Tap into the Global Capital Market: To date, the Bangladesh-based Startups have raised USD 809 million including big-name investors like Softbank, Ant Financials, Tiger Global, and Sequoia. India just in 2021 raised USD 20 billion+. With an annual global venture investment market of USD 650 billion – Bangladesh has strong opportunities to take advantage.
Employment Creation: Startups not only create employment opportunities but new kinds of work. For example, think about ride-sharing drivers or food delivery. Over the last decade, Startups have created direct and indirect employment for 1.5 million people and can create a lot more jobs.
Innovation at Scale creating value: Startups disrupt the traditional sector and create value for consumers and hence the economy. For example, Mobile Financial Services (e.g. bKash) are helping financially include the unbanked while increasing efficiency for all consumers. Ride-sharing services (e.g. Pathao) are breaking the taxi syndicate and making rides available and cheaper for everyone. B2B commerce companies (e.g. ShopUp) are giving on-demand inventory delivery and credit to retail SMEs and not having them dependent on traditional wholesalers.
Inclusive Growth: Startups help support inclusive growth- tap into markets that are not receiving the best value and create products and services for everyone. Ag-tech companies (e.g. iFarmer) have made access to capital easier for smallholders while edutech companies (e.g. Shikho) have taken the best content all around the country and telehealth services (e.g. Maya) have made medical consultation more available for everyone.
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WRITTEN BY: Bijon Islam
Bijon is the co-founder and CEO of LightCastle Partners, an organization that focuses on creating data-driven opportunities for growth and impact for development partners, corporates, SMEs, and Startups. Over the last ten years, Bijon has led the company in engagements across 150+ businesses/development partners, 650+ SMEs/Startups, and 40+ accelerator programs in multiple industries including Technology, Agriculture, Health, Ed-tech, Energy, E-commerce, Logistics, and Manufacturing.
Previously Bijon has worked with Citibank, N.A. and Citi Foundation and oversaw the execution of Bangladesh's first Interest Rate Swap, Equity Convertible Bonds, Largest IPO, Microfinance Securitization, and Block Equity Trades. Due to outstanding performance, Bijon received the CEO Excellence Awards for two years in the organization. He completed his BBA and MBA from the Institute of Business Administration (IBA), University of Dhaka.