Uninterrupted high-speed internet, availability of affordable digital devices and flourishment of e-commerce became as strong empowerment tools for the country’s women to turn themselves into self-reliant entrepreneurs.
Kakoli Khan, Chomna Chowdhury or Shegufta Chowdhury are not merely names of three women, rather they established themselves by taking advantage of different digital services provided by the incumbent government.
Kakoli Khan, who completed her master’s in Philosophy from Jagannath University, was an employee at Atish Dipankar University, but she lost her job during the Coronavirus pandemic. She, then, along with her two children and husband was forced to go back to their native village Baghmara under Chunurghat upazila in Hobiganj district.
Finding no way, she started an online business through a platform named ‘Women and E-Commerce Trust (WE) and started selling tea, mustard oil, green tea, carpet, nakshikantha, Monipuri saree, shawl and scarf.
“When I lost my job, I tried my level best to do something. I was looking for an opportunity. Then, I found an e-commerce platform to start my business named “Tong Showari,” said Kakoli.
Kakoli recalled that in the beginning, the response from customers was poor, but she did not lose hope.
“As I was supplying quality products, at one point, I started getting huge responses from customers,” she recollected those days with a smiling face.
Apart from selling across the country, she is also exporting her local traditional items to 10 to 12 countries including the US, the UK, the UAE, Saudi Arabia and Greece.
Currently, Kakoli is earning Tk 70,000-80,000 in a month which is more compared to the amount she was used to get from her terminated job.
“I could start an online business because of the availability of strong internet connection in remote areas,” she said.
Inspired by the success of Kakoli Khan, her younger sister Dina Khan also started an online business.
Dina with her online page named “Naiori” is now selling nakhshikantha, shittolpati and saree and earning Tk 40,000-50,000 per month.
“Women are facing multiple problems while doing business ... especially to set up a shop in a market but due to the availability of the internet, now easily open page using various online platform and start doing her own business,” Dina said.
Chomna Chowdhury, another victim of the pandemic who lost her school teaching job during the nationwide shutdown due to the coronavirus, also made her successful in the world of e-commerce.