TVET institute organises “Bootcamp” for incubating start-ups

The Skills-21 project has supported the establishment and operationalisation of a business incubation centre in seven-model TVET institutes.

News | 21 November 2021
One of the participants of the Bootcamp is sharing her business idea© ILO
DHAKA (ILO News) - The first intervention under the business incubation centre started at the Gaibandha Technical Training Centre. The project supported organising a ten-day-long bootcamp for incubating start-ups from 21-31 November 2021 in Gaibandha. Twenty-five entrepreneurs (13 male and 12 female) participated in the bootcamp. The Bangladesh Employers’ Federation (BEF) was the implementing partner of this initiative.

The objectives were to support consulting, mentoring, prototype creation, and other services. The emphasis was on designing the business process from idea generation to start-up companies and engaging private sector organisations and financial institutions to support the start-up when in the business development stage.

Md. Sadekur Rahman, Additional Deputy Commissioner, Gaibandha, inaugurated the programme as Chief Guest. ILO officials, the President of the Gaibandha Chamber of Commerce & Industry, the President of the Employers Forum, Gaibandha TTC, also attended the opening session.

Among 25 participants, 16 were graduates from the Gaibandha Technical Training Centre from different occupations. The participants actively participated, and all of them completed field visits to generate ideas from the local market to start a business.

Asif Mahmood Prodhan Tomal, President of the Employers Forum, was also the mentor to guide the entrepreneurs. All the participants presented a business plan in front of the evaluation panel, consisting of a business mentor, banker, and entrepreneurship development expert.

Shahana Kemi, one of the participants, said, “I have been trading traditional carpets, rugs, and place mats called sotornji throught the region. The bootcamp helped open my eyes to my business. If I start producing these materials with local artisans, I have learned that I can create jobs for others and expand my business.”

Like Shahana, Mohsina Haque Sinthia, Tayeba Rezwana Tina, Maisha Farjana, Mehedi Hasan Bevor and other participants learned the different ways and channels to grow their businesses.

Some of the participants were not sure about the financing for their projects. The financial institution representatives confirmed they could provide a 60 per cent loan to the entrepreneurs for their venture. The top five (5) out of 25 were awarded employment kits on 1 December 2021 for their business ideas presented to the evaluation panel. Their initiatives included ridesharing apps for Gaibandha, bakery shops, seeds stores, and fashion houses. The winners were given devices to connect with the incubation centre in Gaibandha Technical Training Centre.

The bootcamp in Gaibandha was the first at any of the TVET institutes in Bangladesh. Gunjan Dallakoti, the SME specialist from the ILO said, “This kind of initiative can increase the youth's interest in becoming entrepreneurs and contribute to formalising the informal sector of Bangladesh. As we all know, the informal sector holds the highest percentage of the labour market.”

The Skills 21 project's other partner TVET institutes in Khulna, Bagerhat, Jamalpur, Sylhet, Feni and Rangamati will also organise a bootcamp in their locality from January to May 2022.

The Skills 21 project is a joint initiative of the Government of Bangladesh and the International Labour Organization (ILO), funded by the European Union. The project seeks to increase productivity and employment opportunities through an environmentally conscious, inclusive, demand-driven, and interlinked skills development system responding to the needs of the labour market.