Rasheda Begum, 45, and a mother of two, lives in Chattogram. Her life has been an uphill climb right from the early days of her marriage. Her husband’s struggles with his fishery business were exacerbated when he faced heavy losses. It was then that Rasheda was introduced to SAJIDA Foundation by her neighbor, who had had success with SUCHONA- the microfinance program exclusively for women. Inspired and desperate to try anything, Rasheda decided to join it as well, which she did in 2018. She knew she was a skilled cook and identified the absence of a snack shop in her locality. This marked the beginning of her own little “start-up”. Following consultation rounds with SAJIDA Foundation, Rashida took a small loan to rent premises in the local market, opening a shop where she made the popular street snack, ‘fulori’ – fluffy fritters served with tea and made with deep-fried chickpea flour. Before long, her business took off.
Fast forward to four years later- Rasheda’s older son has just completed his undergraduate degree, while her younger boy is currently in his second year. She, on the other hand, now runs a larger operation, where she sells the fritters twice a day. She has even ‘graduated’ to a leadership role, taking charge of the SUCHONA members in her area.