Bangladesh, like other countries throughout the world, has seen an increase in electronic commerce. Consumers can now choose from a variety of digital products and services created by a number of young entrepreneurs. The industry, however, has not yet achieved its full potential. Its expansion is hampered by a number of obstacles. Preneur Lab Youth and Innovation Trust which works to empower entrepreneurs have come forward to ameliorate the scenario by initiating “Business Boost Bangladesh” with an aim to ease the path of entrepreneurship and the process of business formation and operation. To reform the policy, It conducted surveys and interviewed hundreds of youth entrepreneurs, done FGDs with lawyers, policymakers, and business registrars in the process
A 2-hour virtual roundtable on digital business and eCommerce was organized on January 22, 2022, as part of this initiative where they published a report that outlined all of the findings which will be publicly available.
Experts gave their perspectives on the business difficulties and how to improve the business environment more conducive to entrepreneurs. The initiative’s ultimate goal is policy reform to aid in the growth of the startup ecosystem. The roundtable brought together business leaders, startup entrepreneurs, and policymakers to discussion on Boosting eCommerce & Startups in Bangladesh
A number of other notable experts and policymakers shared their views like Dr. Atiur Rahman, former Governor of the Bangladesh Bank; Tajdin Hassan, CMO, Daraz- Alibaba Group; Rezwanul Haque, Head of eCommerce, a2i Program, ICT Division of Bangladesh; Sahariar Hasan Jii Sun, National Consultant, a2i, ICT Division of Bangladesh; Sabera Anwar, Founder of GoDeshi – Made in Bangladesh, etc. They all presented their points of view and ideas based on their expertise and knowledge in this subject.
The roundtable discussion was moderated by Rakhshanda Rukham who is the Co-Founder of the Preneur Lab Youth and Innovations Trust. Mr. Arif Nezami, Co-Founder of the Preneur Lab Youth and Innovations Trust, was in attendance.
Dr. Atiur Rahman said, “The report did an excellent job of analyzing and identifying the problem that today’s businesses face”. He also suggested, “The regulations and process should be simplified but at the same time, it needs proper surveillance and monitoring. The main problem with a trade license is that it requires renewal every year. Trade licenses should be renewed every 5 years for small businesses. Sometimes the overall registration process costs can be very expensive for a young entrepreneur.”
The new form of business, e-commerce is growing fashionable in the country, as it is in the rest of the globe. Many people, particularly women from various fields, are expressing a strong interest in starting and running their own home-based enterprises.
Tajdin Hassan said, “When a company is in growth momentum, it is sometimes required to modify strategy to bring innovation because innovation brings transparency and trust is very important for ecommerce”. He also said, “It is a very good sign that people have the habit of adopting electronic commerce as a regular part of life. Ecommerce should be backed up financially and we need to invest more on innovation, infrastructure and logistics”
Businesses can only succeed when there is a collaborative approach and entrepreneurs are aware of procedures properly.
Rezwanul Haque said, ” There are 13 types of trade license systems available in Bangladesh. We are trying to combine all of them so that entrepreneurs can create a trade license from anywhere using UBI.”
This is the ideal time to define ecommerces and startups in terms of law and policy in order to facilitate scalability, growth, and innovation.
Sahariar Hasan Jii Sun said, “Many Govt and semi Govt organizations are giving training to the entrepreneurs so that they can maintain a standard procedure.”
Sabera Anwar talked about the problem of SMEs in reaching the right people and said , “The programs of BSCIC or SME are very much limited and the people who are actually working in these sectors are not even getting 5% of support from them. So this should be looked after”
Finally, Rakhshanda concluded the program and shared that the eCommerce and startup sectors are currently gaining popularity among the general public. However, this industry is also up against challenges in terms of establishing itself. If the challenges can be solved and reforms implemented, this sector may provide society with a bright and promising future. More of these kinds of actions should be launched to resolve the issues. The report can be downloaded from https://xho.to/bbbreport