I was a student when I became an entrepreneur. Back then I had no one to guide me. But I had a lot of enthusiasm within me to become a financially independent individual. So, I never backed down from entering the unknown territories. I made a lot of mistakes along the way but learned from them a lot which no institution would have taught me.
I started my cattle farm only about two and a half years ago. But I started off as an entrepreneur way back when I was going to college. My first business was selling rice. Since my uncles used to be involved in this business, I also started my own. But soon I realized that I cannot run this successfully because in this I had to sell a lot on credit. Since I was a student at that time, selling on credit was not something I could afford. So I switched to the wood business. I saw a considerable amount of growth in that business. But then the pandemic hit and all the sawmills in our locality were shut down. As a result, my sales slumped a lot and I had to think of another way to sustain my business.
Luckily I already had a cattle farm. Initially, I started it as a passion project. But when the lockdown started I had to put my wood business on hold. So I focused on my cattle farm and within a few months, I could see that there is a larger profit margin here compared to my other business ventures. That’s when I felt that I should continue with this.
Even though I had seen profit in this business, I had to go through a lot to make it successful. Since I had no one to guide me and I had little knowledge about cattle farming, I made many mistakes. One of my cows died in 2020 but I could not figure out what the reason was. I feel it was my lack of knowledge that caused its death. Besides, I had to incur a huge amount of loss. But eventually, I figured things out by taking help from experienced people in my region and pulled my business.
While I was trying to make my new cattle venture a success, I came across Oxfam’s initiative of empowering youth entrepreneurs of the rural Bangladeshi community. A sister of mine works in the NGO named Codec and through that NGO she got to know about this initiative and told me to join for some guidance and financial support. So, I joined there and through that, I got to know about LightCastle Partners as well. Both the organizations helped me so much that I cannot even explain in words. LightCastle Partners helped me get a loan worth 1 lac taka. We all know how difficult it is for us small business owners to get loans from banks and other financial institutions. But due to LightCastle Partners, I got the loan very easily.
I used to rent a farm to keep my cows. But with the money I received from LightCastle Partners, I bought a farm of my own. Now I am focusing on buying more cows to expand my business. I have inherited a piece of land on which I dream to build a bigger farm. I have no one to support me financially. My parents are also very old. That is why I want to become a financially independent person so that I can take care of my parents as well as fulfill my needs. If things go as they are right, by the grace of the almighty, I’ll be making this dream come true.