Amid the glorified success stories of the urban entrepreneurs in Bangladesh, the voices of the nation’s rural entrepreneurs rarely get heard. Ironically, they contribute to 25% of the country’s overall GDP. Entrepreneurs of Bangladesh (EoB) is a platform that aims to render a voice to the unheard. It provides a glimpse into the daily lives of Bangladesh’s micro, small and medium-sized entrepreneurs, how they face challenges that life throws at them, and importantly how they confront those to thrive. This storytelling platform is an initiative by LightCastle Partners, a premier management consulting firm based in Bangladesh and the local partner of Larive International.
EoB’s mission is to celebrate the success stories of thousands of rural entrepreneurs who are making a difference in their community, and by extension, to the Bangladesh economy. By sharing inspiring stories, EoB hopes to instil confidence among other entrepreneurs, from anywhere in the world, and to draw the attention of large private organizations and development partners in an effort to create a more sustainable pathway for them to grow.
These entrepreneurs constitute a major portion of the SME sector. Taking the statistics into consideration, we can say that the SME sector has a lot of scope for and it holds immense power to transform the economy of Bangladesh. Even with the dearth of various facilities, the SMEs are reported to be contributing 25% of the GDP and creating 7.8 million jobs in Bangladesh as of now. In addition, SMEs constitute 40% of the total manufacturing output of Bangladesh. However, for the sector to become more promising, there needs to be a concerted effort to promote SMEs across the board.
LightCastle Partners aims to promote inclusive economic growth in Bangladesh. For that, they collaborate with hundreds of SMEs all over Bangladesh through accelerator/incubator programs, investment and business advisory services. Having worked with the sector for 8+ years, LightCastle has launched the EoB initiative on the 50th independence day of Bangladesh with the vision to connect these far-away entrepreneurs with the globe. EoB hopes to work as a bridge between the have- and the have-nots.
The stories section reflects how simple yet dynamic each individual’s narrative is: powerful, compelling and awe-inspiring! Spanning the remote areas of Bangladesh, these entrepreneurs often lack access to financial resources, market linkage, and adequate business acumen. While that puts them at a disadvantage compared to urban entrepreneurs, it certainly does not stop them from pursuing their dreams. They move forward with unwavering determination reflecting their true entrepreneurial spirit. This proves that these people have powerful stories to tell. Stories of hope and inspiration.
Although primarily a storytelling platform, EoB also works to promote the overall SME sector in Bangladesh. The platform consists of reports, region-wise databases and visual analytics – all in effort to make the viewer journey more seamless and connected. In other words, it acts as a one-stop bank for SME knowledge and connections. Visit https://entrepreneursofbangladesh.com/ to learn more.
Entrepreneurship in Bangladesh is not only about the large-sized RMGs, pharmaceuticals and technology companies. The true spirit of entrepreneurship runs among its rural SMEs too – ones we often neglect. Whether it’s fisheries, jute, agriculture, retail – you name it – EoB hopes to make a lasting change in each entrepreneur’s life. Their stories of hope, resilience and dreams against all odds, in effect, emerge as the real gems from the soil, driving economic and social advancements in Bangladesh.