Lack of finance a key problem to a woman entrepreneur

DHAKA, Dec 22, 2016 (BSS/Unicef Feature)-Broken family background could not impede Nayan Selina in becoming a successful woman entrepreneur, a mother of two is now running a hotel and poultry businesses in the beach town Cox's Bazar.

"Nothing but lack of fund was the major problem to start my poultry business. I sold my ornaments and collected Taka 17, 000 to start a small poultry farm in 1995 and it was the beginning of my struggle," said Selina, whose husband left her alone with two minors about 21 years ago.

"I faced many problems at the beginning but the major one was fund crisis. Banks did not agree to lend me money for the poultry farm. At last, Karmasangsthan Bank gave me Taka 45,000 to expand my business which was the turning point of my life," she said.

"Now, I feel proud to become a full-fledged businesswoman like a man. I am now contributing to the country's development by giving income tax and Value Added Tax (VAT) properly. Many organizations have given me awards including banking fair one for mu success."

"Like Nayan Selina, I also faced many problems during the startup period despite coming from an elite family and having a business man as a life partner" said Bangladesh Women Chamber of Commerce and Industry (BWCCI) President Selima Ahmad.

The main problems of a woman entrepreneur are social criticism, funding, lack of business knowledge and courage, she said, adding, "When my husband and I started selling of commercial vehicles, buyers did not mentally accept me as a seller at the beginning of the business. But, after six or seven months I overcame such problem."

"Like many other Bengali girls, I got married Matlub Ahmad, now

president of Federation of Bangladesh Chambers of Commerce and Industry when I was at HSC level. Later, I completed graduation from Dhaka University in commerce group. My knowledge, courage, hard work and family support, specially from my husband, have helped me becoming a successful woman entrepreneur in the country," she said.

"I never look in the past, I always look always at future," she added.

During the struggle period, Selima observed, women must acquire good knowledge on how to start a business, how it will be operated, how to manage finance and exploit market potentials of her products to become a successful entrepreneur. Otherwise, she cannot face challenges like a businessman.

Selima, also vice-chairperson of Nitol-Niloy Group, said bankers, society and all others would have to change their minds and consider an woman entrepreneur as an entrepreneur for giving them proper support, including finance and training to run a business efficiently.

"BWCCI is working relentlessly to increase further the capacity of woman entrepreneurs. The chamber has already provided training to over 35,000 women and set a plan to give training to 9,000 more women in 120 upazilas across the country. Many of them have become success of their respective businesses," she added.

She also underscored the need for increasing woman leadership for giving guidelines to the woman entrepreneurs for becoming success.

Source: Bangladesh Sangbad Sangstha (BSS)