More than 4,500 women took training under the Krishti project in two years, and 450 of them have been promoting their own brands of products on the Bagdoom’s website
It was until mid of 2018.
Farida Easmin, a woman entrepreneur from Ulipur in Kurigram, was trying hard to establish her business of diversified jute goods such as floor mats, gunny bags, planters and various kinds of handicrafts.
She began her business in 2014, investing Tk20,000 only and employing five workers.
By 2018, her business expanded. She wanted to reach her products to the upper class people – her target buyers – but hardly succeeded as she was living in a rural area.
In the meantime, Bagdoom, an online one-stop lifestyle platform, reached Farida at her remote village. They gave training to her along with other women entrepreneurs on how to do business using online platform under Bagdoom's corporate social responsibility project 'Krishti'.
They offered the women entrepreneurs to showcase their products on Bagdoom's e-commerce website, www.bagdoom.com, which has a considerable number of foreign buyers.
"It helped me meet many consumers and top level buyers. Before receiving the training, I had no idea about e-commerce," said Farida, the owner of the Nari Natural Craft.
She, along with 19 other rural women entrepreneurs, participated in a two-day fair at Gulshan Cadet College Club in Dhaka. The fair, titled "Krishti by Bagdoom – New Year Fair", was organised on January 14-15 by Bagdoom.
On the last day of the fair on Wednesday, rural women entrepreneurs showcased their locally-made jute diversified products, beautiful artefacts, home textiles and apparels for both men and women.
People were seen showing keen interest in the jute-made goods and handicrafts at the fair. Exhibitors said the fair helped them promote their goods and brands to the world. Many big buyers also visited their stalls.
Farida Easmin expressed her gratefulness as Bagdoom gave her an international exposure by lifting her up from a remote area of the country.
"I want to thank them. They trained me up and gave me a platform to showcase my products in an international platform," she said.
She said she used to participate in local fairs but those did not help her get big orders. "Now, even if foreign buyers place orders seeing our products online, we can supply the goods from our villages."
At present, 100 female workers are employed at her factory while another 150 workers work from their houses. The production capacity of her factory also increased in these two years.
Not Farida alone, but 4,500 other women entrepreneurs and artisans from more than 10 upazilas of Rangpur, Khulna and Jashore got training under the 'Krishti' project in the past two years, said Md Marufuzzaman, who leads of the Bagdoom's project.
"Of them, already 450 entrepreneurs are actively using Bagdoom's website to promote their own brands by showcasing their locally-made jute diversified goods, handicrafts and home textile products," he added.
"To empower rural women, promote their eco-friendly products and bring them on the e-commerce platform is our vision. That is why we have launched Krishti," said Mirajul Huq, the chief executive officer of Bagdoom.com.
"To empower women, it is a must to make them financially self-reliant at first. We want to act like a bridge between women entrepreneurs, who are trying to do something from rural areas, and the target consumers and big buyers," he added.
With the rise of enterprises grows the employment, Mirajul said, adding, "Right now, we have 4,500 women entrepreneurs and artisans under the Krishti project, and we expect the number will exceed 10,000 by the end of 2020."
He also mentioned that the future of Bangladesh's e-commerce business relies on its strong backward linkage industry for sectors such as jute goods, home textile and apparel.