Entrepreneurship in Bangladesh – A challenge yet to be tackled?

Amongst all the esteemed people working with academic segments, there’s Mohammad Shibli Shahriar Sir, one of my favorite people who is trying every instant to make Bangladesh a better place for students. He is currently the Chair at the Department of Innovation, Entrepreneurship and Employability 360o at Daffodil International University.

Over a cup of tea, I had an unfeigned conversation with him, regarding the entrepreneurial landscape in Bangladesh.

“You know what the problem is, Rafeed? There are two types of entrepreneurs. One type tries to solve an actual problem from the heart, while another type tries to come up with a product which is just a ‘buzz’ in the market. Stop thinking, we have a lot of examples in front of us!” he told me.

Yeah, I bet you’re coming up with names now too.

“Sadly, there is this restless mindset inside most of the entrepreneurs here”, he continued. “Everyone looks at the successful people all around, and everyone wants to achieve everything overnight. The question that an aspiring entrepreneur should ask is that – Are they dreaming to create fame, or to create an impact?”

When I asked him regarding the role of our government in supporting entrepreneurship here, he stated that he believes that the government is doing their level best through programs to help startups grow, but the winning mindset is still missing from many young minds out there.

“If there’s someone who wants to make sure that his or her dream becomes a startup, and one day is not referred to being a startup anymore, it is very important to identify whom to blame for the problems that might arise in the way. Only the real winner will know what mistakes he or she made, and will try to fix those. That’s what we are trying to do here, in the Department of Innovation, Entrepreneurship, and Employability 360o. We are trying to instill the qualities of an entrepreneur who has worked hard, spending sleepless nights instead of craving overnight success.”

After a silence of a few seconds, he asked me if he scared me with a realistic vision, which I denied.

“In case you are thinking what lies ahead of us, trust me, I can tell that the journey of aspiring entrepreneurs will go a long way. We have mentors around us, and that can be a great resource to solve a problem. I believe that entrepreneurship is a very virtuous, noble profession in Bangladesh. The idea of solving problems besides providing employment has to be a great thing.”

We had a discussion about successful entrepreneurs in Bangladesh, and he showed me some of the great things his institution is doing to promote that mindset. Yes, I am looking forward to coming up with another great discussion with him!

If you have any thoughts you would like to add to this, comment below.

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