Impact Hub Dhaka Organizes “Deep Dive into Entrepreneurial Society”: An Instructive Webinar Session for Building Successful Entrepreneurs
The entrepreneurial ecosystem in Bangladesh has been growing over the past few years with over 1000 active startups and almost 200 new startups being born each year. In order for the startups to flourish, it is very important for them to know who the key-players in the ecosystem who can help them build successful and sustainable businesses. Most entrepreneurs who are beginning their journey are unaware of this crucial factor. Without proper support, it is very difficult for entrepreneurs to grow their businesses and make the impact that they aspire to make.
Bangladesh, the 8th largest economy in the world with 164 million people, is a huge untapped market for startups and problem solvers. Our entrepreneurs drive the nation’s economy and widens the opportunities and hopes for the present and the future. Over the last few years, Bangladesh witnessed a boom in start-up culture which has flourished. However, many of them fall back and cannot revive due to lack of proper guidance and mentorship. It is important to embed the concept of entrepreneurship and change-making and to nurture the young minds who will change the world for the better. At Impact Hub Dhaka, we want to create a platform for partnership that will help develop the youth into prominent impact entrepreneurs. Impact Hub Dhaka in partnership with YY Ventures and Startup Chattogram organized an outreach event for the bright-minded entrepreneurs of Chattogram. “Deep Dive into Entrepreneurial Society” aimed to construct a strong entrepreneurial ecosystem in Chattogram.
The event started with a welcome speech by Bas Blaauw, First Secretary at Embassy of the Kingdom of Netherlands, who spoke about the importance of social business in today’s era. Blaauw also spoke about the significance of entrepreneurs in the transition of our country and how COVID-19 has opened up new ways to rethink:
“Normal rules don’t apply in crisis times. External shocks enforce us to think outside the box, to think of new solutions, to dream bolder, to aspire to a greater height. And I think in some ways 2020 could be a turning point; towards more social and more inclusive ways of doing business.”, he added.
Tazin Shadid, CEO at YY Ventures also addressed the participants and added,
“COVID- 19 has broadened the need for basic necessities, the need for being socially conscious and we are always looking for socially conscious entrepreneurs who want to build social businesses that solve real problems in our society…”
Day 1 of the webinar comprised of three distinctive sessions: Introduction to Startup Ecosystem, Social Entrepreneurship, and Startup Success Stories by Local Entrepreneurs. Tanzeem Noor, Programs Lead at YY Ventures started the first session by explaining how startup ecosystem and it’s entities work together and why it is important for startups to have a proper ecosystem to flourish. “I witnessed that many ideas failed to move forward because of not having an appropriate ecosystem. Ecosystem plays a big role in changing ideas into reality”, he added. Adding to that, Lamia Hafiz, Community Lead at Impact Hub Dhaka introduced Impact Hub Dhaka and elaborated how the global Impact Hub Network works towards providing the perfect ecosystem with all required facilities to the entrepreneurs in order to thrive.
The second session emphasized the relationship between SDGs and social entrepreneurship led by Kesevan Veloo, Movers fellow of Movers Programme. Subsequently, in the third session on ‘startup success stories’, the entrepreneurs shared their successful journey which inspired the participants with growing enthusiasm.
The first session of Day 2 webinar was led by Tazin Shadid where he presented design thinking models that allow ideas to be customer-centric by understanding the users which encompasses various steps: empathy, define, ideate, prototype, test. The participants had the opportunity to apply design thinking on a case study given by the facilitator by creating an interactive conversation with each other. The very last session on “Thinking like an investor” hosted successful business leaders: Bijon Islam, Co-founder & CEO of Lightcastle Partners, Nirjhor Rahman, CEO, Bangladesh Angels, and Shourav Islam, CEO of Unifox Digital Media who shared about their journey, what inspired them and how they invested. They also addressed why some of the startups are failing to raise investments for their business, where Bijon Islam added, “the investment which is needed at the early seed stage is largely missing.” The key takeaways from this session was that the investor takes into consideration commitment, ethics, scale of impact, communication, team, market traction, plan, potential, existing shareholders and advisors of a startup or an individual before investing in it.
The event ended with a Q&A session, where one of the important questions raised were, “many of us have ideas but do not have the initial investment to initiate, and generally the investors look for face value rather than the idea, so what needs to be done in this regard?” to which Bijon Islam replied, “Ideally, it is difficult to get investment at the idea stage, we definitely look for product/market fit or some early level traction before making an investment.”
Impact Hub Dhaka would like to thank YY Ventures and Startup Chattogram for their unwavering support to help reach out to the entrepreneurs of Chattogram. We value the entrepreneurs of Chattogram and hope to build an inclusive community where everyone thrives!
Impact Hub Dhaka
Impact Hub Dhaka is an innovation lab, an inspiring space, and a locally rooted globally connected community where we inspire & empower purpose driven individuals, facilitate new innovation & solutions and foster collaboration and are part of global Impact Hub network of impact entrepreneurs and innovators with more than 16,000 members in over 100 cities around the world. We are currently planning Community Events around sustainability, circularity, social business, wellness, entrepreneurship, recycling, etc. to inspire and connect like-minded entrepreneurs to foster collaboration along with creating collaboration with many stakeholders to organize Hackathons, Bootcamps & Innovation challenges to support the growth of our members.