ANJU SARKAR

Portrait of a Successful Female Entrepreneur

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Phool Boudi

Anju Sarkar, popularly known as Phool Boudi (flower sister), is a female flower entrepreneur based in Keshabpur, Jessore in Southern Bangladesh.

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Background

After years of working as a domestic worker and struggling to make ends meet, she transformed herself into a successful flower farmer, trader, and shop owner.

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Initial Struggle

Establishing herself as an entrepreneur was not an easy undertaking. When she first decided to move into the flower business and started visiting the wholesale market in Gothkhali 10 years ago, male traders used to tease her and question her ability to be successful in the businesses, based on her gender.

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Growth

But Anju ignored their negative attitudes, and continued to focus on growing her business as a trader by investing in customer service and positive relationships with her suppliers.

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Farmer Anju

After successful seasons as a flower trader, Anju began cultivating her own flowers, including marigold, rose and Chrysanthemums on her five bighas of land.

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Employer

Today, Anju has established a distribution network that covers seven upazilas of Jessore and surrounding districts and has created employment for 80 people at her shops and flower farms, 70 percent of them are women.

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Market influence

She also has a significant influence in the local wholesale flower market. The traders wait for Phool Boudi’s truck and as soon as her trucks arrive to procure flowers, the market becomes vibrant.

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Networking

Anju has become a member of AVC’s Peer to Peer business accelerator network and dedicated herself as a facilitator for future women entrepreneurs. She participated in the USAID sponsored Bangladesh Flower Fest 2017 to highlight women’s contributions to the flower sector.

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Role Model

Anju Sarkar also actively participated in AVC’s all women stakeholder engagement meetings and became a resource for other participants to learn how hard work, sincerity can transform one person without being dependent on projects. Through her involvement with AVC, Anju has become a role model, empowering female peers to think differently.

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Inspiration for others

Anju gives back to her community by transfer business knowledge and skills to her neighbors, inspiring more women to improve their livelihoods by engaging in flower trading and cultivation.

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Recognition

The Government of Bangladesh awarded Anju for her contribution to the agricultural sector.

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Market impact

Following Anju Sarker’s lead, many women entrepreneurs came into flower business for the first time and they are now playing a significant role in the retail flower market in the Jessore region.