Going to work for the last three months meant being surrounded by blooming morning glories and green creepers. BRAC’s headquarters is in the heart of the capital, Dhaka, but it’s making waves in thousands of lives across Bangladesh and 10 other countries.
Our search for business inspiration often starts and ends in million-dollar companies, glossy tech start-ups and management books. We often do not know the stories behind the labels closest to us. Behind-the-label narratives are not only found in huge export-oriented ready-made garments factories, but on the streets around us.
Agriculture plays a powerful role in poverty reduction, according to a study done by BRAC’s research and evaluation division. The study revealed that the agricultural sector can reduce poverty-related sufferings faster than other sectors.
Microfinance is the idea that individuals from low-income backgrounds are capable of lifting themselves out of poverty if given access to financial services. This starts with what most of us take for granted - savings, insurance and credit facilities.
The connection between Zakia and Firoza becomes instantly evident when you see them talk to each other. Firoza listens intently as Zakia speaks in a soft, empathetic tone. For Firoza, Zakia is not only a manager apa (sister) from BRAC - she is the only person who she trusts completely.
Access to finance – be that credit, or savings, is a universal need. People living in poverty are disproportionately excluded from the formal financial system. Access to finance is particularly difficult for women in Bangladesh with 64% of women left out of formal financial services.
Bangladesh has enjoyed considerable economic growth over the past few decades, however its employment driven opportunities have been sluggish. Such proliferation of 'jobless growth' is a result of inadequate opportunities for the large wave of young people who are prepared to enter the workforce but cannot seem to do so.
Bangladesh has largely succeeded in providing access to basic sanitation. Using latrines in rural communities is now no longer seen as a luxury reserved for upper-income households, but a necessity at all levels of society.