Sightsavers Reports

The business that’s challenging perceptions of disability

August 2017

Tucked away down a narrow side alley in Bangladesh’s Narsingdi district is Satata Enterprises.

This thriving business, which makes packaging for sweetmeats and biryani, has been running for about a year. Not only is it providing a great service to its many customers, it’s also challenging perceptions about people with disabilities: Satata’s owners, Juthika, 21, Ranu, 25, and Hanufa, 30, are all visually impaired.

Juthika making boxes

Vocational training in Bangladesh

The three women started the business after taking part in a Sightsavers project that provided vocational training and employment support for people with disabilities. Before joining the project, they didn’t believe they could do anything and they rarely left the house. Now the women are confident in their own abilities and eager to show the community the potential of people with disabilities.

They were nervous at first, but their confidence soon grew. “We didn’t have any idea how to do business, how to set up a business, how to communicate with people, how to deal with them,” says Hanufa. “But through this training, so much has changed. We know so many things now.”

Portrait of Hanufa

Supporting others with disabilities

These days the business is doing so well that they’ve expanded from one unit to three and they’re providing jobs to the community.

Juthika is keen for others in similar situations to her own to benefit from their success. “My plan is to expand this business more; I want to bring in more people with disabilities who are my brothers and sisters. I want to engage them in this business and give them the same opportunities I have had.”

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Ranu, Hanufa and Juthika, the owners of Satata Enterprises.

“We didn’t have any idea how to set up a business. But through this training, so much has changed.”

Ranu, Hanufa and Juthika, the owners of Satata Enterprises.

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