iDE Global
Kulsuma Web Hover


Health & Hygiene Business Owner

Kulsuma Begum is a small entrepreneur and community developer, living with her mother and two children in rural Bangladesh. She began her entrepreneurial journey by selling daily necessities such as cosmetics, mosquito nets, clothes, birth-control pills, soap, buckets, seeds, and fertilizers. 

With iDE’s support in 2020, she expanded her offering to include products that meet women’s needs for managing menstrual hygiene—products that were previously unavailable in her area.

Many women in remote places such as rural Bangladesh still rely on unhygienic methods of managing menstruation that can lead to potential health risks. Kulsuma recognized the importance of raising awareness of the social and religious taboos surrounding menstruation. She received training from iDE to hold sensitization sessions to break down these barriers. Increasing orders for sanitary pads show that her determination is slowly paying off. Her influence has even led to the formation of a women's group in her community.

What's next for Kulsuma

Kulsuma Begum hopes to be a catalyst for significant change in her community, helping people to realize the importance of her products for their protection and future well-being. Her dream is to set an example for others to follow.

Kulsuma's Details

  • Bangladesh
  • Water, Sanitation & Hygiene
Entrepreneur Impact
  • Availability of Technology
  • Advocating For Change
  • Local Economic Development
Ecosystem Impact
  • Local Economic Development
  • Transformative Market Participation

Country Profile

  • 133/189

    Human Development Index (HDI) Rank

  • 14%

    Poverty Rate

  • 166 Million People


iDE was started as a radical idea that business is a solution to move people out of poverty. 40 years later, we still don't give things away. We create long term change by powering entrepreneurs to end poverty for their families and communities.

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