‘Shreya: A lady who excels in every sector of her life’
Women are versatile in nature. They play a very vital role in human progress and have a significant place in the society. At this time of the world, it is now proved that they can play different roles in their lives simultaneously and reach the highest peak of excellence through their talent at the same time. They manage to take care of their personal lives while contributing to the society and economy of their country by participating in corporate jobs or by being an entrepreneur. They are making the most out of their capabilities. But it is not always easy to fulfill their dreams as there are many social or cultural barriers or family responsibilities which hacks their opportunities to go out and do something for themselves.
Sanzida Chowdhury, the founder and admin of Shreya, used to speak about these issues on her Facebook profile. Not only about women empowerment, she also used to post and share her thoughts on women leadership, social stigmas, and cultural barriers women face in the society of Bangladesh, importance of career for women on which her female friends on her Facebook started to connect with her thoughts and started sharing their views with her. When she noticed that there are so many girls and women out there who want to share their thoughts and express their feelings or seek help regarding so many issues, in 2017 she decided to open up a group where only girls would be able to do so. And by creating a group on Facebook will also help them keep their privacy and share what they know, want and help other girls in need.
"When I opened my group Shreya I added around 800 girls I know from my Facebook profile and just in a few months the number grew to more than 35,000 which indicates that girls from this group are actually getting benefited through other members of the group whom I call Shreyas."
She also noticed a change on Facebook where women started to use this platform for business. Women entrepreneurship started to flourish like never before.
"When I created Shreya, Facebook commerce or F-Commerce was booming in our country. There are now more than 4 million entrepreneurs in Bangladesh who are based on Facebook and most of them are women. But I also saw them struggling to establish their F- commerce business because of higher competition existing in this social media platform. So I thought of using my platform to help promote their business through PR activities, live shows or review posts which will help to reach out maximum of their potential customers as there is a huge number of members in my group. Soon after that brands started coming to me to promote their products in my group."
Sanzida Chowdhury is a full time employee in the country's one of the top ranked private banks. But besides her job and personal life she is always active in her Facebook group and tries to keep her group members active, be it posting various promotional posts, adding members by checking authenticity of the members' profiles, approving almost thousands of posts in a day with girls seeking help or looking for recommendations. But she did not want to keep her group for using it only for help or sharing purposes. She wanted to make this group productive and make the bonding stronger among the members.
"There are so many members in Shreya who are interacting with each other regularly but they do not know each other in person so I arranged a get together titled "Shreya Summit-2019" last year not only for interaction but also designed the program in such a way where there was workshops, seminars, panel discussions on women empowerment and leadership and promotional opportunities for brands and entrepreneurs at Pan Pacific Sonargaon Hotel and it was a huge success. Women leaders from different sectors like- United Nations, Pilots, corporate heads from renowned brands came as guest speakers in that event. And all these were arranged by me and my team who runs Shreya."
On how Facebook has helped her create Shreya she shared that "all these started from sharing my thoughts on my Facebook account. If Facebook was not there I would have never thought that I will be able to create such an impactful community like Shreya. Facebook has given us the opportunity and the power to create our own community. So I am making the most out of it. It has not only given me the opportunity but also has given the women entrepreneurs the floor to flourish their business and create their own identity."
When asked about her future plan with Shreya she said- "Shreya has now grown so much and I worked my heart out to bring this here on this stage today. I do not want to limit the ability of my Shreya members and community to stay online but I want to make it an organization where women are always welcome to spread their wings and fly higher. Because I believe in Shreya: A Lady who can excel in every sector of her life."