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Prof. Masuda M. Rashid Chowdhury (Saima),A Leading Woman Entrepreneur & Educationist

Prof. Masuda M. Rashid Chowdhury (Saima),A Leading Woman Entrepreneur & Educationist

Professor Masuda M. Rashid Chowdhury is one of the pioneers among business women in Bangladesh. Born in one of the most illustrious families of Bangladesh, She has played a major and significant role in the business arena of Bangladesh. Professor Masuda M. Rashid Chowdhury has won national and international recognition for her dedication and selfless contribution especially in the fields of educating, women’s development, and social services for the under-privileged and also for the advancement of women entrepreneurs in Bangladesh. She has trained thousands of women in becoming entrepreneurs and grows to be solvent in life. She inherited the family business becoming the Chairman of Abul Mansur & Company and also setup in 1973 her own handicraft industry, which hs become the largest woodcraft industry of Bangladesh. Professor Chowdhury is a leading manufacturer, exporter, distributor and a famous designer. In 1986 she won the Best Women Entrepreneur Award of Asia in Philippines. She has enhanced her business setting up Bengal Crafts, with indigenous crafts and designs, The Craftsmen with modem furniture and other handicraft items Folk, tribe & Traditions, Heritage Bangladesh with culture oriented preservation and promotion, speed Bangladesh assists in entrepreneurship development and environment promotion, educational and creative items production for children. She took over as chairman “The Rashids Group” managing the business ventures with confidence and courage. She is also a Professor of Sociology, University of Dhaka, serving for the last 36 years, Member of Senate, Rover Scout Leader, Advisor, Dhaka Uiversity Tourist Society, Member Governing Body Dhaka University,

Institute of Social Welfare and also involved with various other avtivities of Dhaka University.

She is Presidium Member, Jatiya Party, Senior Vice-President SAARC SME Forum, Kolkata, India, Member, SAARC Entrepreneurs Council, India, Task Force Member, Organization of Islamic Countries (OIC) SME Development, Jeddah Saudia Arabia; Senior Vice President, International Union of Muslim Women NGOs, Tehran, Iran, Member, Confederation of Asia Pacific Chambers of Commerce & Industry (CACCI), Taipei, Taiwan. Among other important positions held are Chairman, Bangladesh Businesswomen’s SME Network, Bangladesh Association of Businesswomen & Professionals; Senior Vice President, World Association of Small & Medium Enterprises (WASME, Bangladesh Chapter); Sr. Vice President, National Association of Small and Cottage Industries, Bangladesh (NASCIB); Senior Vice President Bangladesh Handicraft Manufacturers & Exporters Association (Banglacraft); Senior Vice President, Bangladesh Association of Union Parishad Members; Member SME Foundation, Ministry of Industries GOB. She was the Director of SAARC Chamber of Commerce & Industry, Kathmandu, Nepal and the Federation of Bangladesh Chambers of Commerce & Industry (FBCCI), where she set a record by being the first woman to win the elections with the highest votes.

Professor Chowdhury  passed her Senior Cambridge form Cambridge University in 1964 (First in Pakistan, 10th in International merit) HSC in 1966 (Star marks in Science Group), BFA in Fine Arts in 1971 (first girl to stand first), MSS in Sociology in 1976 (First in First Class), Phd. (Dhaka University 2007-8). She has won numerous awards, both nationally and internationally, wining the Best Woman Entrepreneur of Asia Award in 1990, having her biography in Women Entrepreneurs Guide Book, printed by FAMD & Techno net Asia from Philippines, Bangladesh National Women Entrepreneurs Award 2003; Best Women Entrepreneurs Award of 2003, 2004 2007, 2008 and 2009 by various business organizations. Best Women Entrepreneur Award of 2008 by Dhaka International Trade Fair; Women Personality Award for Education in 2007, 2008 (International  Women’s Day Award), Rokeya Padak, Mujib Gold Medal and Award, Bangamata Fazilatunnesa Gold Medal for her contributions towards women’s empowerment and entrepreneurship development. She has won 19 international and 16 national awards for lkebana, flower arrangement, handicraft development, 3 celebrity Award 6 Award of Excellence for her contributions for the education of youth and women and income generation of the destitute and underprivileged. She has been awarded the prestigious award as successful mother on international Mother’s Day 2008.

She has written 14 Books and has 68 national & international publications to her credit. she is widely travelloed having led delegations (Trade and others) to 46 countries, presented papers at more than 2008 International Conferences form 1976 till today and participated as a 3rd World Leader and Women Activist in conferences held in 36 countries. Professor Chowdhury has completed research on 26 projects including women issues, tribal societies and ethnic subjects, sociological issues art, crafts, culture and aesthetic subjects, business, Industries and entrepreneurship issues. She has taken training on various issues including handicraft development. Research educational issues & business management including 33 training for product and entrepreneurship development.

Her father late Abul Mansur was a renowned business magnet of Pakistan and her mother Mousufa Mansur was well-known social worker establishing the BAWA School and College at Chittagong, her husband Alhaj Advocate A.B.M. Fazle Rashid Chowdhury (Hiru) was a noted politician and lawyer and her father-in law, A. K.M. Fazlul Kabir Chowdhury was Leader of the Opposition in East Pakistan Assemble. They have been her source of inspiration under whose guidance she has emerged Successful in her endeavors in life. Her daughter Sanjana, successful interior designer and son Barrister Sanjeed Rashid Chowdhury an enterprising and established businessman, are inspired by her activities which they desire to continue for the betterment of humankind and the underprivileged of this nation.

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