The Blue Gold Innovation Challenge is now open for innovators, students, startups and organizations from Khulna region who would like to launch social businesses addressing water supply management, agriculture and sustainable development of south west region of Bangladesh. Participants from other districts are also allowed to apply, but they must attend sessions in Khulna and execute their plans in Khulna districts as well.
The Blue Gold Innovation Challenge (BGIC) is a social business incubation program organized by YY Goshti in collaboration with Blue Gold Program (BGP). The BGIC promotes innovative social entrepreneurship and challenges young people of coastal Bangladesh to design sustainable business solutions.
Entrepreneurs should be aged 18-35 and preferably from/connected to the Khulna region. It is not necessary for the entrepreneurs to already have a well-thought out business plan, just an idea that intersects with the target industries set by the organizers.
An online portal is open to receive the submissions both in Bengali and English. You can apply through the following link:
Emphasis will be given to areas of interest defined by Blue Gold Program i.e. agricultural innovation, water supply management etc. The businesses ideas will be screened to select the most promising ones. The ideas to be shortlisted for online submission round will be determined based on the uniqueness of the Idea, possible innovation, social impact, product or service focused on agriculture and/or water supply management. Winners will be attending an ‘Innovation Camp’ (to be held in Khulna) that will help them learn the ins and outs of social business development. The participants will get the opportunity to work with facilitators for a period of two weeks where they will receive at least 42-48 hours of class hours. The entrepreneurs will also receive 8 hours of pitch coaching. The outcome of this Camp will be a pitch deck ready to be presented in front of investors for each participant. The sessions will culminate in live Pitch Day in Khulna where the participants will make a final presentation of their ideas in front of a panel of judges and an audience of relevant stakeholders. The winners will ‘Incubate’ their businesses, i.e. build them into prototypes ready for scaling up. The winners will be paired with a mentor, with whom they will have one-on-one advisory sessions to help them along their prototype building phase. They will be able to access small seed capital to prototype their product/services. The outcome of the program is to research and understand the content better, and finally, build an active business service that they can continue working on after the BGIC ends.
The aspiring entrepreneurs will get to work closely with a mentor who is well-versed in working in the industry and with existing experience as an entrepreneur. They will also have access to seed capital to use to build a working business. They will also face strategic consultation meetings with YY Goshti every two weeks so their progress can be closely monitored.