Developing Entrepreneurship in Handloom Business
Subject: Entrepreneurship Development | Topics:

Developing entrepreneurship in handloom business

Voluntary Service Overseas (VSO) is a UK leading development organization work in 33 nations in the world, help more than 9 million people. International Citizen Service (ICS) is a UK leading volunteer placement organization worked with VSO around the world. VSO ICS initiate new program called ICSE(international citizen service and entrepreneurship). The aim of this program is to create a sustainable business model in a rural area.

In Bangladesh VSO ICS Entrepreneur works in two region – North‐West: Rangpur and CHT: Khagrachori. It’s a one year project divided by three cycle. Already 1st cycle ended in January, 2015. Second cycle completed on April 19th, 2015. This report consist of activities ofkhagrachari, CHT, cycle‐2. At the very beginning of this report consist of about VSO, Global VSO activities, their objective, vision, mission values, about ICS and ICSE, VSO Bangladesh activities, about the partner NGO‐ ALO(assistance for livelihood organization).

The second part of this report contain the specification of jobs , aspects of project objective of ICSE cycle 2, challenges we faced in field and the facts that we consider to accomplish the project’s goal. And the third part describes objective of this report, background, about methodology used in this report, challenges etc. Third part of this report about the activities of 2nd cycle CHT. How the touch finish line with details.


International Citizen Service (ICS) is the UK leading international volunteering program young people age 18‐25 volunteered for abroad. ICS bring volunteer together for fight against poverty, UK volunteer team up with national and local volunteer for sustainable change in underdeveloped country.

ICS funded by Department for International Development (DFID) now UK AID, supported by VSO and local partner organization. All the in country projects run by the partner organization with support of In Country Volunteer (ICV) and UK volunteer of ICS. The main objective of ICS program is to –

  • Project effect overseas
  • Volunteer personal improvement
  • Active citizens in the UK and overseas


In March 2014 Justine Greening, Secretary of State for International Development, joined VSO started a new program called International Citizen Service: ICS Entrepreneur program. The main objective of this program is to help to start a small business in underdeveloped local community. The young people with business knowledge and aptitude volunteered for this program along with ICV. ICS Entrepreneur volunteers together share idea and views to make a sustainable business plan that impact on community and help local people financially.

Volunteers will spend 10‐12 weeks in a group of 6 volunteers from the UK and 6 from national, supported by two team leaders, one from the UK and one from the designated country.

VSO ICSE CHT (khabangparia, Khagrachari) CYCLE 2:

I had started my journey from 25th January of 2015 along with eleven other National volunteer and UK volunteers. Our work was to continue the work where the first cycle had left. At pre‐ placement training I chose to go Khagrachari for my project. Considering the underdeveloped fact make me go to khagrachari and I feel if I do something for them through This ICSE program with my academic understanding and talent it would be glad for me. Through this program I challenged myself in very remote area of Bangladesh for them as well. In this enterprise program I cultured how to start a new life, how to cope up with different environment and also how a business could start from very root level.

  • Division‐Chittagong hill tracks
  • District‐Khagrachari
  • Thana – khagrachari
  • Village – 1.khabangparia 2. giriphul
  • Business – Handloom Business

Key Facts –  

  • Most of them can make clothing by hand loom and waist loom
  • The main source of income is manual day labor
  • Lacking in designing the product
  • Less power supply compare to city area
  • Purchasing raw materials cost is very high

Objective of 2nd Cycle:  

CHT‐  khagrachari, cycle‐2 team were required to provide training to develop worker’s skill, which was basically the main objective. We think skills depend on knowledge, encouragement, and involvement in society. So, to make a fruit full training period and considering project’s other activities we set some action plan.

  1. Recruiting 30 Production worker
  2. Train them to develop skills and of Production worker and entrepreneur.
  3. Finalize 12 Production workers.
  4. Market demand assessment.
  5. Build production Centre.
  6. Organize at least two CAD (community action day).
  7. Organize ACD (action citizenship day).

Aspects of the project

Enterprise Training and Coaching ‐

  • Provide training on enterprise development to entrepreneur.
  • On the job skill development training on improved quality product.
  • Identification and Support of successful business people to act as mentors.
  • Identifying successful business people and cooperatives.
  • Create linkage building with successful business people and cooperative.
  • Engage them as mentor.

Enterprise Development & Testing –  

  • Production starts up
  • Quality monitoring by mentor/buyer
  • Marketing

Enterprise Financing –  

  • Identify micro finance institution.
  • Negotiation for financing
  • Scale up plan preparation

Budget of ICS Entrepreneur:  

  • Total ‐1, 26, 90,268 BDT for Three Cycle.
  • Per cycle ‐42, 30,089.33 BDT
  • Each Region per cycle Budget – 21, 15, 044.66 BDT

ICSEcycle2, khagrachari, CHT


VSO ICSE (international citizenship service and entrepreneurship)  is such a program that was designed to help remote area people by developing entrepreneurship through their local business. As a part of ICSE, CHT area was decided to cover under this project. Handloom business might be a emerging business division in khagrachari , and also has a huge prospects in country and whole world as well. Though VSO work with volunteer to encourage leadership , including local volunteer , integrating with community and understanding the communities values and norms are highly appreciable. This project get a typical combination of Bangladeshi in country volunteer, khagrachari local volunteer and UK volunteer. This project has done by the combination of all volunteers effort and support. Accomplishing the goal of this project was a little tough due to shortage of time while the team had done successful job. Encouraging entrepreneurship, developing leadership skills, improve working knowledge and skills, women empowerment, reduce unemployment were the main concern of this cycle. And we touch the finish line of this journey very pleasantly.


Completing the BBA course required ainternship program from each and every student at final stage and for that consequenceI also did complete my internship to conclude my BBA course.

The duration of the internship period was 3 months but I worked there another 3 months. Internship program is such a way where students get a chance to work with a professional environment. Also it’s a great opportunity for students to understand the real company activities and also observe the actual job environment. The knowledge gained from the intern period help a student to understand the professional environment and also to make a student enough competent for future career. For that I was started my internship program in International Citizen Service Entrepreneur (ICSE) program systematized by Voluntary Service Overseas (VSO) supported by UK AID in CHT, village‐  khabangparia, district: khagrachari, Bangladesh. MY placement was from February 3, 2015 to April 19,2015.


Working in a development sector was very good experience, because after gaining knowledge from the theoretical part it’s a very good experience in field.There I understand the practical knowledge in very authentic way. I worked there as In Country Volunteer (ICV) along with other national volunteer and UK volunteer in khabangparia Villagekhagrachari. As an ICV, I helped local community to start a business.


Main objective:

Understanding entrepreneurship and how to develop entrepreneurship in hand loom business in remote area of Bangladesh.

Specific objective:  

  • Gathering experience and knowledge about development sector of Bangladesh.
  • Understanding the International project based work.
  • To understand the handloom business and future scope in Chittagong hill areas.


In the beginning of our placement, 1st cycle group members share their activities that they have done in their cycle. So, in our first week we devote our time to read their document, understand their activities and tried to find out the gap in the work. After one week we found out –

  • Need to do a market research to find out the possible product pricing, costing and demand.
  • Re‐establish the relation between the partner NGO and two youth club –young star Club, khabangparia& Hill star Club,Giriphul as there was some confusion between our partners & ICSE volunteers in 1st cycle.
  • Involve community persons more to our activities because community involvement is one of the parameter of our project.

Project activities ICSE, cycle-2, khagrachari,CHT

Recruiting Production workers:

From the very beginning of cycle‐2 our first task was to thirty workers from these two villages. Though only twelve will get chance to be ultimate worker but other 18 worker at least could use their skill and leanings individually if they really wish.


We took one month to complete whole recruiting process. It was day long conversation with worker group. Some time we also include entrepreneur and sometime we did not. There was an interesting thing people get worried if the hard like they got an interview. It was very scary thing for them. Taking interview was good experience for me. We categorize worker in three different conducts. Those are

  1. Handloom worker
  2. Waist loom worker and
  3. Tailor

In khabangparia and giriphul village we found people can make clothing through waist loom by born even it is very tricky and tough indeed. But some of them especially young women cannot make those very fast as like other older women. Besides of this handloom is such a artificial way to produce clothing and it is very fast processing compare to waist loom. And to make them complete we also need some tailor. Then we decided to select women worker based on their skills, experiences and interest on working area. We took two phase of interview to select them for skill training.


Build production Centre:  

We had to build two production Centre considering low cost, health issues and less transportation mileage. Our production Centre was made by wooden structure. We had to ensure sanitary toilet and clean water for the worker as well. We established two production centers in two villages. We set 4 handloom machine, 1 waist loom and 1 tailor machine in each production center.


  • In our project youth members participation is very important to include the local youth in the development but youth club members were not participate in every level, so it is essential to include them in every discussion.
  • There should be a specific skill development activities and budget for youth club members like community integration.
  • Youth club member’s need to finish at least higher secondary level, so that it creates a better working environment.
  • Community sometimes didn’t understand why we are here so it is better to publish a Bangla journal for them where our activities, goal should be included and distribute those journal to local tea‐stall, market or post into wall.
  • VSO Bangladesh management sometimes shows lack of chain of command while we are in the field, so it is necessary to solve this problem.
  • The ICS Entrepreneur authority should think this is kind project as a sustainable process instead of one year goal.
  • Cultural knowledge should take as very important for the volunteers both national and international.
  • The recruiting system of national volunteers must improve. The assessment process is not progressive enough to judge volunteers attitude towards the program and passion about development sector.
  • Need a strong monitoring system so that what Partner organizations are doing, how the projects is going on after ending the cycle.
  • CHT must be consider as a special type of zone for volunteerism due to its cross cultural activity and volunteers need to be very professional indeed.


VSO ICS Entrepreneur project was a boundless opportunity for me to build up myself for my future career. I have learnt a lot of things from this project. Working in cross cultural environment with UK volunteers and local community was an amazing experience. We feel respectable that we can complete cycle 2 very successfully even we have so many limitations and difficulties. We provide quality training to the worker and also entrepreneur. Besides of these we tried to improve community people’s confidence and motivation so that they can use their learning and knowledge. During the placement period we monitored each and every task and duty with great concern. Ensuring project’s objectives we include all youth club member, entrepreneur and also worker.

Though, we tried a lot but because of time constrains and other limitations   we were very a little far from pure success. After ending this cycle we had done ourselves but there is a little doubt whether it will continue or not. As a matter of fact, development sector expose its incompetency which lead to demotivate volunteerism.

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