This is so important. I can definitely relate to it.

I’m born and raised in Dhaka, Bangladesh.

When I was in the first grade, after a lot of nagging, my mom finally bought me a desktop computer. I was six years old, and I played with it all the time. I spent hours drawing stuff on MS paint and playing pinball. We got our own internet connection pretty late, in 2007, which is when I started to learn about design and how to code.

4 years later, I was in the 8th grade and started my first company with four of my friends. It was an event management company. We organised local sports and gaming tournaments. It required us to spend a lot of time outdoors, organising events. My mom let me pursue it. She drove me to the event venues, picked me when events were over, listened to my rants about what went wrong and always told me to move forward.

In 2014, having done a considerable number of freelance gigs online, I was offered a job as a “Graphics Designer” at Chaldal.com, a delivery startup backed by Y-Combinator and 500 Startups. I sixteen years old, in the 10th grade, and this job required me to go to the office. My mom was worried that it would cause me to miss school. I felt that it was an exciting opportunity, and tried to get her on board. In the end she decided to let me do it. She talked to my teachers so that I could attend my classes early in the morning. By 11:20am, my classes were complete and I was able to go to work. I had gained a lot of experience during me time there, and my school grades turned out very well.

In the summer of 2015, aged seventeen, I cofounded a carpooling platform. Traffic was among Dhaka’s biggest problems, I wanted to help solve it. Again, this meant I would have to spend time away from school, which my mom, understandably, didn’t like. But she was still supportive of me and let me do it. We received seed funding from an angel investor from the US, and have been working on it ever since.

In my case, my mom has always been the one to support my endeavours and I’m extremely grateful for it. I’m still seventeen, graduating high school this year. I don’t know if I’ll have a success story, such as yours, but I’m glad I’ve been given a shot at pursuing what I love.

Founding team / VP of Product @ Pathao (pathao.com); Global Shaper @ World Economic Forum. (ahmedfahad.com)

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