BGIC Winners from Khulna Cohort: Three Social Businesses to join YY Goshti Incubator

The Pitch Day of Blue Gold Innovation Challenge – Khulna cohort took place at Tiger Garden International Hotel on October 22, 2017 from 4:00pm to 6:00pm. The event was hosted by Shah Waseef Azam, Program Manager of YY Goshti. It was followed by a welcome remark from Shazeeb M Khairul Islam, CEO of YY Goshti. Later the audience witnessed an hour of presentations from the 7 finalists. Each finalist got 5 minutes for presenting their business plan and 2 minutes for Q&A session. The event was attended by 55+ people. The audience included students, teachers, stakeholders, innovators, entrepreneurs, NGOs and local people. The Jury panel had Mr. Amirul Hossain, Project Coordinating Director (PCD), BWDB, Mr. S.M. Ferdous, District Seed Certification Officer, DAE and Mr. Alamgir Chowdhury, Deputy Team Leader, TA team. The Blue Gold team was also present there to ask questions to the finalists and give them their valuable insights and feedbacks. The event came to an end with concluding remarks from Mr. Amirul Hossain, Project Coordinating Director (PCD), BWDB. He talked about the immense possibilities of entrepreneurs working in polder areas and how they can improve the lives of people giving them employment opportunities. The winners were then announced and they got certificates from the BGP team and the YY Goshti team. The winners are following:

ALOE FARM – With a motto of “everyone deserves to drink organic”, the entrepreneur Rajoana Jannat will produce organic aloe vera juice for the people of khulna region. This product will have social impacts by providing organic nutritious drinks to health conscious people and empowering rural women of khulna polder area economically by letting them produce aloe vera and the juice.

REGEN – Fahim Uddin Shuvo produces best quality vermi compost by collecting and recycling food waste concentrating on commercial kitchens aiming to contribute towards a clean and better city and providing low lying land farmers better fertilizers.

SMART POULTRY FARM – Abdullah Al Musabbir wants to start a poultry consultant and service providing company, Tech-Gen, which will launch smart poultry farm service providing bio-gas based electricity production plant, fertilizer production system, automatic temperature and humidity controlling system to the poultry farmers at the cheapest cost.

However this not the end,  in fact this is the starting of a new and much more exciting journey where their commitment and dedication towards their initiative can make a lot of differences. YY goshti will now assist them with office space, pro-bono services, mentorship, business development process, creative and web development services, strategic consultancy and partnership

From Intern’s Diary

By Ozair Ahmed

Every person needs a starting point in their life, which shows them the way and inspires them to achieve greater things in life. YY Goshti has been that starting point in my life. I have always been a person who had big dreams, enormous aspirations. But I was confused, I didn’t know where or how to start. Then YY Goshti happened. I have been working at YY Goshti since this year. Since then it has been a journey of exploring my abilities. Before YY Goshti I tried my luck in various places. But lack of experience always came in the way. YY Goshti is different. Here people aren’t judged on the basis of experience, age or educational qualifications, rather this place always has vacancy for people who are dedicated, passionate, hardworking and most importantly people who aspire to make a change.

At the beginning of this internship I believed I would be vested with small work or “unimportant” to be precise. But in a short span of time I realized things work differently here. I was amazed by the level of confidence people at YY Goshti had on me. I was being assigned to projects only experienced people are supposed to do but as I already mentioned “things work differently at YY Goshti”. Usually all this confidence and responsibility are supposed to feel like a pressure. But my feeling about all this was different. For me it was all about realizing what I am capable of, the responsibilities I can bear. It isn’t like I never made mistakes but people here makes sure your mistake isn’t only a mistake but a lesson you learn from.

YY Goshti isn’t just a work place for me rather it’s a place where I am growing every day. Thanks to the people here who makes sure every day I leave this place leaning something new, exploring a new ability of mine. YY Goshti is helping me grow confidence in myself and making my own identity. It has given me the opportunity to do things people of my age dream of. One of the key elements of building a successful future is building key networks. Since the day I joined here I am being introduced to people who I believe are going to play significant role in building my future.

Since my appointment here at YY Goshti I have been associated with different projects. My first ever project here was Social Business Youth Summit 2017. Being a part of this prestigious event was a breakthrough for me as it was a platform where this journey of learning and exploring myself began. After three months of dedication and hard work witnessing a successful event was truly inspiring.

YY Goshti is not only about desk work. Few months back we had a trip to Khulna for the Blue Gold Innovation Challenge. During this visit we perceived idea state social entrepreneurs. We came through lots of amazing business ideas and we are going to start working with them in a few weeks. Currently I am associated with a project with UNDP. Besides I am also working with YY Camp which is a creative workshop for school students and a lot of other exciting projects. This is one thing about YY Goshti, it has tons of exciting projects lined up for its interns.

YY Goshti is more of a home than a workplace where you grow every day with the support of an amazing team amidst fun and enthusiasm. I am truly glad being a part of this beautiful and passionate family and thankful to YY Goshti for helping me build self-confidence and creating my own identity.

 

BGIC got Finalists for its 2nd Cohort in Khulna

The Blue Gold Innovation Challenge has got its top ten finalists from Khulna region that will compete for the Blue Gold Innovation Fund to launch their social businesses in the coming week. They will attend the Innovation Camp and Pitch Camp in Khulna and present their business ideas in front of the judges on the Pitch Day.

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.

List of Selected Finalists:

  1. Rajoana Jannat
  2. Nirodh Paul
  3. Abdullah Al Noman
  4. Shourov Barua
  5. Mortoza Morshed
  6. Khairul Alam
  7. Fahim Uddin
  8. Ananda Kumar Biswas
  9. Tasnimul Rifat
  10. Abdullah Al Musabbir

The finalists have been chosen based on their credibility, innovation in business, scalability and feasibility. Finalists will be attending the ‘Innovation Camp’ from October 16-19, 2017 to be held in Khulna. This will help them learn the ins and outs of social business development. The participants will get the opportunity to work with facilitators where they will receive at least 30-35 class hours. The entrepreneurs will also receive 10-12 hours of pitch coaching on October 21-22, 2017. The outcome of this Camp will be a pitch deck ready to be presented in front of investors for each finalist. The sessions will culminate in live Pitch Day in Khulna on October 22, 2017 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 get the chance to incubate their businesses and build them into prototypes ready for scaling up. They will be able to access small seed capital to prototype their product/services. YY Goshti will work with them in one-on-one advisory sessions to help them along their prototype building phase.

YY Goshti and Blue Gold Program are excitedly looking forward to working with these aspiring idea stage social businesses.

YY Goshti is collaborating with Frontier Innovators as a Regional Advisory Group Member.

YY Goshti is collaborating with Frontier Innovators as a regional advisory group member. Frontier Innovators is an initiative of the Australian Government Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade’s innovationXchange, and delivered by SecondMuse is in the lookout for innovative businesses in the Asia-Pacific that are delivering impact through their work that supports the Sustainable Development Goals. Winning businesses will receive grant funding and tailored support, along with access to advisors, potential partners and investors.

Frontier Innovators are businesses that are leading by example.  15 of these businesses will get access to funding and access to resources to grow. Finalists from each region will also be provided with access to training and mentoring opportunities to help them grow. Whether you are an established business, a growing startup with an innovative product or service, or a social enterprise with a business model – if your work benefits people in the Asia-Pacific, apply now for your chance to win a package of funding and tailored support.

Through this important partnership we will be helping Frontier Innovators target high potential applicants, and align their work with local organisations already working with local entrepreneurs. By joining the Frontier Innovators Advisory Group, YY Goshti is helping great local businesses and unlock pathways to sustainable growth.

BGIC is now active in Khulna

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:

http://bgic.yygoshti.com/apply-now/

 

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.

Inspire: Knowledge Sessions held in PSTU, Patuakhali

The Blue Gold Innovation Challenge (BGIC) launched its second on-location activity “Inspire: Knowledge Sessions 2” at PSTU Information Dissemination Centre (PIDC), Patuakhali Science Technology University (PSTU) in Dumki, Patuakhali, Barisal, Bangladesh on January 1, 2017 from 3.30 pm. It was attended by students from PSTU, specifically from the Department of Agronomy. Both undergraduate and post graduate students were present.

The session began with an introductory speech by Dr. A. S. M. Iqbal Hussain, Professor of the Department of Agronomy. He spoke on the topic: “Scope of Innovation to promote Agricultural Development in Bangladesh”. This was followed by a short informative session by Ms. Namista Tabassum, Director of YY Goshti. She welcomed all the participants, and explained what BGIC was all about. After that, Mr. Shazeeb M. Khairul Islam, Founder of YY Goshti, started his session on Social Business 101 and the use of the social business model to create innovative business solutions accelerating agricultural, water resource management and sustainable development. The session ended with a short question and answer session, where the audience voiced various questions about how they can benefit from BGIC, and what they need to qualify as an applicant. The day ended with a very interesting session by Mr. Ekhtiar Uddin, Assistant Professor at the Department of Agronomy, PSTU.  He presented short case studies on innovations that are possible for supply chain development within the agriculture and water resource management sector. The students in the audience also participated and brainstormed creative solutions for value chain development.

After the session ended, many students came forward and were personally coached on how to apply for the BGIC program.

 

YY Goshti is now active in Patuakhali !

The Blue Gold Innovation Challenge (BGIC) launched its first on-location activity “Inspire: Knowledge Sessions” at Patuakhali, Barisal, Bangladesh on December 30. Multiple knowledge sessions were conducted by seasoned social business experts and academics in the city, local universities and colleges. These sessions were attended by students from Patuakhali, Young Professionals, Representatives from local NGOs & NPOs, and local media personnel.

These events were chances to inspire people from the local community to apply for the BGIC program. More than 200 people attended the sessions. A majority of them were students interested in becoming entrepreneurs. The events started with an introduction by Ms. Namista Tabassum, Director of YY Goshti and organizer of BGIC 2016. She welcomed everyone and expressed her anticipation in working with potential entrepreneurs for the next six months. Mr.Shazeeb M. Khairul Islam, Founder of YY Goshti, explained how anyone, with the will and passion, can become a successful entrepreneur. Multiple sessions were conducted during the events as-’Accelerating economic development in Patuakhali using the social business model’ by M F M Amir Khashru, General Manager of Yunus Centre, “Creating Employment Opportunities Through Entrepreneurship”, by Ms. Shahana Sharmin, Country Manager of One97 Communications Ltd and “How Young People Can Lead the Nation’s Development”, by Mr. Wahid Hossain, Founder, and CEO of Tiger Bow.

 

BGIC Launching Ceremony 2016

The Blue Gold Innovation Challenge (BGIC) launched its activities at a Ceremony this December 18, 2016 at 6.00pm. It was held at Moar, Banani 11, Dhaka Bangladesh. The Launching Ceremony was attended by representatives from NGOs, Entrepreneurial Funds and Entrepreneurs from all over Bangladesh.

The event was a chance for those in the development sector to come together and talk about some of the pressing issues in agriculture and water resource management that can be solved through innovative business solutions. Among chief guests was Ms. Lamiya Morshed, Executive Director of Yunus Centre, who shared her thoughts about social business and how the development sector can achieve social impact through more sustainable models. Mr. Boudewijn Sterk, Manager of Innovation Fund, Blue Gold Program and the partner of YY Goshti in this program, was also present. He expressed anticipation in working in the agricultural and water resource management sector, paving the way for collaboration in the development sector that has not been done before. He was excited to see what new things can be achieved through this endeavor. Finally, Shazeeb M. Khairul Islam, Founder of YY Goshti, shared that the YY Goshti team is looking forward to work with aspiring entrepreneurs while building some innovative businesses that can access funds from the Blue Gold Program, using their expertise in incubating next generation businesses.

 

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YY PITCH DAY

The YY Goshti team selected 6 promising social business entrepreneurs who attended a week long boot camp. The Boot Camp included workshops, exposure visits, and mentorship to shape up & transform their ideas into a viable social business. This culminated into the YY Pitch Day, where the 6 social businesses were launched by YY Goshti. The top 6 Entrepreneurs were required to use all they had learned and make a compact business plan and pitch their social business ideas in front of judges and an eclectic audience of investors, social business leaders, young entrepreneurs, enthusiasts and more. After their pitch, they faced questions from the judges as well as the audience.

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The business pitches were ranked based on social impact, sustainability, scalability, innovation and financial stability. 2 winners were declared by the end of the program and granted seed capital – a winner selected by the judges and another by the audience. Avijtrik won the Judge’s Choice Award, while EcoTerrace won the People’s Choice Award. The ceremony ended with a networking dinner where all the attendees had a chance to meet and greet.

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ENTREPRENEURS ATTEND YY BOOTCAMP

After a rigorous screening process, 6 entrepreneurs were chosen to attend YY Bootcamp held from April 24-29, 2016. It is an intensive training program where selected participants received 60 hours of training and participated in exposure visits to see how existing businesses function. Moreover, the Bootcamp required participants to live on-site for a week and be subjected to a strict academic regime. They were housed at Krishibid Institute Complex, Khamarbari, Farmgate, Dhaka.

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They received intensive training and mentoring facilitated by seasoned Social Business Experts, Academicians, and Entrepreneurs. They learned extensive courses on Social Business, Marketing, Branding, Product/Service Development and making their ventures financially sustainable. They also visited existing social businesses to get a better idea about how such businesses are run successfully. Most importantly, YY Goshti provided them the means to build a refined social business plan with all elements to turn their ideas into a successful business. They were also provided pitch coaching and assisted in building a professional pitch deck to present to investors.

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