Nujhat (29) and husband Zakir (35) stand outside their rug-making business in Bangladesh with their son Talha.

Nujhat and Zakir outside their rung-making business. Photo: Mutasim Billah / Oxfam.

Empowering small business owners in Bangladesh

In Bangladesh, we collaborate with partners to empower entrepreneurs like Nujhat and Zakir to grow their businesses. Using the platform, the couple’s rug-making company, Talha, not only survived, but thrived during COVID-19, thanks to increased sales on the platform. is a digital marketplace that sells thousands of products made by Bangladeshi artisans. BeshiDeshi co-founder, Sadia, told us:

"Oxfam funding is for the skill development support. So we already have a skill development program, but we are not being able to reach majority of our artisans because of course we needed funds for that… giving them the working capital loan support that they require to cater to bigger orders that we are already giving them."

Sadia Matin (BeshiDeshi Co-Founder and Chief Marketing Officer, 40) behind her desk at the BeshiDeshi office in Dhaka. Photo: Mutasim Billah / Oxfam.

Oxfam is not only coming in with the funds, but I think Oxfam also is providing us an opportunity and facility to get to know more and more people.”

Sadia Matin, Co-Founder and Chief Marketing Officer of BeshiDeshi.

“The networking support that Oxfam brings in, I think it holds more value than the funds that Oxfam is providing to it, because networking will help us get to know people who can help us in our ecosystem and get us more funds in future as well.”

This initiative serves a crucial role in the community by supporting local women in need of employment. The company’s manufacturing takes place directly in the village, making it easier for local women to attend work without having to travel long distances. The use of BeshiDeshi has been transformative for the business and the couple are now looking to grow the business, hiring from their local community.

Nujahat explains: “We started this initiative to help the distressed women of the village first. For women actually, going out becomes a bit of a problem for them."

Nujhat (Entrepreneur, Talha Company Co-Founder) standing with Monjuara and Mahmuda who are working making rugs in Talha home factory in Rangpur. Photo: Mutasim Billah / Oxfam.

If there is any institution near their house, it becomes easier for them to do the work.”

Nujhat, Bangladesh

“In our country, it is very rare for girls to go outside. They are not comfortable. Which is why we choose this.”

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Nujhat and Zakir, Co-Founders, Talha rug company, BeshiDeshi. Photo: Mutasim Billah / Oxfam.

Nujhat and Zakir, Co-Founders of the Talha rug company, BeshiDeshi, in Bangladesh.