Developing the Bangladeshi startup ecosystem

During a national dialogue to foster the start-up ecosystem in Bangladesh, nine start-ups consisting of two members each were given a unique opportunity to present their business ideas in front of top corporates on September 7. Prior to that, the teams received assistance and mentoring for two days to polish their ideas before their final presentation. Two of the top three winners of the competition, Alter Youth and Avijatrik, are Startup Dhaka portfolio companies.

The project, presented by Youth CoLab and Youthopia.bangla, led jointly by UNDP and Citi Foundation, is a “key initiative which has been introduced in 18 countries throughout the world”, according to Ke Linka Lin, national dialogue coordinator, UNDP’s Bangkok regional hub.

And, because of its success, it is now being extended to even more countries, including Bangladesh. For a country like ours, where nearly a third of the population is between the ages of 18-35 (numbering 60 million by 2020), this is particularly exciting.

Bangladesh is soon set to become a middle-income country after several years of consistent economic growth, which means investing in start-ups and small business enterprises now becomes even more crucial.

Navojit Dastidar