Local Business Advisors (LBAs)

Local Business Advisors (LBAs)

   

beneficiaries and business groups (BG) to access, understand and use much-needed products, services, and technology. LBAs are commissionbased and support Suchana beneficiaries in their on-farm and off-farm income generating activities. LBAs are an important player in the market system in helping the private sector overcome “last-mile” distribution gaps.

Each LBA supports 4-6 business groups (100-200 Suchana producers) in a union. As they build their business, they take on customers in the wider market and thus generate impact beyond direct Suchana beneficiary groups.

Purpose of LBA

LBAs provide goods and services to their customers, which allows them to generate incomes for themselves, and help producers of their communities at the same time.

Dipti Rani Biswas, an LBA success story

Suchana LBAs play an important role in creating and maintaining income-generating opportunities for project beneficiary households. 37-year-old Dipti Rani Biswas from Akhirkunji village of the Barlekha Upazila is one such beneficiary.

Dipti’s family of six comprises her three daughters, son, and husband Rupendro. The couple faced many financial challenges in raising their children, and were burdened with repaying debts. The family’s principal source of income came from the sales of handmade bamboo items. Raw materials for their products were often difficult to source, which left the business unstable.

Suchana’s support included:

  • Starting capital of 30 pieces of bamboo valued at BDT 8,000
  • Four different types of training on vegetable cultivation
  • Training of Production and Sales Planning Meeting (PSPM)
  • Mentoring to expand her business, learn about different market linkages
  • Training on best practices on food and nutritional intake

 

 

Following Suchana’s training on best practices in business, Dipti is now aware of the benefits of product bulking and open communications with output buyers. She connects with both lastmile and meso-level market actors to ensure strong backward and forward linkages. Dipti and Rupendro can now ensure improved health and nutrition for their family, so their family now suffers less from illnesses. They earn BDT 7,000 to BDT 8,000 per month now from sales of bamboo products. Dipti introduced fish traps in their line of products and supports her group on its usage. She sells these traps both at the farm gate and to output buyers, and earns a commission of BDT 3,000 to BDT 4,000.

Dipti’s husband has leased 30 decimals of land and purchased cattle for diversified livelihood options. She has also managed to have savings of BDT 35,000 at Grameen and Sonali Bank. Dipti is motivated to attend more business planning meetings now, and has a plan to expand her business with the saved money according to market demands.

 

Creating Change

  • When LBAs play their roles well, benefits cascade down to farmers and producers, who can improve knowledge of good production practices and typically see increased productivity and sales of their products
  • LBAs show private sector the business case for working with and reaching small-scale producers
  • LBAs encourage sharing of workloads in the household, and improve women’s access to markets

Beneficiaries also reported that having now established a relationship, they can call local government officials for assistance and receive better services when they visit government offices.

 

 

Contact us at:

suchana.bangladesh@savethechildren.org

House CWN (A) 35, Road 43, Gulshan 2, Dhaka 1212