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Sunday, May 16, 2010

In the search of young Bangladeshi entrepreneurs

The call to air more business based shows in Bangladeshi TV channels is nothing new for this blog. We have mentioned the need to make programs in TV channels not only to give dry commentary and stale news about recent business events and products but also to give young Bangladeshi entrepreneurs a platform to demonstrate their business ideas and possibly get some mentoring, funding, patronising etc. Its not news anymore that companies like HSBC and BATB regularly arrange business plan competitions every year and award financially the winners. But I have always questioned the outreach of such initiatives. Agreed that its an effort worth appreciation, by the very nature of the potential of that initiative, it calls for increasing its outreach especially outside Dhaka and other cities, where only the priveleged young people, may be belonging to private universities would get the chance to enter into such competitions. It certainly overlooks the vast majority of young entrepreneurs who might be already running small businesses in rural Bangladesh, with or without a well composed business plan and with or without any formal knowledge of how to run a business and how to seek more venture capital beyond 'love money' from friends and family.


Recently BBC has started the Junior Apprentice TV show. The six-week competition has candidates all aged between 16 and 17, battling it out through a series of gruelling tasks in the hope to become the first ever Junior Apprentice. The winner will be awarded access to a fund worth £25,000, which will go towards his or her business career and will be personalised to their individual prospects and development. If you ever get to see these shows, you will realise how practical and challenging doing business can be. But more interestingly you will realise how business skills are honed by 16 and 17 year olds who are yet to finish even their schools and still there is so much to learn beyond classroom based education and business plan competitions. Above all, the encouragement and inspiration such programs and initiatives create is tremendous, enabling likeminded young entrepreneurs to perceive their small business ventures more seriously and give all out effort.


When we are so fond of and quick in copying foreign TV serials and reality shows, I wonder why don't we copy the good things first. Also if the world of copying TV programs is open for all, why do we have to wait until an Indian version is aired through Bangladeshi TV space whereas the BBC programs are open for all to view and 'copy' the idea if needed. Lord Sugar is one self-made business icon in the UK, to compare someone with him in Bangladesh might be a step too far. But its obvious that we have too many speakers in presentations and trainers in workshops but very few business leaders in the true sense. A successful business leader is not only supposed to make more money for him/herself but also to educate, inspire especially the young in the society. How many of our business celebrities are doing something worthwhile to nourish the business talent and potential of the young entrepreneurs? How many of them have reached out to those who live outside cities?


There is no denial of the fact that reality TV programs for young business entrepreneurs of Bangladesh can never be the only resort to ensuring classy business cadres. But what is the problem in starting with it? Atleast it would bring back some viewers back to watching television which is so full of mundane drama serials and political dog and pony shows. A business show involving young entrepreneurs would give some much needed respite from the plagued drama serials and singing competitions. What do you think?

3 comments:

ShariefM said...

Even though business competitions are a good way to promote entrepreneurial thinking and sharpen business acumen, in my personal experience, they're not always the best platform for creating impact.

A lot of competitions I've noticed that most of the participants are motivated by the reward and publicity, and not by the what they're doing with the business. The result is that a lot of these individuals aren't necessarily passionate about what it is they're doing. There's no meaning as to 'why?'; instead they show 'what?' and 'how?'

A good talk that made me think about 'why?' is @ http://www.ted.com/talks/simon_sinek_how_great_leaders_inspire_action.html

Net_Bug said...

Well, TV channels are only for the politicians, news reader and some hopeful celebrities......loosers!!

they are only there to kill your precious time and creative thoughts, the more you watch TV the more you loose your thoughtful thoughts

and the programs for the young thinkers??? that's only gonna happen when they'r gonna have some personal TV Channels, so that they can have there only programs and things...

ferdous said...

no doubt...mr. musa will be on tv for commercial purpose....