Bangladesh Youth Enterprise Advice & Helpcentre (B'yeah) has joined Youth Business International's Rapid Response Programme, funded by Google.Org, to support struggling small businesses during this Covid-19 Crisis.
The programme will support underserved micro, small and medium businesses to respond to the Covid-19 crisis, according to a press release issued Sunday.
"The global economy is suffering from an unprecedented shock as a result of Covid-19."
"With typically tight margins, micro, small and medium businesses are vulnerable to economic downturn.
The current pandemic is having a particularly serious impact on business owners and entrepreneurs from underserved communities, including young people (aged 18-35 years), women, and refugees and other migrants. Many are struggling to get through the crisis and need support now," reads the press release.
The Covid-19 pandemic has impacted all types of businesses supported by B'Yeah to various degrees in Bangladesh.
Businesses that are largely dependent on production and distribution are at high risk of burning out the capital.
The uncertainty of the pandemic makes the whole situation more worrying and the global impact of economic slowdown keeps the micro and small-sized businesses at the risk of being wiped out, the release adds.
In this situation, with the support of Google.org and YBI, B'Yeah plans to extend its support to deal with the pandemic alternatively through online support.
Ashfah Huque, Executive Director of B'Yeah said, "We are committed to supporting business owners during the Covid-19 pandemic and are excited to be part of YBI's rapid response programme funded by Google.org."
Anita Tiessen, CEO of YBI, said: "The world is changing dramatically from day to day and I feel deeply for business owners everywhere, especially those running smaller businesses and are from underserved communities, who are often least able to bear the economic shocks of this crisis.
"In the face of these challenges, I have been incredibly inspired by the quick response of our network to support business owners around the world. YBI, with Google.org's new funding commitment, will help us sustain and extend this support throughout 2020, ensuring more than 200,000 businesses can get the advice they need right now to navigate this crisis."
Rowan Barnett, Head of Google.org, EMEA & APAC, said: "The coronavirus outbreak is taking a devastating toll on lives and communities, and small businesses are facing unprecedented challenges as they struggle to stay afloat. With this grant to Youth Business International, alongside a series of Google initiatives and products, we hope to help some of the most vulnerable small businesses find a way through the crisis."
Md Saiful Islam, owner of Vartex Craft (jute product manufacturer), who has been suffering due to Covid-19, said that many young entrepreneurs - like him – were affected by this pandemic.
"If it continues, his business will have to be shut down soon. Right now the alternative is to do something and tackle the situation and start afresh. They need support not only financially but also need an alternative way such as enhanced digital skills, online training- mentoring, and business counselling to cope with this situation confidently," he added.
Abdullah Hasan, one of the Mentor of B'Yeah hopes, young entrepreneurs and other SMEs can be benefited from the project that B'Yeah is going to implement with the support from Google.