Runa’s scaleups set the tone for becoming an entrepreneur

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The day Runa took part in this interview, she had 1500 chickens under the shed- bought just a few days ago. She sold 1200 chickens last month for around 75,000 Taka. Since establishing the farm, this last batch was her third consecutive sale in the local market.

Runa’s journey began in mid-2023 when she received two days of training on skill development in poultry rearing from livestock experts. Runa Akter (22), a mother of one, first learned about this training from her mother, Farida Begum (47), a PPEPP-EU member living in a coastal union of Patuakhali’s Galachipa Upazila.

Farida’s life struggle started when her only son left them after getting married and abandoned financial assistance. The burden doubled when, a few days after Farida became a PPEPP-EU member, Runa lost her husband and started living with her mother’s family. Now, Runa and her daughter live with her father, mother, and sister.

Since then, Runa and her mother, Farida, started a new fight to run this extended family but needed a suitable means of income generation. So, the skills training on poultry rearing under the PPEPP-EU project, followed by grant transfer, formed the base for Runa to move forward. Enthusiastic Runa planned to set up a chicken farm and started her journey with 150 chickens as grants.

To set up the chicken farm, she received intermittent hands-on knowledge at home from the project’s Technical and Assistant Technical officers. With the support of project staff, Runa developed a persistent network with the local market actors who helped sell her chickens without any hassle and with a good return.

After making a profit (8700 Taka) by selling their first batch of chickens, Runa was genuinely inspired to establish a large-scale poultry farm. Now, she knows what it takes to raise a batch of chickens to a saleable condition in about one and a half months. Starting to dream big, Runa expanded her broiler farm with 500 chickens and sold those for around 32000 Taka in the second round.

As Runa continues to expand her farm, she has bought 1500 chickens recently by taking an 80000 Taka loan from the project. Runa says, “My mother and I are trying to build a new shed to make an even bigger farm. My next dream is to turn it into a 3000-chicken farm soon.”

In addition to the chicken farm, Runa and Farida have two cows, eight ducks, and 12 native chickens, which help them make around 1000 Taka per month after meeting the demand for family nutrition. They also cultivate vegetables such as brinjal, beans, tomatoes, cabbage, and cauliflower in the homestead vegetable garden for household consumption.