SME Foundation launches business ideas competition
Star Business Report
The SME Foundation yesterday launched a competition to generate new and potential business ideas from the country’s small and medium entrepreneurs.
In association with Banglalink, the country’s one of the top mobile operators, the state-run agency unveiled the “SME Business Plan Competition 2012” to create more enterprises and entrepreneurs to foster faster economic growth in the country.
Prof A K Azad Chowdhury, chairman of the University Grants Commission, opened the competition at a ceremony at the Nabab Nawab Ali Chowdhury Senate Bhaban of Dhaka University in the city.
Under the competition, the orgnisers will seek, through newspaper advertisements and other campaigns, proposals from the current students and fresh graduates of both public and private universities, who are looking for jobs.
New and existing entrepreneurs will also be able to participate, said a statement of the foundation.
Asif Ibrahim, president of Dhaka Chamber of Commerce and Industry, said: “I hope the competition will produce talented young entrepreneurs who are capable to lead the business community in the future.”
Prof GM Chowdhury, director of Institute of Business Administration of Dhaka University, said IBA has been producing skilled business executives for the last forty years. “It is unfortunate that almost all of them are willing to work for multinational companies. We would have been able to produce good industrial entrepreneurs by making them self-employed.”
Syed Rezwanul Kabir, managing director of the SME Foundation, said: “We will link up the winning projects with financial institutions so that they can get loans and implement the projects. We have already talked with different banks and they have agreed in principle.”
The prospective applicants will have to collect application form and submit the filled-in form at the headquarters of the Foundation within next one month. They can also apply online at www.smef.org.bd.
A preliminary evaluation committee will evaluate the applications and pick up 120 entrepreneurs, and they will take part in a training programme to learn about the techniques of business planning.
A jury board will then choose the three final winners, who will get Tk 5 lakh, Tk 4 lakh and Tk 3 lakh as prize money. The foundation plans to hold the prize giving ceremony in April next year.
Solaiman Alam, head of marketing at Banglalink, also spoke.