LightCastle Partners has signed an MoU with Savoir Bangladesh, an e-furniture brand that works on creating modern home-based furniture. The signing ceremony took place on May 25, 2022, at LightCastle Partners’ office. Zahir Hasan (Co-founder & CEO) and Sadia Zaman (Co-founder & COO) from Savoir Bangladesh, while Omar Farhan Khan, Senior Business Consultant at LightCastle Partners, and Saud Khandaker Hossain, Business Consultant at LightCastle Partners were present on behalf of their respective organizations.
The MoU has been signed to onboard Savoir as an Access to Market partner on the B-SkillFUL Phase II project funded by Swisscontact. Through this partnership with LightCastle, Savoir will bring an impact to build sustainable growth in the MSMEs sector. Savoir Bangladesh will hold training sessions and workshops with the MSMEs owners. Working with LightCastle, Savoir Bangladesh will help the MSMEs owners improve their access to market opportunity, and waste management, and create environmentally sustainable practices.
The goal of the project is to bring about a more equitable society focusing on sustainable growth and hopes to improve the productivity and competitiveness of MSMEs in Bangladesh, consequently, creating better job opportunities. LightCastle Partners has partnered with several strategic partners to put the project into effect, Savoir Bangladesh being one of them.
Building Skills for Unemployed and Underemployed Labor (B-SkillFUL) aims to improve the well-being of poor and disadvantaged people by increasing their access to the labor market and increasing their income while safeguarding their fundamental labor rights. Workers and employers in the informal sector, where around 80% of jobs are created, lack knowledge of legal and regulatory frameworks and are largely unaware of what decent work practices entail. As a result, workers in informal sector enterprises are subject to dangerous working conditions and exploitation.
The program also creates opportunities for coaching, mentoring, and providing advisory services to SMEs through Business Development Service (BDS) providers. These services include business planning, human resource development, product design, production improvements, inventory control, marketing, and finance. BDS providers can gain access and opportunities to engage with SMEs in peri-urban and rural areas and expand their clientele beyond the major cities.
LightCastle Partners is currently working as one of the BDS providers in the B-SkillFUL Phase II program since October 2021. LightCastle’s approach will include providing business knowledge, access to market, access to finance opportunities, and business environment improvement to 100 MSMEs across five regions in Bangladesh. LightCastle’s value proposition is to provide a blended finance program, which is essentially a mix of government/non-profit grants, equity investments, and loans, investing in a company with the right sequence at the right proportion, will create sustainable growth for the entrepreneurship ecosystem.