Feb 06 2020

BYLC awards five contest winners

Bangladesh Youth Leadership Center (BYLC) yesterday announced five winners of Youth Entrepreneurship Challenge, a social initiative that encourages and promotes promising entrepreneurs.

The initiative by BYLC’s entrepreneurship development wing is supported by UK’s Department for International Development (DFID) and Manusher Jonno Foundation.

Industries Minister Nurul Majid Mahmud Humayun was the chief guest at the award-giving ceremony held at a city hotel on Tuesday. “This endeavour to select, invest in, and cultivate the next generation of Bangladesh’s entrepreneurs has the potential to add great value to the economy and create the land that Bangabandhu Sheikh Mujibur Rahman dreamed of,” he said in his speech.

The five winning teams chosen from 16 finalists, are Eco Wraps, a production and packaging company of cellulose-based biodegradable biopolymer bags; Tinkers, a producer of educational and interactive learning materials and toys; Agri Mushroom and Multi-farming, an agri-tech company; Selvice, an online marketing platform for event logistics; and Digigrow, a cloud-based multi-channel platform for farmers, independent investors, and partnered retailers. Each team received seed funding of Tk 8 lakh with an option of further Tk 15 lakh in additional investment. They will also have access to a co-working space, mentoring, and an accelerator curriculum for six months from BYLC.

Ejaj Ahmad, founder and president of BYLC, said, “BYLC has been investing in promising young leaders for the past ten years. This YEC venture is our latest initiative.”

“Funding is not the only thing that young entrepreneurs need to thrive in the current business climate. Under this campaign, the winning teams will learn tangible business and leadership skills,” said special guest Kanbar Hossein-Bor, acting high commissioner of the UK to Bangladesh.

Special guest Shaheen Anam, executive director of Manusher Jonno Foundation, said, “Bangladeshi youth cannot depend only on jobs. In this age of rapid technological advancement and automation, it is critical for youth to pursue self-employment opportunities.”