How BYLC’s Art and Practice of Leadership workshop is changing the approach to leadership
“I would always wonder if leadership can be taught or if it is an inherent trait,” says Almeer Ahsan Asif. “My perception on leadership and values changed completely after I enrolled in the first cohort of BYLC’s Art and Practice of Leadership workshop.” Through APL, Almeer learnt that practicing leadership is far more important than being a leader. Anyone can practice leadership, regardless of their age, gender, or socio-economic status. Formal authority is not required to practice leadership. So, what exactly is this Art and Practice of Leadership that has completely upturned perceptions of thousands of youth like Almeer, who previously were more inclined to give more importance to the role a person held as opposed to the work itself? Read: BYLC launches development sector-focused career expo in Dhaka Conceptualized at Harvard University, the Art and Practice of Leadership or APL is a 3-day-long workshop that allows participants to embark on a stimulating introspective journey that develops their leadership potential while acquiring new skills to keep up with a rapidly changing world. Apart from leadership, participants are trained on communication through public speaking, emotional intelligence, problem-solving, and critical thinking skills. Work, as per this workshop, is always at the center. “The work is more important than the person. It’s not about who is getting the work done but about getting it done. Throughout my career, I’ve given more importance to my work than my position,” says Almeer. While still a student of Electrical and Electronic Engineering at AIUB, Almeer came to know about the first APL workshop of BYLC. As he was already engaged in various social activities and was involved in work that required leadership, he thought to give the workshop a try. At the very least, he would get a certificate. He didn’t anticipate the program to change the way he thought or the way he addressed problems. Read: BYLC Ventures hosts Cohort 5 selection bootcamp He decided to shift to the teaching route; he joined the Teach for Bangladesh fellowship after graduating from AIUB. He taught at Amtoli Staff Welfare School in Mohakhali for two years as a fellow in the inaugural cohort. Later, he joined the curriculum development team of BYLC as an Assistant Manager. In 2017, he received an Executive Education on the Art and Practice of Leadership Development from Harvard University. Almeer currently acts as the Senior Manager of the Skills Development and Training wing, leading a five-year long project and five departments of BYLC. His students have gone on to make major impacts on their fields, be it the public, private, or civil sectors. Almeer believes that APL has an unique role in training the millions of graduating students of Bangladesh who, despite their grades, may not have the skills or confidence to demonstrate their employability in the job market. Explaining the importance of learning leadership in career development, Almeer said, “From my days in Harvard, I recall what a CEO of an organization told me. He said, ‘Look, I’ve been in the top position in an organization for 15 years, but I never managed to lead. I only performed the duties attached to the position.’ We want to imbibe our graduates with the passion to learn, grow, and lead.” Read BYLC Ventures opens applications for 5th cohort He goes on to add, “Through BYLC’s APL course, the scope of skills development truly expands. In addition to learning about several technical aspects, it becomes easier to find solutions to various problems. There’s so much more to think about beyond your own boundaries.” So if you think this is right for you, join BYLC's 29th cohort of Art and Practice of Leadership workshop. Please visit bylc.org for more information.
BYLC launches development sector-focused career expo in Dhaka
Bangladesh Youth Leadership Center launched a career expo in Dhaka's Mohakhali on August 13 (Saturday), focusing on the development sector. With over 500 registered participants, more than 20 participating employer organisations, and 20-plus youth engagement and club partners, the expo targets to link graduating students, fresh graduates, and young professionals with experts and professionals. Speakers at the opening ceremony of the career expo urged students to work on their skills to increase their scope of employability and work for sustainable development. Read: BYLC Career Expo 2022: Learn Leadership Skills, Use Them, and Move Up in Your Career NGO Affairs Bureau Director General KM Tariqul Islam said: "We are fortunate to have a large youth demographic. We need to make the effort to train them with relevant 21st-century skills that will help them compete on a global level and connect them with the right employers who can make the best use of their skill sets." "The youth of Bangladesh need to have a commitment to nation building, equality, honesty, and self-confidence to ensure that they effectively lead the movement for the implementation of Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs)," Rasheda K Choudhury, executive director of the Campaign for Popular Education, said. "We want to host career expos with the private sector and government institutes in the future," BYLC Executive Director Tahsinah Ahmed said. Read BYLC Ventures hosts Cohort 5 selection bootcamp "BYLC will continue to work with and for youth to equip them with leadership, professional, and entrepreneurial skills that will enable them to work with integrity and have a high impact in public, private, and civil sectors," she added.
BYLC Ventures hosts Cohort 5 selection bootcamp
BYLC Ventures organised a three-day selection bootcamp at its headquarters in Mohakhali from July 25 to 27. Around 30 teams and 60 founders participated in the bootcamp. Participants were selected from over 200 applications for Cohort 5 of BYLC Ventures' six-month accelerator programme. From the 30 teams, an investment committee will select the top five, who will each receive Tk8 lakh seed funding and join the accelerator programme. The bootcamp was inaugurated by Tahsinah Ahmed, executive director of BYLC, and included sessions featuring industry experts, including Shammi S Quddus, product manager at Google, Adnan Imtiaz Halim, CEO of Sheba Platform, and Nirjhor Rahman, CEO of Bangladesh Angels. In the closing ceremony of the bootcamp, speakers encouraged the startup founders to develop business ideas that will contribute to social welfare and development. Read: Tahsinah Ahmed made BYLC executive director Dutch Ambassador to Bangladesh Anne van Leeuwen said: "I am hopeful that all of the startup founders present in this bootcamp will prove to be the parents of the inventions and provide solutions to the unique challenges Bangladesh is facing today." Ejaj Ahmad, founder and president of BYLC, urged the startup founders to be persistent, patient and committed. "You cannot build a business without commitment. Think hard before you commit and once you commit, stay committed." The bootcamp was supported by the IKEA Foundation and the Embassy of the Netherlands in Dhaka.
Tahsinah Ahmed made BYLC executive director
Tahsinah Ahmed has been appointed as the new executive director of Bangladesh Youth Leadership Center (BYLC), the country’s first leadership institute. The new appointment will be effective from Wednesday, said a press release of BYLC. Tahsinah brings to BYLC nearly three decades of professional experience in the development sector. She has effectively led some of the most successful youth-serving and workforce focused institutions in Bangladesh, including UCEP Bangladesh where she served as its first female executive eirector and BRAC where she established and led the BRAC Skills Development Program. Prior to UCEP Bangladesh and BRAC, Tahsinah worked for the Swiss Agency for Development Cooperation, Save the Children USA, Action Aid Bangladesh and UNESCO. Read: BYLC Career Expo 2022: Learn Leadership Skills, Use Them, and Move Up in Your Career Among other key roles, she served as an advisor of Generation Unlimited Bangladesh, a dynamic platform for the advancement of young people in the country. “We conducted an extensive search for an executive director with the right kind of skills, values, and expertise to lead the next chapter of BYLC’s growth,” said Ejaj Ahmad, President and Founder of BYLC. “I am confident that Tahsinah Ahmed, with her stellar track record of institution building and leadershipin nonprofit organizations, is the ideal executive eirector to lead BYLC into the future.” “We are delighted to welcome Tahsinah Ahmed to BYLC. She is an outstanding choice as an executive director, bringing with her a wealth of management and leadership experience,” said Akhter Matin Chaudhury, Chairperson of BYLC’s Governing Board. Also read: BYLC Ventures: Cohort 4 winners announced “I am inspired by the work that BYLC does to build a better Bangladesh by training the next generation of leaders. I will do my best to take the institution to new heights as a Center for Excellence through which today’s youth become the change agents that the nation seeks,” said Tahsinah Ahmed.
BYLC Ventures opens applications for 5th cohort
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.
BYLC Ventures: Cohort 4 winners announced
The winners of BYLC Ventures: Cohort 4 were announced on Sunday. The winning teams are Animo.AI, Biotech Energy Ltd, Premium Fruits, and Savoir Bangladesh. They will receive seed funding of Tk8 lakh with the option of having extra money as scale-up funding. Also, the winning teams will get access to a world-class business accelerator programme, in-house mentoring and networking support, legal and virtual CFO support, rigorous leadership training, as well as a co-working space in the Mohakhali office of Bangladesh Youth Leadership Center (BYLC). BYLC Ventures opened applications for Cohort 4 on November 1, and received applications from diverse sectors. READ: BYLC Career Expo 2022: Learn Leadership Skills, Use Them, and Move Up in Your Career During December 10-12, more than 80 founders from 37 shortlisted startups took part in a three-day bootcamp in Sreemangal. Sessions at the bootcamp covered different aspects of developing a startup idea, from identifying a real problem in society and refining the startup's solution to addressing the problem, to understanding the customer persona and demographics of the target audience. After that, 12 startups were selected for the final jury session, which was held on February 5. The jury included Tina Jabeen, president of Bangladesh Startup Consortium, Anita Ghazi Rahman, founder and managing partner of The Legal Circle, Mridul Chowdhury, founder and CEO of mPower Social Enterprises, Nirjhor Rahman, CEO of Bangladesh Angels, and Ejaj Ahmad, founder and president of BYLC. The four winning startups will join BYLC Ventures' existing portfolio of 16 startups from the last three cohorts.
BYLC Career Expo 2022: Learn Leadership Skills, Use Them, and Move Up in Your Career
In order to achieve a successful career, one often needs to be a leader. Leadership is not only beneficial for those in charge of teams or groups, but it is also essential for anyone looking to move up the career ladder. Leadership skills can be learned and developed through different experiences and training programs. However, what is most important is that individuals are willing to take on new challenges and put themselves out there. By having strong leadership qualities, an individual is able to set themselves apart from their peers and advance their career. But the question is how do you practice leadership? What skills should you have to pursue a leadership role? Keeping these in mind, Bangladesh Youth Leadership Center (BYLC) held a two-week-long career expo on ‘essential leadership skills to build a career in a rapidly changing world.’ In the career expo, different leaders from different sectors conveyed their experience about leadership. Here is what you need to keep in mind to become a successful leader. Preparation Leadership starts from preparation, that is what was addressed by the career expo webinar moderator BYLC President Ejaj Ahmad. In order to be an effective leader, it is important to have a clear understanding of what your role entails and what is expected of you. Preparation is key to success in any field, and this is especially true for those who aspire to lead others. By taking the time to learn about the different aspects of your job and the organization you work for, you will be better equipped to handle challenges and make decisions that are in the best interest of both. By understanding the basics of your job, you will be able to take the first steps towards becoming a leader. Read BYLC Ventures opens applications for fourth cohort Take responsibility A good leader is someone who takes responsibility for their actions and can be counted on in times of need. Responsibility is the foundation of leadership, and by taking responsibility you are able to build trust with others. People will respect you more if they know that you are a reliable person, and this will help you to become a better leader. When you take responsibility for your mistakes, you learn from them and become stronger. About taking responsibility, Centre for Research and Information (CRI) Trustee Radwan Mujib Siddiq conveyed, "Youth today must prepare themselves adequately and take responsibility. If you make a mistake, own it instead of hiding it. However, you should be able to defend your thought process even if you make a mistake." Read BYLC to instill leadership skills in 3,000 youths Become a part of the team and find your own niche Leadership is not a one-size-fits-all proposition. What works for one person may not be effective for another. To grow as a leader, you need to find your own niche and become a part of the team. This may require some experimentation, but it's worth the effort. Once you have found your niche, focus on developing the skills required to be successful in that role. Be prepared to put in the time and effort required to achieve your goals. Md. Shahriar Alam, MP, State Minister of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs discussed the matter and shared experiences from his first job of his life. He said, “Do what you feel strongly about and what feels right to you. Don’t pay heed to the opposition of your peers or even mentors.” Communication Skills It is often said that communication is the lifeblood of any organization. Whether it is a start-up or a multinational conglomerate, if people can't communicate effectively, the company will grind to a halt. And yet, so many people seem to underestimate the importance of communication skills. As a leader, it is essential to be able to not only communicate with your team but also to be able to listen to them. Communication is not just about transmitting information; it is also about building relationships and establishing trust. If you cannot do that, you won't be a leader for long. Read BYLC launches Volunteer Awards 2021 Never fear a failure There are a lot of reasons why you should not fear a failure to become a good leader. The most important reason is that you can learn from your failures. Everyone makes mistakes, but it's how you respond to your failures that determines your success. A good leader takes failures in stride and learns from them. They use their failures as a way to become better leaders. So, don't be afraid to fail – it's the best way to learn and become a successful leader. Mercy Miyang Tembon, World Bank’s Country Director for Bangladesh and Bhutan conveyed some wise words about being a failure. She said, “Never fear failure. Failure is the first attempt at learning.” Critical thinking and problem-solving skills The ability to think critically and solve problems are essential skills for any workplace. Critical thinking skills allow you to analyze and evaluate information, while problem-solving skills allow you to identify and implement solutions to problems. These skills are important for all employees but are especially critical for those in management or leadership roles. A workforce that is able to think critically and solve problems is more efficient and productive and is better able to meet the challenges of the modern workplace. Member of Parliament, Nahim Razzaq conveyed, “Be driven and create a career, based on trust, knowledge sharing, and networking. These are the assets that you build in the working environment.” Read BYLC Youth Leadership Summit 2021 aspires for a more inclusive future Learn through practice Leadership is often considered a quality that is innate, or that someone is born with. However, leadership can also be learned and developed over time with practice. Learning through practice is an important way to grow as a leader. It allows you to experiment with different techniques and strategies, learn what works and what doesn’t, and develop your own leadership style. Additionally, learning through practice helps you to build relationships and networks with other leaders. These relationships can provide you with valuable resources and support, which can help you to further develop as a leader. Regarding this matter the Dutch Ambassador, Anne van Leeuwen mentioned, “Leadership cannot only be learned from a book; you have to learn through practice.” Final Words Leaders are not born, but they are made. They have a clear vision and are able to articulate it in a way that inspires others to follow them. Leaders also have a strong sense of values and principles that they live by. Finally, leaders are able to take care of their people and make sure they have what they need to be successful. We hope that BYLC's two-week-long career expo in 2022 will help the nation build portential leaders who will lead the country in future.
BYLC launches Volunteer Awards 2021
"BYLC Volunteer Awards: Pandemic Heroes 2021" was launched Thursday. The winners were selected from over 800 individual and over 70 organisation submissions across 64 districts. The awards aimed to recognise the contributions of individuals and organisations working for social issues within their communities during the pandemic. Through this award, the Bangladesh Youth Leadership Center (BYLC) wants to promote partnerships between youth changemakers, community members, and other stakeholders to contribute to the government's vision of achieving Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) by 2030. Also read: BYLC hosts virtual run to observe Int’l Youth Day Winners were shortlisted based on their contribution, impact, reach, and engagement in the categories of individual and organisation submissions. Ten winners of the individual volunteer category received a social action project grant of Tk10,000; the top three volunteer organisations received grants of Tk25,000, Tk20,000, and Tk15,000. Speaking as chief guest at the event, Dhaka North City Corporation (DNCC) Mayor Md Atiqul Islam said: "Volunteers are essential to building an inclusive city and country. Even DNCC's mandatory masking campaign is being run by volunteers. We cannot achieve development without the contribution of volunteers who go out of their way to engage in social welfare." Paula Roos-Schindeler, deputy head of mission of the Embassy of the Kingdom of the Netherlands in Bangladesh, was a special guest at the event. "It takes a lot of resources and time for any organisation or government to reach every single community, identify their issues, and solve them. Young people can address some of the issues of their community because they understand these challenges and have greater chances to engage with the people," she said. "During a crisis, the first thought that crosses people's minds is their survival and wellbeing. Even during these challenging times, the winners of the BYLC Volunteer Awards thought of their civic responsibility and worked for the welfare of their community," said BYLC President Ejaj Ahmad.
BYLC’s Youth Leadership Summit kicks off Wednesday
Youth Leadership Summit, a four-day event hosted by Bangladesh Youth Leadership Center (BYLC) will kick off on Wednesday evening. The virtual summit, supported by Manusher Jonno Foundation (MJF) and the Foreign, Commonwealth and Development Office (FCDO) of the UK Government, will bring together over 300 youth competitively selected from all over Bangladesh. Foreign Minister, Dr. AK Abdul Momen will attend the opening ceremony of the summit as the chief guest. Dr. Gowher Rizvi, International Affairs Adviser to the Prime Minister of Bangladesh and International Advisory Board Member, Bangladesh Youth Leadership Center (BYLC), will chair the opening ceremony. Also read: BYLC hosts graduation ceremony Special guests will include Swedish Ambassador to Bangladesh Alexandra Berg von Linde, Acting Mission Director and Resident Legal Officer, USAID/Bangladesh Milan Pavlovic, and Director Generalof NGO Affairs Bureau K.M.Tariqul Islam. Also read: BYLC Ventures holds virtual entrepreneurship bootcamp The summit will consist of plenaries and workshops featuring industry experts and policymakers. This year, 302 delegates will be crafting solutions together to achieve inclusivity for all youth in terms of opportunities to work, exercising equal rights, access to better health, livelihood, education, and skills development within society. Also read: BYLC hosts virtual run to observe Int’l Youth Day
BYLC Ventures: Cohort 3 announce three winning startups
BYLC Ventures: Cohort 3 announced three startups as winners on Sunday. The three winning teams are Interactive Cares, an edtech company, KhaniDani, a food delivery company and Tunibibi, a global logistics platform. The three winning teams will receive seed funding of Taka 800,000 with the option of an additional Taka 1,500,000 as scale-up funding. READ: Climate action: BYLC holds World Environment Day Creative Competition Along with it, the winning teams will gain access to a world-class business accelerator program, in-house mentoring and networking support, legal and virtual CFO support, as well as a co-working space in Bangladesh Youth Leadership Center's (BYLC) Mohakhali office with rigorous leadership training. Two teams, Dhaka Game Studio and Ministry of Codes, were given honorary mentions and will receive mentorship and training support from BYLC Ventures. BYLC Ventures opened applications for Cohort 3 on March 15, 2021, and received hundreds of applications from numerous sectors and industries from all over Bangladesh. READ: BYLC launches Volunteer Awards 2021 From May 4, more than 200 founders from 105 shortlisted startups took part in a six-day-long, intensive and interactive virtual boot camp. After the boot camp session, 20 startups were selected for the thrilling final jury session. The selected winning teams will join BYLC Ventures’ existing portfolio of 13 startups from the last two cohorts. Read BYLC Ventures holds its largest virtual bootcamp to date