Siddika Begum is a tailor of bespoke and ready-to-wear clothes in the west Agargoan area of Dhaka City, Bangladesh. She sells salwars (traditional dresses), camizes (shirts) as well as ladies underwear. Starting this business was borne out of need: after her parents married her off to a government worker while she was in the 10th grade, her father died, leaving the responsibility of caring for their family on Siddika’s shoulders. Siddika was just a simple housewife and had no financial ability to assist her siblings. But she rose to the challenge and started making clothes at home, using the income to help her family.
From this, a new chapter of Siddika’s life was opened. As the demand and fame of Siddika’s clothes increased, she outgrew her home-based operation. With a loan from Women’s World Banking network member ASA, she rented a shop at a narrow lane of west. For the last five years, she has taken loans from ASA on a regular basis, starting with one amounting to Tk. 50,000 which is presently used in her business. Now, Siddika earns Tk. 30,000 net on average per month from her business. She was even able to set up a new shop and give it to her brother so he too, can have an income-generating activity. Siddika has three children and all of them are studying in school.
Siddika has big dreams: she wants to build a big garment factory and provide opportunities for many other people to work. She hopes ASA will help her turn this dream into reality—but she is confident that this will happen… soon.
Celebrate 40 years of Women’s World Banking
April 4, 2019
IAC Building, New York City