Enabling grassroots women: The inspiring journey of Zarrin Tasnim

February 22, 2023

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In the heart of Bangladesh lies a story of hope and inspiration. This is the context where I want to put the story of a woman who dared to dream and made it a reality for hundreds of rural women. Meet Zarrin Tasnim, who has been doing trailblazing work of helping women break barriers in unlikely places.

Zarrin’s mission started with a simple yet powerful vision: to preserve the local heritage of Nakshi Katha while providing financial stability to women in rural areas who were struggling to make ends meet. Undaunted by the challenges ahead, she began her journey with a handful of women and a steadfast determination to succeed.

Zarrin’s unwavering spirit and tireless efforts paid off as she, with the help of the Bangladesh Youth Enterprise Advice & Helpcenter’s (BYEAH) incubation program, expanded her network to support 450 women, empowering them to achieve financial stability and independence. These women are no longer just surviving but thriving, and their families and communities are reaping the benefits of their newfound prosperity.

Zarrin’s story is a testament to the power of belief in oneself and one’s abilities. It serves as a reminder that anyone can create change and make a difference in the lives of others, regardless of the obstacles that come their way.

Through her journey, Zarrin also discovered the impact of the Social and Green (S&G) Incubation Program of BYEAH, which provides holistic support, resources, and mentoring to entrepreneurs and helps them turn their visions into reality. BYEAH’s S&G program is particularly designed to help early-stage businesses with the primary purpose of solving a pressing social or environmental challenge. 

Photo: Courtesy

In Zarrin’s case, it was her aspiration to uplift the lives of other underprivileged women through a sustainable enterprise model.

After receiving seed funding from BYEAH through the Bangladesh Youth Enterprise Competition (BYEC) 1.0, Zarrin raised BDT 500,000 from biniyog.io for her factory in Nilphamari. This was to manufacture products using her own machines. Biniyog.io, a partner of BYEAH, is a crowdfunding platform that connects small businesses to retail investors for short-term collateral-free debt financing.

During BYEAH’s incubation holding her son @University of Scholars

The most significant outcome of her journey was the realization that she had established a social and green Enterprise, more commonly known as Impact Enterprise. Zarrin’s enterprise was solving a pressing social problem by providing financial inclusion for rural women, empowering them economically. 

This realization was a turning point for her and a testament to the strength and resilience of rural women who can overcome adversity and create positive change with the right support and resources.

Zarrin’s story is a call to action to support and empower grassroots women by providing them with the opportunities they deserve to rise and claim their rights. We need to create a world where women are equal partners in progress and whose contributions are valued and recognized. It is important that we all come together to support rural women.

Zarrin Tasnim’s journey is a source of inspiration for us, reminding us of the immense power within each of us to create positive change and make a difference in the lives of others.

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