It was not that easy to become an entrepreneur, but her dedication and determination helped her reach the great goal
“Alone we can do so little; together we can do so much,” said Helen Keller, an American author.
Marjina Begum, a resident of Bamoner Hat village in Ulipur upazila, has proved that stunning results can be achieved in groups and teams as Helen Keller said.
Marjina, in her early 40s, not only reshaped her own destiny but also changed the course of the lives of 360 other poor women. Her greater goal of beating poverty and living a better life saw success when he started stitching “Nakshi Kantha”, a traditional embroidered quilt.
The journey of Marjina, a mother of two, was not that easy to become an entrepreneur. But her dedication and determination helped her reach the great goal.
She started her venture with five small-sized quilts three years back and earned some money from those that encouraged her to achieve greater feats. Marjina then engaged a few more women from her neighbourhood in making Nakshi Kantha and started selling those.
In pursuit of a common cause, Marjina shared the profit with the women she had engaged.
Seeing the spirit of togetherness and the amazing success, more girls and women joined Marjina and helped her build her own association called “Tabakpur Mahila Unnayan Samity”.
She got an overwhelming response from buyers and started selling embroidered quilts, sarees, pillow-covers, shawls, jute-made jewellery in huge volumes.
Now the workers of her association earn Tk2,000-8,000 each a month, depending on the volumes of their work.
In 2019, Marjina’s association received an order from Bengal Craft with the help of the Asia Foundation, but they reportedly cancelled their order one year later due to the Covid-19 pandemic.
In 2020, she started working with Nodi Limited of Friendship Bangladesh under a long-term agreement. The handicrafts made by Marjina’s business house are now being displayed in different showrooms and exhibitions in Dhaka.
During a visit to Marjina’s factory, the UNB correspondent found all the female workers busy producing various products with joy and happiness.
Talking to some workers like Lucky, Eti and Rumi, the correspondent came to know that they work here alongside their studies and earn Tk500 for each quilt and thus they get Tk2000-3000 a month by stitching 5-6 quilts.
Talking to UNB, Marjina said if she gets financial support from any private or government organization then she can expand her business as she has a dream of creating jobs for 3,000 women and girls.
Jahangir Alam, deputy manager of Bangladesh Small and Cottage Industries Corporation (BSCIC), Kurigram, said, “We provided training to Marjina. Primarily, we also gave her Tk1 lakh as loan in addition to providing technical support for producing her products.”