US-Bangladesh Business Council Delegation and the US Embassy, Dhaka, in partnership with the EMK Center and Anchorless Bangladesh hosted a discussion on "Entrepreneurship Townhall".
The discussion programme was arranged to discuss the possibilities of expanding the startup ecosystem of Bangladesh by providing access to better funding through mentorship and international growth.
It provided a unique opportunity to convene senior US business representatives with Bangladeshi entrepreneurs and startups.
Private organizations like Bkash, Pathao, and ShopUp are significantly contributing to the national economy by drawing foreign investors and generating jobs, indicating a positive environment for businesses on the rise.
According to a latest report from Centre for Governance Studies estimated over 1.5 million jobs were created in the last decade by startups while foreign investment increased by roughly $200 million in the last year.
In accordance, Mike Orgill, Senior Director, Public Policy and Government Relations, Asia Pacific, Uber, said, "I like to think of Uber as a part of the Bangladeshi local entrepreneurship industry. With lots of technical challenges, we have built zero to thousands of consumers through the UberMoto services that receive great responses. Bangladesh is very unique with custom-made solutions and we can only be successful if Bangladeshi technology players collaborate with us".
The roundtable was held on Wednesday at the EMK Center which brought together over 20 local entrepreneurs and provided a platform to directly engage with policymakers and representatives from the financial and investment industries of the US and Bangladesh.
The discussion primarily included representatives from the global fintech industries.
Soumya Basu, Country Manager of Visa said, "If consumers want to buy online they have no option but to pay online. So, as a payment company, we seek the way through which our services can help entrepreneurs and consumers. Taking customer preference into consideration is a major objective. We have structured programs, and a couple of initiatives in this manner, and have received tremendous response. We are hopeful that the local entrepreneur community will be the representation of wider startups and the ecosystem."
Sabhanaz Rashid Diya, Meta Country Head for Public Policy shared with the entrepreneurs "Solving a real problem which has a flexible nature of transferring geography to geography and persistent and reluctant impact always attracts global audiences."
The visiting delegation of the US Bangladesh Business Council comprisesrepresentatives from US Soybean Export Council, General Electric, Mastercard, Visa, MetLife, Excelerate Energy, Meta, Abbott, American Tower, Bell, Cytiva, Drinkwell, Exxonmobil, and HSBC. Officials from the US Embassy, US Chamber of Commerce and EMK Center's Acting Director, Asif Uddin Ahmed participated in the event. Also, in attendance was Kamal Quadir, CEO at Bkash.
The US-Bangladesh Business Council is a business advocacy platform built to strengthen bilateral trade and investment ties and advance business reforms between these two countries.