Empowering Women Entrepreneurs: In-Depth Online Q&A Session on Business Growth Strategy by WSME Business Support Center

Date: April 20, 2024
Time: 11:00 AM to 12:00 PM
Mentor: Tilka Farzana, Lecturer, Department of Marketing, NSU & Partner, Wed Window

The Women Entrepreneurs Business Support Center, a key initiative under the We-Fi project of the World Bank and organized by BreakBite in collaboration with North South University, successfully hosted a comprehensive online Q&A session on Business Growth Strategy on April 20, 2024. The session, led by Tilka Farzana, Lecturer in the Department of Marketing at North South University and Partner at Wed Window, provided invaluable insights into strategic business growth for women entrepreneurs.

Tilka Farzana began the discussion by sharing her inspiring journey of starting her own café, The Red Window Gulshan. She narrated how she nurtured her dreams and turned them into reality, emphasizing the importance of following one’s dreams and passion, listening to one’s heart, holding on to dreams, and nurturing them to grow. Farzana encouraged the participants with the mantra: “Never give up… start & restart!”

The session covered several critical growth strategies, including:

1. Market Penetration: Farzana discussed ways to increase market share within existing markets through competitive pricing, marketing efforts, and customer loyalty programs. She emphasized the importance of understanding customer needs and delivering consistent value.

2. Product Development: Strategies for innovating and improving products were highlighted. Farzana stressed the need for continuous research and development to meet evolving customer preferences and stay ahead of competitors.

3. Market Development: Exploring new markets and customer segments was a key focus. Farzana advised on identifying potential markets and tailoring products and marketing strategies to suit the new audience.

4. Diversification: The importance of diversifying product lines and services to spread risk and create new revenue streams was discussed. Farzana shared examples of successful diversification strategies.

5. Target Market Identification: Farzana explained how to effectively identify and target specific customer segments. She underscored the importance of market research and data analysis in crafting targeted marketing campaigns.

6. Value Proposition: Crafting a compelling value proposition that differentiates the business from competitors was a critical discussion point. Farzana highlighted the elements of a strong value proposition, including unique benefits and competitive advantages.

7. Team Building: Building and nurturing a strong team was emphasized as a cornerstone of business growth. Farzana shared strategies for recruiting, training, and retaining talented employees, even with limited resources.

8. Investment Options: Various investment options for business expansion were explored. Farzana discussed the pros and cons of different financing methods, including bootstrapping, venture capital, and loans.

9. Cost Leadership: Strategies for achieving cost leadership through efficient operations and cost-effective resource management were covered. Farzana explained how maintaining low costs can provide a competitive edge.

10. Cross-Selling: The benefits of cross-selling related products and services to existing customers were discussed. Farzana provided practical tips for implementing cross-selling strategies to increase revenue.

An intensive discussion took place with several women entrepreneurs who shared their experiences and challenges:

Rosy (Nurjahan Begum):
Business: Sharee Baksho & Panchfuron – Ma er ranna recipe
Issues: Time management, delivery issues, and products easily copied by competitors
Discussion: Strategies for team building, resource utilization, cloud kitchen investments, funding, and budgeting were explored.

Yasmin Sultana – Jessore:
Business: Nandonik Shomahar & Nandonik Bhoj
Issues: Challenges with the business model
Discussion: Focused on refining and improving the business model for better efficiency.

Bornali Chakraborty – Mymensingh:
Business: Bornali’s Cuisine
Issues: Large market size, need for resources, and team building
Discussion: Addressed strategies for acquiring resources and building an effective team.

Roksana Parvin – Pabna:
Business: Roksana r ranna r Moshla
Issues: BSTI issues and cross-border e-commerce
Discussion: Solutions for compliance with BSTI regulations and expanding into cross-border markets.

Rahaitul Jannat Rakhi:
Business: Girly Boutique – Maslin products
Issues: Slow sales progress, high production costs, pricing challenges, payment methods, quality of clothes, branding
Discussion: Strategies for improving sales, reducing costs, effective pricing, and enhancing branding.

Aditya Yasmin:
Business: Moshla
Issues: BSTI issues and cross-border e-commerce
Discussion: Similar to Roksana, focused on regulatory compliance and market expansion.

Nadira Parvin:
Business: Homemade Moshla
Issues: Delivery personnel, delivery costs, expansion and growth
Discussion: Solutions for managing delivery logistics and strategies for business expansion.

Fatema Akhter Akhi:
Business: Maria Fashion House
Products: Customized dresses, clothes, and potential expansion into male products
Issues: Market expansion, business growth, and investment for an outlet
Discussion: Explored avenues for market expansion and securing investments for a new outlet.

Farzana also highlighted the importance of delivery companies specifically catering to home businesses and discussed the scope of exporting, including dealing with BSTI issues and cross-border e-commerce. She provided practical advice and actionable strategies tailored to the unique needs of each participant.

The session was highly productive, offering women entrepreneurs a platform to discuss their challenges and receive expert guidance on business growth strategies. The Women Entrepreneurs Business Support Center continues to empower women by providing essential resources and insights through such interactive sessions.