer preferences – something which would later turn out to be a smart move.
Timing is everything
Having completed the training, the women set about starting their business. With their families’ support they managed to raise combined capital of BDT 30,000, which they invested in materials like cloth, dyes and sewing equipment. They registered for a trade license, opened a bank account and were ready to start selling in November 2020.
Their timing was very fortunate. Because the women had already built up several contacts with sellers, orders began to come in immediately. The end of the year is the traditional wedding season in Bangladesh, so they soon found their brightly colored clothes and accessories in popular demand.
“Soon we will sell with our own brand”
In the first month of business, the young entrepreneurs made a profit of BDT 10,000. They are now targeting more shopkeepers so they can get some regular customers, and are setting their sights high. Group members Tania and Mariam explain: “This is just the start. We want to have our own shop with own name. Now our products are selling with another shop tag, but soon we will sell with our own brand.”
The women are already selling through their personal social media accounts, and are planning to open an online shop. While it’s too early to claim success, they have got their enterprise off to a very promising start – and its future looks as bright as the garments they sell.