Stories in EnglishAn Entrepreneur’s Story of Getting a Second Chance in Life
Akmal Hosain
An Entrepreneur’s Story of Getting a Second Chance in Life

In 2003-04, I started my own business in my hometown. But it did not come through as I expected. As a result, I had to incur a heavy loss. There was no motivation in me to continue my business. So, I decided to start my career in a non-government firm. This allowed me to explore many different cities, including the capital. However, I had to come back to my village for some personal reasons in 2017. At that time, a very close acquaintance and local agriculture entrepreneur gave me the advice to enter into the nursery business. Despite knowing the risks and consequences, I took a leap of faith. That’s how my second life as an entrepreneur began.

Even though I decided to start my nursery, I did not have any prior experience nor knowledge. The brother who suggested the idea helped me selflessly to learn many things about crops and products. Also, a local foundation came forward to assist me with an investment. With their help and an investment of TK 2,50,000, I set up the nursery. I knew that it would not be easy to manage everything, but still, I felt alive to become independent and start my entrepreneurial journey again.

At first, it was tough to adjust to everything. From collecting fresh seeds to nurturing the plants, it took a lot of hard work. But I quickly understood how to be more efficient, and a year later, I could see the results. The production was well above my expectation, and I made enough profit to cover the production costs. My success gave me further strength and confidence to add fertilizers and medicines to my nursery business. Fertilizers are crucial for the plants, and it goes well with my business plan.

Eggplant, tomato, pumpkin, cabbage, potato, papaya, and many other vegetables grow well in my nursery. I had good production in 2017. However, in 2018, my nursery got affected by insects, and the production did not meet my expectations. Fortunately, I did not incur any major loss. However, the cyclone Amphan in 2020 had a heavy impact on my nursery. My safety net and the plants were severely destroyed. However, I could retrieve some of the seedlings and continued my production for that year with those.

Meanwhile, the Covid-19 pandemic was rampant in every locality in the country. The market was restricted heavily, and the supply chain was cut off. Surprisingly, I did not go through too much trouble. Despite getting a lower price for the plants, I managed both sides of my business well. Now, as everything is going back to normal, I hope prices become stable again.

Throughout the years, I attended many training programs and seminars in many different regions to gain experience. In 2019, I participated in a workshop by LightCastle Partners in Rangpur. They helped me to understand more about business financing and planning. I am grateful to get such an experience. Currently, I have a plan to bring more diversity to my nursery by adding tropical fruits like dragon fruit, malta, etc. As those are not widely available in my locality, it will be less competitive for me. I also want to expand my nursery to facilitate more vegetables and fruits. With the motivation I gained from getting a second chance in life, I am confident in achieving my goals.

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