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25 February, 2018 00:00 00 AM / LAST MODIFIED: 24 February, 2018 11:03:11 PM

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Sweet Success for youth entrepreneurs

SHARIF AHMED
Sweet Success for youth entrepreneurs

Entrepreneurs at the ‘Torun Uddoktar Ponno Mela’, which ended recently, saw vigorous business, as sales picked up with stall owners cutting product prices and offering promotional discounts to visitors thronging the country’s first ‘Uddokta Mela’.

Themed ‘Employee will be the Employer’, the three-day fair was organised by the Bangladesh Youth Enterprise Advice and Helpcentre (BYEAH) at the capital’s Women Voluntary Association (WVA) auditorium.

Most of the young entrepreneurs, who had stalls at the fair, told The Independent, “Products worth around Tk 9 lakh were sold at the fair and we have received spot order of around Tk 40 lakh.”

 Entrepreneurs said proper policy support and more financial incentives could increase sales earnings three times domestically and internationally in the next couple of years.

 BYEAH Founder Chairperson Abdul-Muyeed Chowdhury said such fairs could play a special role in helping the youth gain confidence to build a developed country by strengthening its future.

 He also thinks that this fair will help young people to become employers.

 There were a total of 58 stalls at the fair. They displayed products such as hand-made garments, herbal cosmetics, leather goods, food items, electronics products, gift items and various types of materials.

Besides, young visitors responded enthusiastically to the stall of ‘Robot Games’.

 Director of International Affairs e-Commerce Association of Bangladesh (e-CAB) President Razib Ahmed told The Independent that more start-up companies should participate in such fairs and the BYEAH should organise this fair not only in Dhaka but in the entire country.“We want more e-commerce companies to participate in this fair,” he added.

 Product range

Nadia Jannat, owner of a boutique house and tailor ‘Tontubay’, said, “We are showcasing product designs such as—block, tie dye, embroidery, sarees, and all women’s items in this fair.”

 Mohammod Sojib, an owner of ‘SB Gift’ shop, told The Independent, “We sold all types of gift items such as handmade candle lights, printed water mugs, printed key rings in this fair.”

 When asked about his dream as a young entrepreneur, he said, “I started this project with an investment of Tk 500 only; now, 27 people are working in my business.”

“My dream is to distribute and reach my products to all the villages of my country,” he said.

When asked about the challenges, he said not enough investment had been made in this sector for long. This sector made an enormous contribution to employment generation in small and medium-sized enterprises (SME) sector, he added.

A young entrepreneur and owner of Okshopbd.com Alauddin Sohel told the Independent, “When I started my e-commerce business in June 2015, I had only the investment of Tk 5,000. Now, 9–10 people working in my e-commerce business.”

When asked, he said, “We are showcasing products such as Digital Quran, PRS tracking device, Wifi IP security camera, foot massager, door alarm, electronic door stop alarm, saree and panjabi.

 About the price of the products, he said, Digital Quran was priced at 6Tk 3,999, sarees ranged from Tk 850 to Tk 5,000, panjabi ranged from Tk 950 to 3,000, Wifi IP Security Cameras cost varied from Tk 2,200 to 6,000.

 ‘Samo Leathers’ started its journey in 2016. A young entrepreneur and founder of Samo Leathers Saiful Islam Momin told The Independent, “I started my business with only Tk 25,000 and, today, after struggling for two years, I have a small factory of leather products.”

 Describing the products, he said, currently, Samo Leathers produces wallets, belts, ladies bags, office bags, file covers, jackets, backpacks, file covers, card holders, key rings and many other types of leather goods.

Asked, whether Samo Leathers also exported its products, he said, “We export products to four countries—China, Japan, Italy and Spain.”

 Challenges

 Outlining the challenges before young entrepreneurs, he said capital was the main obstacle and one of the major problems in going for business expansion.

 Expressing the future plan of his company, Momin said, “I want my factory to be a fully compliant factory within three years where 100–150 people will get employment.”

 “We have participated in this fair for the first time and the response was tremendous,” Momin said.  

 Tabassum Jahan Irin, owner of ‘Rakaiba Handicraft, Boutique and Jute Product’, started her business in 2014 and participated in the fair for the first time to showcase her products.

 Talking to The Independent, she said, “We make various types of hand bags, shopping bags, ladies bags, laptop bags, etc. Besides, we also produce various types of handicraft products such as Thai flowers, net flowers, ribbons and different types of jute products.”

 About the product prices, Irin said, “Our jute products such as shopping bags cost Tk 150, hand bags are at Tk 100 and ladies bag are priced at Tk 400.”

 Citing some challenges, she said, “When I started this business as a young entrepreneur, I had to face numerous challenges such as inadequate capital, lack of an appropriate place, and shortage of skilled artisans.”

 “We offer 10 per cent discount on all jute products, and did so particularly in this fair,” she said.

Founder and CEO of Cyborg Technologies Bangladesh Md. Muhibbullah Mahee told The Independent that Cyborg Technologies Bangladesh Ltd (CTBL) was one of the fastest growing tech companies in the country.

“We are mainly focused on industrial automation, hardware, software, security solution, web development, training, Internet of Things (IOT) and Robotics” he said.

“We started our journey in 2014 and, till now, we have more than 400 customers. We tried to present a little more than 50 services and products in this fair and the robo-game zone was full of visitors and players. One of our most unique products “Robo Bundle” was highly appreciated by the visitors” he said.

 “At this fair we gave 5-15% of discount on instant order”, he said.

 

 

 

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Editor : M. Shamsur Rahman

Published by the Editor on behalf of Independent Publications Limited at Media Printers, 446/H, Tejgaon I/A, Dhaka-1215.
Editorial, News & Commercial Offices : Beximco Media Complex, 149-150 Tejgaon I/A, Dhaka-1208, Bangladesh. GPO Box No. 934, Dhaka-1000.

Editor : M. Shamsur Rahman
Published by the Editor on behalf of Independent Publications Limited at Media Printers, 446/H, Tejgaon I/A, Dhaka-1215.
Editorial, News & Commercial Offices : Beximco Media Complex, 149-150 Tejgaon I/A, Dhaka-1208, Bangladesh. GPO Box No. 934, Dhaka-1000.

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