Parul Begum: My challenges in Bangladesh have strengthened me to dream bigger
Parul Begum has a mission in her daily life, to help women in their self-esteem and to strengthen them day by day. She refused to not reach her full potential as a teacher in Bangladesh, but “fight” to reach the top. From her life coaching experience to her business goals, she reveals for Global Woman magazine the challenges she has been through and her road to success.
What was your first job that influenced you to become what you are now?
While I was at college I volunteered at a local youth centre I run, which is a club for young Bangladeshi girls. I worked there for over 5 years, often mediating between girls and their parents to let them study, instead of taking them to Bangladesh to get married off to their cousins to bring them to the UK for economic reasons. I used to run a homework club, career advice and social and recreational activities for girls every weekend. This was the best part of my life, seeing girls going to college and eventually universities.
I was awarded the “Leader for London Millennium Award” in 1998, for running a number of self-development projects for young women and their parents. I also joined a number of campaign groups in Tower Hamlets, such as the Forced Marriage sub group, safeguarding board, and eventually Baroness Scotland introduced the Forced Marriage Bill. That was fantastic news for me as I was part of the group that contributed to the creating of the legislation.
While at university, I started my first paid job which was another educational project for newly migrated girls. I used to organise and run educational activities and partnered with local colleges, training providers and employers to ensure NEET (not in education, employment or training) young women had equal access to service provision. My paid career begins from there, becoming a project manager, managing services for BAME girls and then managing disability services for over 12 years. Again I was fighting against the injustice of disabled children and young people, how BAME parents treated their disabled child, and especially feeling shameful of having a disabled child. We were also the first service in the Tower Hamlets area, raising awareness about Female Genital Mutilation (FGM). It is nice to see how 15 years later the UK government introduced FGM legislation.
I started my first paid job which was another educational project for newly migrated girls. I used to organise and run educational activities and partnered with local colleges, training providers and employers to ensure NEET (not in education, employment or training) young women had equal access to service provision.
You have since progressed to 6 income streams. What are they?
• Real Estate: While working full time, I developed my passion for real estate (actually I was an accidental landlord). When my first child was born, I really wanted to buy a property for him so that he would not have to struggle the way I did to get onto property ladder and have my first home. I am continuing to build this up, and now I also coach people on how to build a property portfolio.
• I am a life coach, qualified with the Champion Academy coaching, in both life coaching and confidence coaching for adults and teenagers.
• I am an associate trainer, providing safeguarding and prevention training on sexual abuse, domestic abuse, and a whole range of training for parents, children, teachers, and social workers.And in the community, I work in partnership with the Freedom From Abuse organisation.
• Social Ecommerce: Business mentorship and ecommerce, where we streamline the supply chain and work with a number of world class companies.
• I have some investment in stocks and shares and crypto currency
• I have partnered with friends and we have developed a meet up App called AffinityFriend which was supposed to launch in April this year, but due to lockdown it is a slower start.
Has your training helped females to become financially independent?
My life coaching helps women to build their confidence and get into a job/ business/ education and take control of their life and finances.
The social e-commerce programme: I link like-minded people, both male and female, with my mentors.They get selected for the business mentorship programme absolutely free, and they get introduced to our e-commerce platform to run their own business and become financially free. This is only for people who have a deep desire for entrepreneurship, drive, and determination to educate themselves, who are humble and are eager to achieve their desired goal.
How did you manage to become a certified coach?
While working I was always searching for more. I attended a seminar and then took their training programme to became a certified life coach.
How do you feel about helping so many women all around the world for free?
I had a vision to help women all over the world by running educational activities for trafficked and domestic violence women in South East Asia, then move to Africa. But this requires a lot of resources and finances which I do not have, and I was searching for something that would help me to reach my goal. Not long ago I qualified for the mentorship, and running my own social e-commerce business, andI saw my dream coming alive to help women and the poorer people in the world. I am determined that through mentoring them nationally, I can then reach to a global level, providing business mentorship and social ecommerce platforms for people to take control of their own destiny and freedom, and become economically independent.
Are people as passionate as you to transform their lives?
This depends on individual people and where they are in their lives. For example, with women who are suffering domestic violence, it takes many sessions for them to open up and think about what they want in life; whereas a career minded person might just want to get on the ladder and help themselves and help others. So there are both types of people wanting to ignite the passion inside them. I love working with those who need a little bit of a push to recognise their full potential and ignite the light inside them. I get fulfilled when I see that have I made a difference to people lives, whether that is through paid or unpaid coaching.