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Plan to create 10m jobs thru startups by 2026

Published : 30 Oct 2021 10:15 PM | Updated : 31 Oct 2021 01:17 PM

The government plans to create 10 million employment by establishing innovative 10,000 startup entrepreneurs by 2026 for accelerated economic development.

As part of its move, the Information and Communication Technology (ICT) Division is going to create a policy for providing different support including financial help  to develop startup entrepreneurs.

Zunaid Ahmed Palak, State Minister for ICT Division, made the remarks while speaking in the Bangabandhu Innovation Grant (BIG) 2021 Grand Finale program at the Multipurpose Auditorium of Bangladesh Film Archive at Agargaon in the capital.

The programme was organized by the Innovation Design and Entrepreneurship Academy (iDEA) Project of Bangladesh Computer Council (BCC) under the ICT Division to inspire young entrepreneurs and startups.  

Finance Minister AHM Mustafa Kamal was the chief guest at the Grand Finale of "BIG 2021" and the state minister for ICT Division Zunaid Ahmed Palak presided over the program.

The Senior Secretary of ICT Division N M Ziaul Alam and the Executive Director and Additional Secretary of Bangladesh Computer Council (BCC) Dr Md Abdul Mannan were the special guests of the program while the Project Director (Joint Secretary) of the iDEA Project Md Abdur Rakib gave a welcome speech on the occasion.

The Finance Minister said young people will one day transform into successful and prosperous people, enrich our economy and promote our beloved motherland to the world. 

He said, “Today is the time for young people to dream and realize their dreams. The winners of the “Bangabandhu Innovation Grant 2021” competition will one day turn into huge companies like Google, Tesla, Amazon, In sha Allah.”

The spontaneous participation of more than 7,000 entrepreneurs, inventors and startups from 57 countries, including Bangladesh, in the initial phase of the "Bangabandhu Innovation Grant 2021" on the occasion of the Mujib birth centenary proves that Bangladesh today has a place of trust in the ICT sector, he mentioned. 

The Finance Minister said in order to find new innovations or innovative startups through the participation of local and foreign startups, the Idea project will surely be able to play a special role in building a proper startup ecosystem in the country by encouraging young entrepreneurs.

“Our youth are the inheritors of the proud blood of the great freedom fighters of our country. They are talented and patriotic. One-third of our population is youth,” he further said.

It is possible for them to turn the problem into a possibility, he said adding that, we have to use the full potential of demographic dividend in front of Bangladesh.

Zunaid Ahmed Palak said that a startup policy would be formulated soon to build an innovative nation by building an innovative ecosystem. 

He said that as a result of different policies and support of the ICT sector under the leadership of Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina, at present the export revenue of the ICT sector is more than $1 billion. 

We are working towards the goal of increasing export earnings to 5 billion dollars by 2025 and creating employment for 3 million people, he mentioned. 

“As a result of inclusive development through the use of technology, Bangladesh is now ranked 32nd in the world. In this way, he expressed his determination to build a smart Bangladesh within 2041,” he added.

However, in the "BIG 2021" contest, more than 7,000 startups applied from home and abroad at the initial stage, from which a total of 255 projects from 56 countries were accepted internationally. 

From there, the top 10 international level startups are selected after two rounds of selection, who directly participate in the grand finale. 

On the other hand, startup selection at the national level is initially in two stages. 

In the first phase, 28 judges selected 286 local startups through 5 screening boards. 

35 experienced judges, both public and private in 6 panels, selected the best 65 startups from these startups, who had the opportunity to participate in a 6-day online boot camp. 

After grooming at the boot camp, the 13-episode TV reality show started with these 65 startups. 

In this episode, the contestants faced the established business icons of the country who selected 26 startups out of 65 startups selected from the judges. 

A total of 46 startups were selected from the reality show, including 26 local startups, the top 10 international startups and the top 10 portfolio startups of the iDEA project.

Through 3 expert judging panels, the final selection process is made by focusing on various issues including startup concept, feasibility, business, technology, finance, the implementation plan of the startup, and so on. 

At the end of the final selection of judges, OpenRefactory, the winner was announced as the "One BIG Winner 2021" with a grant of $1,00,000. 

Finally, the winners were handed over the crest, along with other winning startups of BIG 2021.

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