LightCastle Partners supported an entrepreneurship scale-up program that is being implemented by International Development Enterprise (iDE) and funded by Chevron. The training sessions were conducted for SME entrepreneurs who were divided into 2 batches, to attend on the 4th Oct – 8th Oct 2021 & 10th Oct – 13th Oct 2021, at Upazila Krishi Office, Nabiganj and Friends in Village Development Bangladesh (FIVDB), Sylhet Sadar respectively. These sessions were part of the “Enterprise Development Program – Uddokta”.
The first part of the program was held on the 4th – 8th October. The 2-day residential training event took place which consisted of the top 25 entrepreneurs from each batch, who were part of the initial batch of 100. Based on the size of their business, understanding of the market system, basis of investment prospects, and market linkage potential these 25 entrepreneurs were called for this round. Each batch consisted of entrepreneurs from dairy, cow fattening, poultry, goat rearing, fisheries, agriculture, and light-engineering industries. The program’s primary objective was to provide these budding entrepreneurs with business development support and investment readiness training. The sessions were conducted by senior consultants at LightCastle, Omar Farhan Khan, and Ilham Hasan Chowdhury.
The sessions were based on the LightCastle Partners SME curriculum module which consisted of analyzing and understanding a business and the pillars of entrepreneurship, delving into a lean business model, understanding the importance of marketing and branding, building a financial statement and SME financing, how to apply for loans, and overall digital literacy.
These detailed lectures helped prepare the shortlisted entrepreneurs to pitch their business to relevant Industry experts.
On 10th – 13th October, The investment readiness and demo day event took place. From 10th to 11th October, entrepreneurs practiced their pitches and were given a refresher of the earlier lectures to develop a strong foothold of the knowledge they gathered and hone the art of pitching to present their business to future investors and financiers. In the last two days of the training, 12th – 13th October, LightCastle invited Kazi Abdul Azim, Business Development Manager at Brac Bank, Nabiganj Branch, and Rukan Uddin, Business Development Manager at Brac Bank, Sylhet Sadar Branch to provide insights on SME financing and application of loans from banks for SME entrepreneurs in Nabiganj and Sylhet Sadar respectively.
The events were also graced by Zia Hassan Siddique, Co-founder & COO at Dana Fintech & Gazi Yar Mohammed, CEO at Dana Fintech as the judges for the Demo Day event. In this event, the entrepreneurs pitched their business plan and model their overall plans to the respective judges, to help get an insight into their current asset value, revenue streams, risks and possible opportunities as well as future capital plans and training requirements.