In the past, Farida Parvin Shako managed a spa and a gym in Dhaka, the capital of Bangladesh. But, after the coronavirus outbreak rocked the nation earlier this year, her business suffered greatly. Despite her best efforts, it was difficult for the 45-year-old single mother to obtain work.
“After receiving numerous job rejections, I gave up hope. But I had to work to support my mother and my daughter. Therefore, I decided to start a Facebook group for food delivery, ” She informed CinebuzzTimes.
Anyone in Dhaka can order homemade meals via her Facebook page. In addition, Shako prepares a range of Chinese and Bengali delicacies.
She added that sometimes she works more than 15 hours a day to prepare orders, stating that the majority of her clientele are working women who lack time to prepare meals at home.
More women in the capital of Bangladesh can now launch their own businesses thanks to social media. Another aspiring entrepreneur, Sultana, decided to start a sapling sales Facebook page called “The Tree House.” She wanted to assist her spouse because the coronavirus outbreak caused him to lose his work.
“I only had 1,000 takas (€10, $12) savings when I started my firm. My husband and I purchase plants from various vendors and distribute them to people who put online orders, “Sultana said to DW.
Sultana is keen to succeed despite the fact that her company is still in its early stages.
According to Syed Almas Kabir, the president of BASIS, the largest association of software and information services in Bangladesh, over 300,000 people there—roughly half women—use Facebook to manage their businesses.
According to Kabir, these business owners make between €100 and €1,000 every month.
“Facebook has seen an increase in business during the COVID-19 pandemic. In some ways, it’s a godsend in disguise, “Kabir continued.
When the epidemic struck, Azmery Khan, a business student who had always desired to start her own company, was finally ready to realize her goal. As a result, until she gradually was able to sell some of her initial stock, the first few months of her firm, Aurora (which primarily offers foreign jewellery and clothing goods), were uneventful. Now, her company’s Facebook group and page each have more than 3,000 members and likes, respectively. However, when asked what the main obstacle she had to overcome in running her company was, she mentioned two significant ones.
Azmery said, “I started my business with no funding, and secondly, my father doesn’t know that I have a business of my own. I’m still having trouble.
Naseeha’s story mirrors the same sort of familial antagonism. “My family discouraged me from pursuing a career in cooking when I was younger because they thought it was more scholarly. Their criticism and concerns about how it might impact my education kept me from launching my business for a considerable amount of time, even when I was thinking of Bucklebury Ferry. And I can’t help but feel that if I had started earlier, I would now be in a better situation.”
The majority of people are now fully aware of how accessible practically every kind of service and product has become, owing to social media platforms and the internet as a whole, despite the inclination of some not to take online enterprises seriously.
The largest Facebook community for women entrepreneurs in the South Asian nation is called Women and E-Commerce, and Samia Farah runs it. Since the pandemic’s beginning in March, her forum has attracted a lot of new members, she added.
“We created this group in 2017 and had about 50,000 members as of March. She informed DW that we now have more than a million members, adding that many of them were brand-new female businesses.
According to Farah, at least 300 women in her organization make at least €1,000 through Facebook commerce each month, and some even make more than €5,000.
“Many of these women run home-cooked meal delivery businesses. Some work from home, making garments, selling jewellery, or offering other services, she continued. “While not every woman earns a good living, many do. As a result, women are joining our group in greater numbers.
These are encouraging developments, but Farah claims that many people in Bangladesh still disapprove of autonomous women. Some group members bemoan the patriarchal society’s continued rejection of women in the workplace.
Some people, according to Farah, believe that women shouldn’t work outside the home.
According to Rupa Abdullah, a baker in Cox’s Bazar, the nation is unsafe for women entrepreneurs.
In Bangladesh, according to Shako, it is dangerous for a woman to go by herself. She stated that’s why she constantly needs a man’s help. “The delivery guys don’t always take me seriously. They would have treated me differently if I were a man, “She spoke.
Since the pandemic started, more than 70% of female-led businesses in Bangladesh have been established on Facebook, while the number of female-owned Instagram enterprises has increased by more than 65%, according to Meta.
This information was released in a press release by Meta, honouring Bangladeshi women who came together online on International Women’s Day to empower others and create good change.
Since 2021, women have founded 40% of Facebook groups on entrepreneurship in Bangladesh, according to Meta, formerly known as Facebook.
A training event called #SheMeansBusiness, which equips female entrepreneurs with the digital skills they need to expand their customer base and business, will also be introduced by Meta in Bangladesh.
More than 20,000 women business owners throughout the Asia Pacific have received more than 275 training sessions over the course of the past year, thanks to Meta’s collaboration with 18 community organizations and government partners.
In order to urge others to patronize nearby women-owned companies, Meta is also urging people in Bangladesh to take part in the #BuyFromHer campaign on Facebook and Instagram.