Many people, both males and females, have become financially solvent over manufacturing shoes at Kaluhati village under Charghat upazila in Rajshahi district.
The successful villagers are contributing to boosting socio-economic condition of the nearby areas.
Sohel Rana is now a successful entrepreneur through the business. But his initial growth was not smooth. He had to face many struggles to achieve the present dignified status.
"I had started this business with Tk 20,000 in 2002 and my capital investment is around Tk 2.2 million at present," said Sohel Rana, owner of Konika Shoes Factory, a village shop.
He has started supplying finished goods to Aarong and some other posh shops in Dhaka at present.
At one time 15 people from the village used to sell shows on bicycle in Rajshahi city and adjacent areas. Over the years, the mode of the business has changed and shoes our now being manufactured in local factories enhancing the distribution chain.
At present, most of the families are solvent and self-reliant. Many families now live in brick homes with electricity.
Many small shoe factories flourished in the village with financial and technical assistance of Small and Medium Enterprises Foundation (SMEF), reports BSS.
Sohel Rana, who is also general secretary of Kaluhati Shoe Industry Owners Cooperative Samity Limited, said the village has around 65 shoe factories employing around 7,000 people and fifty per cent of them are females at present.
These small factories produce 234,000 pairs of sandals, for all genders including for children and sell those in various districts every month.
"My income has risen. Now I am earning between Tk 6,000 and 8,000 per month," said Morzina Begum, worker of Konika Shoes factory.
She says many housewives and unemployed youths in the village have changed their lot by making shoes and packets. The shoe manufacturers make a good business during Eid and other religious and social festivals.
SMEF arranges a short course at the College of Leather Institute in Dhaka for the small factory owners learning how to design and make quality shoes.
"I am supplying necessary packets to the shoe factories," said Anwar Hossain, owner of Anwar Packet Store. He has started his business with an investment of Tk 5,000 and in 2013.
More than 60 women are working in his business and amount of running capital stood to Tk 2 million at present, he added.
He says shoe making has become a source of income for unemployed youths and many have become economically solvent through the business.
"We are working here for boosting capability and efficiency of the entrepreneurs for successful business promotion," said Abu Monjoor Sayeef, assistant general manager of SMEF, adding that initial investment was Tk 460 million and recovery rate was absolute hundred per cent.
Dhaka Bank Limited (DBL) is working in the region as working partner and it has invested Tk 6 million among the potential entrepreneurs so far.
"We have another investment proposal of Tk 10 million for promotion of working capital," said Samiul Haque, assistant vice president of DBL.
Masum Billah, manager of SMEF, said that the business volume is now on rising trend significantly and present yearly turnout is around Tk 477.3 million.
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