“Doing something to contribute to my family was always at the centre of my thoughts from a very early age. BYEAH has guided me to fulfil this dream."
Born in 1995 in Kishoregonj District in Bangladesh, Tahmina endured a series of unimaginable struggles during her childhood. She lost her father at a very early age, leaving the family with no regular income. As the second youngest of seven siblings, Tahmina’s older sisters began to provide for her. They worked hard to pay for her education. It still brings tears to her eyes remembering how difficult those days were for her and her family.
Although Tahmina passed 12 subjects at school, she was not initially able to attend university like many of her classmates because her family could not afford it. However, after a period studying at home and with support from her family, Tahmina got a place at a public university and started a new life in the country’s capital, Dhaka.
In early 2017, Tahmina heard about a workshop on fulfilling your potential run by YBI member, Bangladesh Youth Enterprise and Helpcentre (BYEAH). Out of curiosity, she signed up and that was the start of her entrepreneurial journey. The workshop inspired Tahmina, helping her to see that she could realise her lifelong dream - to find her passion and use it provide an income to support her family.
Keen to use her craft skills, Tahmina identified an opportunity using the material jute to make handbags, decorations and much more. With environmental pollution a concern in Bangladesh, she saw a growing market for products like jute. Tahmina shared her ideas with BYEAH and enrolled in their programme. She developed her skills by attending training in key areas such as how to develop a business model and communicate with customers.
Tahmina started her business, Dolly's, with 2,000 BDT (around €20) from her father's pension allowance. Over the last two years, she has developed her product range and supplied different customers. She regularly attends trade fairs to exhibit and sell her products. Her vision is to have showrooms across the country and to export her products internationally. She currently employs one person and wants to grow this, creating jobs for many more young women like her across the country.
"I know where I want to go. My dedication, passion, and effort will take me there someday soon".