Ranu putting a box together.
Ranu putting a box together.

Photo © Tommy Trenchard

Satata Enterprises

The business that’s challenging perceptions of disability

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 and Ranu making boxes.

Juthika and Ranu working on box-making.

Photo © Tommy Trenchard

The three women started Satata Enterprises 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 their homes. 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.”

Two men working in a food container factory.

Shah Lam (right) and Naz Mul at work in a food container factory run by a group of visually impaired women in Narsingdhi.

Photo © Tommy Trenchard

Going from strength to strength

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.”


Four women making boxes at a table.

The members of Satata Enterprises making boxes.

Photo © Tommy Trenchard