The Institute of Chartered Secretaries of Bangladesh (ICSB) awarded 43 private entrepreneurs in recognition of excellence in corporate governance as well as transparency in overall management. These companies were awarded in 14 categories in a ceremony held at a hotel in the capital on Saturday night. Among them, Eastern Bank got gold medal Dutch-Bangla Bank got silver and BRAC Bank got bronze medals in the general banking category. Autonemo awarded vehicle tracking service license by BTRC In Islamic Banking, Shahjalal Islami Bank got the gold medal, Standard Bank silver and Global Islami Bank got the bronze medal. In the non-banking financial institution category, IDLC Finance bagged the gold medal, Bangladesh Finance silver, and DBH Finance and National Housing Finance and Investments jointly bagged the bronze. In the general insurance category, City General Insurance bagged gold, Green Delta Insurance bagged silver and People's Insurance bagged bronze. In the life insurance category, National Life won the gold medal and Pragati Life won the silver medal. In the pharmaceuticals and chemicals category, Beximco Pharma got gold, Square Pharma got silver and Renata Limited and Navana Pharma jointly obtained bronze. Matin Spinning got gold, Paramount Textiles silver, and Hua Well Textiles bronze in the textiles and ready-made garments category. a2i’s NISE and Muktopaath win WITSA Award In the Food & Allied category, Unilever Consumer Care obtained gold, Golden Harvest Agro Industries silver, and Olympic Industries got bronze. ADN Telecom won the gold medal, Amra Technologies Silver and IT Consultants obtained the bronze in the Information and Communication Technology category. In the engineering category, Walton Hi-Tech Industries won gold, Runner Automobiles won silver and Singer Bangladesh won bronze. In the manufacturing category, RAK Ceramics won gold, Marico Bangladesh won silver and Lafarge Holcim won bronze. In the fuel and power category, United Power Generation and Distribution Company obtained gold medal, Linde Bangladesh silver, and Doreen Power and MJL Bangladesh jointly obtained bronze. In the service category, Eastern Housing won gold, Unique Hotels & Resorts silver and Index Agro Industries obtained bronze. Apart from this, Robi Axiata won gold and Bangladesh Submarine Cable Company got silver in the telecommunication category. Abul Khair's legacy: 67 freedom fighters awarded in Brahmanbaria Commerce Minister Tipu Munshi, Senior Secretary of the Ministry Tapan Kanti Ghosh, and ICSB Secretary Md Abdullah, among others, spoke at the function.
HSBC will launch the ‘Female Entrepreneur Fund (FEF)’ in Bangladesh on Thursday in acknowledgment of the challenges that female-owned businesses face. Female Entrepreneur Fund (FEF) will be launched as part of HSBC’s global commitment to supporting female entrepreneurs. The aim of the programme is to promote financial inclusivity for women entrepreneurs in Bangladesh through the FEF initiative by supporting: financial literacy, networking, and financing, said HSBC, one of the world’s largest banking and financial services organisations. Read HSBC Bangladesh gets 1st female head of retail banking Of HSBC’s clientele base - female led corporates, NGOs that help and promote female entrepreneurship, female led startups and some selected non-customer groups and individuals will be eligible to participate in the programme. Participants will benefit from access to HSBC’s extensive local and global networks, opportunity to learn and share knowledge among a cohort of female entrepreneurs, workshops and master classes designed for specific needs. Kevin Green, Country Head of Wholesale Banking, HSBC Bangladesh said finance has a pivotal role to play as a catalyst for change. Read HSBC, IBA award young talents of Bangladesh with future skills “Through programmes such as the Female Entrepreneur Fund, we are taking strides to bring financial independence and inclusivity to the communities that we operate in. This initiative will help us to connect our customers and communities with opportunities for growth”. After a successful launch in 11 markets, Bangladesh joins a number of markets in Asia to the coverage of the programme.
Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina on Sunday said her government is focusing on developing skilled manpower to transform the country’s demographic advantage into dividends. She said this while delivering her inaugural speech at the first meeting of the Governing Board of the National Skill Development Authority (NSDA) at her office (PMO). Each year in Bangladesh, up to 22 lakh young people arrive in the labour market, she mentioned stressing the need for providing them training to hone their skills so they turn into entrepreneurs rather than only looking for jobs. The premier said that the government wants to accelerate country’s progress towards achieving the Vision 2041 utilising the demographic dividend. Also read: PM: Bangladeshi investors can set up fertilizer factories in Uzbekistan She said that the youth of the country must be developed as skilled manpower. “As the world is evolving continuously in technology, our aim is to build the future generations as the skilled hands to cope with up the changes,” she said. She said Bangladesh having a huge number of young people has a demographic advantage over many countries of the world which are becoming lands of old people. The PM said her government wants that the youth utilise their potentials in the world market as skilled manpower. Also read: PM: Useless Ukraine-Russia war benefitting only arms producers “We want that future generations of the country will be equipped with modern technology-based knowledge. We want to create skilled manpower keeping the fourth industrial revolution in our mind,” she said. Hasina put emphasis on training the manpower keeping in mind the demand in the world market. She said that Bangladesh wants investment from home and abroad in which skilled manpower will play a key role. She reiterated her call to reduce the country’s dependency on the remittance from the expatriates for foreign exchange reserves. “We have to increase and diversify our production. We have to expand our export basket,” she said. She asked the officials to search for new markets and find out their demands so Bangladesh can make export products accordingly. “We have to find out our way for producing new items for international market,” she said. She also advised Bangladeshi businesspeople to look for opportunities to invest abroad. “Not only we will invite investment, we also can invest in other countries. For all these we need skilled manpower,” she said. She urged the young generation to acquire skills in various fields – instead of just getting certificates - so they can start their own enterprises and create jobs for others. She said that a good number of youths run after jobs after having certificates from their educational institutions. “We want that the young generation will be made a skilled workforce,” she said. The prime Minister vowed to develop Bangladesh as a prosperous country through implementing the programmes undertaken by her government overcoming all the obstacles. She mentioned that works on developing the national skill portal is progressing aimed at promoting countrywide skill development as well as for coordination of all the information on training about skills. The PM said that training on quality innovative skill development has been ensured to develop the manpower of the country to meet the demands in domestic and international labour markets. Referring to the activities of the NSDA, Hasina hoped that it will undertake necessary measures to improve living standard of the common people and work for establishing a prosperous Bangladesh. She said the NSDA will also play its role to remove the existing negative attitude in the society about skill development training. She said the 21st century is witnessing the creation of new professions on the basis of the demand of modern industries due to 4th industrial revolution. She mentioned that new sectors like E-commerce, cloud computing, robotics, block chain, artificial intelligence, nano technology and internet of things are becoming important day by day. PM Hasina said the government is currently facing various challenges like the impact of corona pandemic and Ukraine war and consequent sanctions from the USA and the EU on Russia. She mentioned that her government has been implementing the 8th five-year plan to materialize the 2021-2041 perspective plan and achieve sustainable development goals like MDGs. Education Minister Dipu Moni, Finance Minister AHM Mustafa Kamal, Industries Minister Nurul Majid Mahmud Humayun, Prime Minister’s Private Industry and Investment Adviser Salman Fazlur Rahman, State Minister for Labour Begum Monnujan Sufian, State Minister for Public Administration Farhad Hossain, Cabinet Secretary Khandker Anwarul Islam, Prime Minister’s Principal Secretary Ahmad Kaikaus, PM's Press Secretary Ihsanul Karim and FBCCI President Md. Jashim Uddin, among others, were present.
Telecom operator Grameenphone recently organised an F-commerce event for Kansat Aam Aroddar Shomobay Shomiti at Shibganj, Chapainawabganj. The activity was simultaneously organised at Baneshwar in Rajshahi and Rangpur. The nine-day campaign helped about 11,000 mango farmers and entrepreneurs to gain a better understanding of how to operate their businesses online. Read: Grameenphone, NEG sign MoU on Philip Kotler's book The primary market of mangoes in Bangladesh lies in the north of Rajshahi. Over the past few years, mango businesses for farmers in the north have been thriving over the digital sphere. To help the community of mango farmers and businessmen reach greater heights, Grameenphone is empowering the mango farmers from the northern zone, enabling them to sell mangoes using F-commerce and optimum digital integration. Sajjad Hasib, CMO of Grameenphone, said: "Now online marketplaces are minimising the middleman and maximising profit for the mango growers' communities at the grassroots level." Read GP, Bangladesh Red Crescent Society distribute relief among flood-hit people Redwanur Rahman Moon, an F-commerce mango seller from Rajshahi, said: "People from all over the country stay eager to order mangoes for themselves and their families during this season. Despite huge demand, we struggle with many technical problems that bar our business from expanding to the level we wish to go. We are thankful to Grameenphone for equipping us with digital skills."
Bangladesh’s first-ever social media prepaid card was launched on Wednesday, aimed at encouraging women to start Facebook-centric businesses. MasterCard, Mutual Trust Bank, and e-Courier have jointly launched the prepaid card at an event in the capital. The card is designed specifically for women entrepreneurs so that they can benefit from Facebook-centric businesses. READ: Contactless payment service to be available for debit, prepaid card users: BB The card has a dual currency facility for entrepreneurs to use their Facebook page without any third-party payment assistance. The e-courier will transfer funds directly to the client's prepaid card, so women entrepreneurs do not have to go to the e-courier to collect cash in person. This card includes special discounts on e-commerce portals, jewelry shops, groceries, and clothing stores, specially designed for cardholders. Read BYLC Ventures opens applications for the 5th cohort Cardholders will have a dual currency transaction facility at more than 5,000 outlets in Bangladesh, Bogo (buy-one-get-one) at hotel locations, dining and lifestyle offer an easy subscription on streaming platforms (Netflix, Amazon Prime, etc.), MTB Green Pin services, SMS banking, POS services, ATM and QR-code transaction facilities. Biplob Ghosh Rahul, Chief Executive Officer (CEO) of e-Courier, said, “E-Courier is pleased to launch for the first time a co-branded prepaid card for women entrepreneurs in a joint venture with MasterCard and Mutual Trust Bank. E-Courier is the first private logistics and courier brand in Bangladesh, which has been supporting women entrepreneurs and their endeavours through sophisticated and specialized logistics solutions for the past eight years. Read Sonia Bashir, 2 other Bangladeshis among 100 Global Tech's Changemakers Syed Mohammad Kamal, country manager, MasterCard Bangladesh, said, “The pandemic has had a significant impact on consumer spending growth on e-commerce channels like Facebook.” The women entrepreneurs are contributing to the F-Commerce sector in Bangladesh that is why this card was introduced, he said. Syed Mahbubur Rahman, MD & CEO, Mutual Trust Bank (MTB), said, “MTB has always played a leading role in implementing innovative payment solutions. Read BUILD's initiative to harmonise terminology around women entrepreneurs “Introducing co-branded prepaid cards jointly will ensure various financial benefits. This will further facilitate the expansion of trade and commerce in Bangladesh's growing F-commerce sector,” he added.
Bangladesh Youth Leadership Center (BYLC) Ventures has launched a new cohort for young entrepreneurs to help them make their mark in the business world. After completing four cohorts, BYLC Ventures started taking applications for its fifth cohort on May 19. BYLC Ventures was launched in 2019 to help young founders give shape to their entrepreneurial initiatives. Also read: BYLC Ventures: Cohort 4 winners announced The accelerator programme's goals include funding the most promising founders in Bangladesh and supporting their leadership capabilities, business acumen, and business ideas. The winning teams of BYLC Ventures Cohort 5 will receive seed funding of Tk8 lakh with the option of a further Tk20 lakh in additional investment. They will also have access to a co-working space, mentoring, and a rigorous accelerator curriculum for six months. Read: BYLC Career Expo 2022: Learn Leadership Skills, Use Them, and Move Up in Your Career Twenty startups have received seed funding and training from BYLC Ventures since its inception. They created employment opportunities for over 300 people and generated combined revenue of more than Tk3 crore. "Young entrepreneurs continue to struggle to find a strong footing and get the right support to take their business forward," says Barisha Rabbe, senior manager at BYLC Ventures. "We provide the ideal platform for young entrepreneurs. Apart from mentorship and networking support, we help them grow and scale up their ideas into sustainable businesses," he added. Read BYLC launches Volunteer Awards 2021 Applications for the fifth cohort are open until June 24.
The upcoming national budget should include a special programme to encourage new initiatives and create more entrepreneurs, speakers at a webinar said on Wednesday. They also underlined the need for a special incentive or tax exemption facility of at least five to eight years for new entrepreneurs so educated youths can build a career in business. Prof Dr Muhammad Mahboob Ali, Programme coordinator, Department of Entrepreneurship Economic, at Dhaka School of Economics, said both state-owned and private sector banks have to come forward with soft credit for new young entrepreneurs. He suggested designating a day as ‘Entrepreneurship Day’ to be observed specially in educational institutions to inspire learners to take up innovative career. READ: Webinar underlines digital innovation to boost agro production Prof Dr Anisul M.Islam, University of Houston, Texas ,USA joined the webinar virtually as the chief guest, Prof Dr Susanta Kumar Mishra, School of Management, Centurion University of Technology & Management, Bhubaneswar, India and Prof Dr Parul, Institute of Management & Technology, Faridabad, India took part in the program as special guests. Prof Islam called for ensuring good governance for expansion of enterprising activities in Bangladesh, which had been applied in the USA for developing entrepreneurship. Without developing entrepreneurship Bangladesh cannot make employment for its huge educated population and would remain deprived of the skilled service of the population if they may migrate to developed countries, he said. Sara Tasneem, assistant professor and Rehana pervin of DScE, Dr. Nadia Binte Amin, Umman Nahar Azmee and Md.Mahbubur Rahman, president and secretary of Entrepreneurial Economists, among others, spoke at the webinar.
Bangladeshi tech entrepreneurs Sonia Bashir Kabir, Afeef Zaman, and Morin Talukder have been named on the Rest of World (RoW)'s 100 Global Tech's Changemakers' list. RoW had set out to find 100 of the most influential, innovative, and trailblazing personalities in fintech, e-commerce, policy, digital infrastructure, and a range of other sectors that intersect with and influence technology. From tech leaders, innovators, and investors to activists, it identified those people outside Silicon Valley and the West, whose efforts directly impact countries where the majority of the world's population lives. Also read: Sonia Bashir to serve UN Technology Bank for another term Among the three Bangladeshis, Sonia Bashir Kabir is the founder and managing director of SBK Tech Ventures, a Bangladesh-focused venture capital fund, which invests in startups that support the digital development of rural areas. SBK's portfolio includes Dmoney, Solshare, and Praava Health. Previously, as the country manager of Microsoft Bangladesh, Sonia partnered with donor agencies, banks, telecommunications companies, and students, to mobilise and grow the company's initiatives. Read Legendary Women in Bangladesh with Pioneering Contribution in Diverse Fields She also worked to provide microloans to women to start IT businesses. Afeef Zaman is an expert in problem-solving in emerging markets, especially in Bangladesh. He is the CEO of ShopUp, the country's largest full stack business-to-business commerce platform for micro, small, and medium-sized enterprises. Afeef bootstrapped Ice9 – a venture builder providing solutions for emerging economies – to success in his 20s. Following this, he decided to help the entrepreneurs who run the country's 4.5 million popular mom-and-pop stores but struggle to access its formal financial system due to a lack of digital presence. Read 10 Greatest Female Scientists of All Time Thanks to ShopUp, they can now access digital credit, B2B sourcing, logistics, and business management solutions. After closing South Asia's largest funding round worth $75 million in 2021, the company has added to its funds with a $34 million series B extension round. Morin Talukder is the co-founder and CEO of Pickaboo, a Bangladesh-based e-commerce platform. Though still in his 20s, he is a seasoned expert in the booming e-commerce industry, having founded the online shopping platform ehatbazaar.com in 2015, which he sold a year later to focus on Pickaboo. During its six years of operation and five funding rounds, it has gained the confidence of its customers. Read 10 Greatest Female Entrepreneurs of the 21st Century To stay competitive, Morin has prioritised offering a high-speed delivery service with turnarounds of as little as three hours and has turned Pickaboo into one of the first e-commerce retailers in Bangladesh to introduce monthly payment plans and customer membership plans. "Together, the individuals featured on our Global Tech's Changemakers list influence how products are made and distributed, how entrepreneurs are funded, and how tech is regulated and its users protected far beyond their local markets," RoW said. "As a result of the extraordinary headwinds they face, our editorial team believes these leaders are more innovative, more thoughtful, and better at sharing new ideas than most people in the Western world understand." Read Top 10 Richest Women in the World in 2021
Executive Chairman of Bangladesh Investment Development Authority (BIDA) Md. Sirazul Islam urged private sector entrepreneurs to proactively use One Stop Service (OSS) portal to get 58 services. At one point of time, it was the private sector who demanded for a single window from where they could get all relevant services to start or run a business and currently 58 different services are being provided through OSS, he said. Speaking as the chief guest Sirazul said this in a discussion on the use of OSS, arranged by Dhaka Chamber of Commerce & Industry (DCCI) on April 20, 2022. He also said that BIDA’s registration and RJSC’s name clearance can now be taken within 24 hours through OSS. In three years of time OSS has been able to provide about 60,000 services and at present, 90 percent of BIDA’s services are being provided in time, he added. BIDA Chairman requested the private sector to access these digital facilities online with a view to reduce the cost of doing business. “If private sector shows keen interest to avail services from OSS then hundreds of more services will be added to the board, then the cost of business will automatically come down,” he added. Dhaka Chamber President Rizwan Rahman said, “We need to change our mindset to use the OSS.” READ: Investment proposals grow 46.33 pc in July-September 2021: BIDA He also said that DCCI will work to disseminate the positive features of OSS to its members as well as to the business community to make it familiar. Rizwan also requested BIDA to develop a promotional video tutorial on OSS and upload that to social media for better reach. Senior Vice President of DCCI Arman Haque, Executive Member of BIDA Mohsina Yasmin, DCCI Vice President Monowar Hossain, and other members of DCCI were present on the occasion.
Business Initiative Leading Development (BUILD) organised a virtual discussion programme on Tuesday to discuss a clear and universally agreed-upon definition of women-owned and women-led businesses in the country. BUILD and International Trade Centre (ITC)–SheTrades Programme, in collaboration with Bangladesh Standards and Testing Institution (BSTI), decided to work together to develop and adopt the globally recognised ISO standard definition of Women Entrepreneurship in Bangladesh, said a press release. At the session, Ferdaus Ara Begum, CEO of BUILD, said women entrepreneurs are deprived of fair opportunities and scope despite their contribution to the economy. One of the main reasons for this is the lack of gender-disaggregated data in our country. Adopting a global definition can allow women entrepreneurs (WEs) to be integrated with international business and exploit the benefits of policies announced by the government. She added. She also highlighted the importance of adopting the ISO standard global definition. She illuminated that collecting sex-disaggregated data at the national level could help evidence-based policymaking and international comparison. WEs could also get access to public procurement, the CEO added. Edison Yap, associate economic affairs officer of SheTrades Initiative of International Trade Centre, informed that the sector has been suffering from policy support because of the non-existence of harmonised global definition of women entrepreneurs. READ: Women entrepreneurs groomed on SMM, SEO ITC, ISO and others have prepared four WE definitions to ensure institutional recognition of their economic activities, said this officer. Adopting and integrating the ISO IWA 34:2021 standard of WEs definition in Bangladesh will make the segmented entrepreneurs eligible to avail of policy and monetary assistance. Countries should set the definition by considering the nation’s business environment and the demand of the women entrepreneurs’ community, Edison said. Meanwhile, Selima Ahmad MP said the Bangladesh Bank and the Ministry of Industries had provided definitions of women entrepreneurs in Bangladesh. “We need to consider the term women-owned business and the percentage of ownership while setting up the definition.” She assured to provide every possible support from the end of Parliament to formulate a globally recognised and harmonised definition of WEs. At the same time, Md Salim Ullah, senior assistant secretary of Ministry of Industries, said the Ministry includes a dedicated chapter regarding women entrepreneurs in the draft of the National Industrial Policy-2022. He requested to send the outcomes of the session to MoI so that they would be able to accommodate the remarks in the draft policy, which is going to be finalised very soon. Along with Selima Ahmad MP and BWCCI President, Representatives of the Ministry of Industries, several Chamber Presidents, and women entrepreneurs joined the virtual programme to share their views on the subject issue.