With new marketing and business strategies, amateur entrepreneurs are now getting the opportunity to thrive. In Bangladesh, millions of people log into Facebook every day. For some, it’s not just about memes or just a scroll to keep updated on your friends. Entrepreneurs reach out to their customers through the help of Facebook by basing their business as an online service.
ShopUp is a platform which provides social media-based entrepreneurs to sell with better coordination and access to the financing they can afford.
Assistance is one click away
ShopUp, a messenger based cart management system was first launched in 2016. It facilitates the micro-enterprise, helping them coordinating the goods by installing a catalogue, cart and checkout system. It provides the basic features of online service through Facebook. ShopUp analyzes data points of the micro-entrepreneur and its owners by assessing their capital requirement and repayment capacity. They refer these micro-enterprises to partner with different financial institutions that expends the loans directly to the merchants.
The three musketeers of ShopUp
Afeef Zaman, Siffat Sarwar and Ataur Chowdhury are the three musketeers who have taken the initiative of it all. They have made business for entrepreneurs easy by cutting wait times by weeks and reducing loan operating costs from 18-20 percent to 3-5 percent. As a result, this also means that they are minimizing loans of $2500 to $300 approximately. In addition to loans and financial support, ShopUp also provides technical and business support through which the entrepreneurs can support their small business up and running on Facebook platforms in a successful way.
Sifat Sarwar in an interview with Dhaka Tribune mentions one of the major community they focus on is to give this platform more accessible to women.
“Millions of women in Bangladesh are unable to earn for themselves because of social and family issues. If you start a business on Facebook, you can earn lakhs of taka while changing your child’s diaper! All you need is determination. “Says Siffat Sarwar assuring women that they can too work from home and be successful as well.
Newtons Archive, Rapunzel’s Secret, Dr Gadget and many of your daily online shops are currently partnering up with ShopUp. They have become one of the most popular and trusted services in Bangladesh.
Well deserved success one after the other
Led by Omidyar Network, ShopUp has $1.62 million in a seed round last year. The participating members angel investors from Facebook, Google, Amazon, Grab, and other banks. From other projects, ShopUp received the grant of US$25,000 as the first runner up and were awarded by Metlife foundation. With the success and profits, ShopUp has a well-deserved value in the business market. With the changes they bring for the micro-entrepreneurs in the online business, we can only hope to see more business startups developing now more than ever.