Impact investment is any investment made with the intent to generate positive, measurable social and environmental impact, alongside financial return. As countries globally witness the evolution of the impact investment industry, Bangladesh has also been laying the brickwork for impact investing to step into the next phase of growth. The National Advisory Board (NAB) for Impact Investment in Bangladesh steered the initiative to develop the Bangladesh Impact Investment Strategy and Action Plan (BIISAP). The BIISAP is a first-of-its-kind document which sketches out the roadmap and implementation guidelines to foster Bangladesh’s impact revolution and transform the impact sector, from nascency to maturity. It focuses on promoting increased understanding and advocacy while providing more structured pathways for scaling up the impact investing ecosystem in Bangladesh.
Prior to the launch of the BIISAP, NAB hosted a series of workshops, Connecting Creativity 2022, to reconfirm the nine recommendations and implementation plans mapped out in the action plan. Connecting Creativity 2022 was organized by NAB, in partnership with the Embassy of Switzerland and BRAC, supported by Build Bangladesh and LightCastle Partners. Four workshops were conducted targeting four distinct streams of impact investment stakeholders in the ecosystem: investees, investors, intermediaries and regulators.
The first workshop from NAB’s ‘Connecting Creativity’ series took place on 19th July 2022 and engaged the investees in the ecosystem. Prominent startups across Bangladesh’s healthcare, EdTech, agriculture, e-commerce, renewable energy and service sectors attended the workshop. The stakeholders shared their in-depth views on how Bangladesh can build a vibrant impact investing ecosystem.
The workshop began with opening remarks from Arastoo Khan, Member Secretary at NAB, following which Erad Kawsar, Country Director at yGAP Bangladesh, facilitated the dialogue between participants. The participants were split into four different groups for the brainstorming session. They reflected on the current gaps in the country’s nascent impact investing landscape, identified core interventions areas and discussed the need for deeper, multi-stakeholder collaboration across the ecosystem. Bijon Islam, Co-Founder and CEO at LightCastle Partners, concluded the workshop by summarizing the key highlights from the brainstorming session.