LightCastle Partners, with support from OXFAM under the Empower Youth for Work (EYW) project, organized two back-to-back impact investment boot camps as part of the LightCastle SME Blended Capital. 41 youth entrepreneurs from Rajshahi and Khulna participated in the Bootcamp, which was held online on 24th and 25th of May, 2021 respectively.
Entrepreneurs spanned various industries such as Agriculture, Retail, Pharmaceutical, and the Service Sector. The participants were evaluated on metrics such as their entrepreneurial ability, business model, sustainability, innovativeness, and other related fundamentals. Furthermore, they were judged on their business’s social impact in order to assess their overall investability.
The goal of the LightCastle SME Blended Capital is to boost the financial and operational growth of SMEs, enabling them to further increase income generation and employment. Moreover, the fund aims to invest in entrepreneurs who can positively impact society through their businesses. The investment will be given to the entrepreneurs through a revenue-sharing model, which is a quasi-equity form of financing. The participants of the program gathered at their respective venues to be interviewed online by a panel of judges from LightCastle Partners.
The first day of the Bootcamp was held at the Brac Learning Centre, Rajshahi. The panel of judges for Day 1 included:
The second day of the Bootcamp was held in CSS Ava Center, Khulna, where Rural Reconstruction Foundation (RRF) provided logistical support as the local partner for the event. The panel of judges for Day 2 included:
Shortlisted candidates will now go through proper due diligence before becoming eligible to receive impact investment.