Startups doing well, but facing regulatory bottlenecks

Speakers say at DCCI seminar on CMSME

Published : 29 Oct 2022 09:19 PM

Startups are doing relatively well in our country but the success rate is not quite satisfactory because of various problems including regulatory issues like lack of access to finance, age-old valuation process, lack of private equity and incubation, said speakers at a seminar on Saturday. 

The seminar styled “Journey of CMSMEs from startup to scale up: prospects & challenges” was organized by Dhaka Chamber of Commerce & Industry (DCCI) at it's office, Matijheel in the capital. 

Senior Secretary of the ICT Division Zeaul Alam PAA attended the seminar as the chief guest with DCCI President Rizwan Rahman in the chair.  

Addressing the event, Zeaul Alam PAA said that CMSMEs and startups directly or indirectly create a large number of employments. Though there is a remarkable failure rate in the startups but it is not making any loss rather it is learning for next efforts. Government is working hard to create a startup ecosystem in the country through various initiatives. 

Technical centres are being established in the Upazila level where startups will get space to work also in the hi-tech parks there will be ample opportunities for startups, he said. It is true that we have many challenges but we need to overcome. Government has taken an initiative of formulating a draft startup policy already. 

DCCI President Rizwan Rahman said startups can be a great economic enabler for Bangladesh.  A start-up friendly ecosystem in the country has not been substantially equipped, he added. In the Global Startup Ecosystem Index 2022 Bangladesh ranks 93 out of 100 countries. 

The Startup index also claimed that financing and dearth of policy support are root causes of weak startup growth in developing economies including Bangladesh, he mentioned.

He told that Bangladesh currently has over 1200 active startups and around 200 new startups join the industry every year which made around $800 million investment and 1.5 million formal and informal jobs in the last decade.

Dr. Shaikh Shamsuddin Ahmed, Commissioner, BSEC was present as special guest. 

He said that in the recent industrial policy SME as well as startups got much priority.But we need to enhance the regulatory collaboration among all the agencies at the operational level. Based on the reality few changes are coming into effect but we need to improve the valuation system for the startups, he added.

Ambareen Reza, CEO and Managing Director of Foodpanda Bangladesh Limited said the success stories will ensure trust and trust will facilitate others to come in this sector. For angels to grow, access to finance is a great challenge, she added. We need investment in the fintech and logistic area, she also told. 

Fahim Ahmed, CEO, Pathao presented the keynote paper. He said that Startups are enabling the digital transformation of Bangladesh. Startups are helping SMEs through creating market access, accelerating Fintech, adopting technology and enabling mobility.