Asma Begum, Rangpur
A Single Mother’s Journey

A woman’s life is full of struggles and hardships. I was also no different. After my marriage, I looked over our family and the household as any other woman. My husband earned enough to fulfill our needs. However, no happiness lasts forever. He became terribly sick in 2019. We had to spend a lot of money on his treatment, but nothing good came out of it. He could not survive. All I had was my two sons and an uncertain future. Still, I held on to life and started my very own business to look out for my family. I am Asma Begum, and this is the story of how I became a female entrepreneur.

I did not get any time to grieve for my husband because I had to take care of my two boys. After my husband passed away, there was nowhere for me to go, but help came in when I needed it the most. LightCastle Partners and WorldFish gave me continuous support to build my business from scratch. I maintain a regular connection for any guidance or help. Their support made all of my endeavors easy. With their suggestion, I prepared my two ponds and released carp fingerlings. The production was better than what I expected, but the Covid-19 outbreak changed my fate once more.

All the entrepreneurs in my locality were clueless about the solution to this unprecedented situation. I barely managed to sell my fish at a very low price and survived through 2020. I knew I had to come up with different strategies. Then I cleaned out the surroundings of my ponds to make room for vegetable gardens. This way, I could maintain two sides of the business from a single place. Obviously, my financial state was not very good, and WorldFish helped me to get a loan to realize my plans. I encouraged many women to adopt such diversified plans to increase their household income.

The next year, I gave my best effort in the preparation of the ponds and my gardens. I was not disappointed with the results and earned much more profit than the last year. Finally, my situation was getting better. Next, I thought of creating an alliance with the women entrepreneurs in my area to help each other. That’s how 25 women entrepreneurs in my locality built a group, and we regularly discuss our future prospects and possibilities.

Although my plans are bearing fruits, I must admit that a female entrepreneur has to struggle with so many legalities to get a proper loan. The loan I got from the bank was of very high interest. However, taking such a high-interest loan is not possible every time. If I get a proper load or funding, I plan on creating more opportunities for female entrepreneurs like me. With that goal in mind, I will continue to devote my life to this field, for my family, and society.