Halima Khatun, an educated housewife of Kumarkhali under Kushtia, since her girlhood used to think differently, saw the life in diverse way, sketched a dream of busy and prosperous life. Instead of searching for job she had a long mindset to create employment for others, especially helpless women. Halima, with determination and talent, after learning exclusive needle-works started business of craftsmanship by setting up ‘Mridula Hostashilpa’.
Her husband came out in support of her quest. Craftsmanship contributed additional income to her family. She started organizing the neighbor poor widows and women to engage them in the similar works and with their active hands got together, started getting stitching works on contractual production-sharing. Soon after she started her enterprise her hand-crafted fashion decorations through needle-works especially on bridal sharee, design sharee, fancy sharee, urna (scarf), lehenga, 3-piece, punjabi and embroidered quilts spread its popularity widely among fashion lovers of the locality and in the local market. She saw no alternative to expand business. The only hindrance arose in cash fund for a countable start-up.
Islami Bank’s Kumarkhali Branch came forward to her initiative with investment of Tk.3.5 lac in 2011 under Women Entrepreneur Development Scheme. This marked the beginning of her success story. She started supplying her fashion wears from the district town of Kushtia and to neighboring districts as well as divisional cities including Dhaka. With investment of Tk. 12 lakh from Islami Bank, total capital of her business raised Tk. 50 lakh. She now employs 400 women workers along with sixteen regular staff in her business. Halim Katun is now a catchword for referring a successful woman entrepreneur, of the country.
Like Halima Begum, Islami Bank has developed 63 thousand successful SME entrepreneurs by SME investment that generated employment opportunities for 9 lakh people of them a maintainable portion is women. Up to September 2015, the bank’s investment in this sector raised Tk. 1,85,960 million contributing 27 per cent market share in SME investment distribution nationally. Islami Bank has been contributing in sustainable development of the country through SME investment.
Islami Bank has introduced several SME products like Small Business Investment Scheme, Micro Industries Investment Scheme, Agricultural Implement Investment Scheme, NRB Entrepreneurs Investment Scheme and Women Entrepreneurs Investment Scheme. Through Rural Development Scheme, Islami Bank has been trying to develop entrepreneurs from the grassroots level. Food, agricultural, leather, textiles, handicrafts, electronics, recycling, import and export, wholesale and retail trade, telecommunications, transport, information technology, hotel and restaurant etc. are the priority sector of SME investment. SME services are being given at all branches of the Bank through out the country. Customers can communicate at any branch of the bank or contact at Islami Bank contact center 16259 for SME related information.