Shahidul Farmers’ Hub
Shahidul Islam is an agro entrepreneur in his early 30s from a village named Kathalbaria under Lokhipur union of Natore Sadar upazila of Natore District.
Shahidul started his entrepreneurial journey from an early age. He carries 25 years of knowledge and experience in agriculture. Locally he has been supplying crops to PRAN Agro Limited and Taiwan Food Processing. Despite all this, Shahidul was failing to grow his revenue to more than expected. With no formal business knowledge, financial planning and forward market integration, the challenges were real and pushed him hard.
Shahidul attended two residential accelerator programs. His journey with the SmartCap program looked like the following:
- Learned how to develop business plan
- Learned the tips and tricks on business diversification and product development
- Learned the art of connecting with forward market actors
- Learned how to keep financial records and plan for the future
- Learned how to prepare pitch decks
- Pitched business ideas in front of investors and banks
- Raised BDT 10 lacs against 20% equity from one of the recognized impact investors operating in Bangladesh. Gearing up to raise an additional BDT 50 lacs by end of 2020
- Increased income by 5X
- Forayed into product diversification (aloe vera farming) and exports
- Increased network of farmers and traders from 1,000 to 2,500
At present, Shahidul is working on developing an indigenously designed automatic water irrigation system. He is working on developing the structure, ancillary machineries and plans to bring the technology from India via Transfer of Technology (ToT). He intends to go into domestic production and spread this irrigation technology system nationwide through divisional sales offices.