Bangladesh needs further investment in start-ups for growth: Experts

Bangladesh needs further investment in start-ups to boost economic growth, according to experts, who recently told a virtual session that a strengthened start-up policy to facilitate ease of starting and operating such small firms with streamlined regulations and requirements, and better incentives for investors interested in start-ups is crucial.

The start-up ecosystem also needs to be nurtured through industry-academia collaborations to encourage innovation and talent development at school and university levels as well as continued government support through enabling policies and regulatory frameworks to foster innovations, experts said.

Titled ‘Levering Start-up Investments for Bangladesh's Economic Growth’, the session was organised by LightCastle Partners, Startup Bangladesh Limited, Anchorless Bangladesh, Bangladesh Angels and BD Startup Founders.

Hasan A Arif, head of investments portfolio at Start-up Bangladesh, said the government has already taken several initiatives to increase the flow of investment in the start-up sector with the Bangladesh Securities and Exchange Commission (BSEC) drafting rules to allow loss-making sound start-ups to be listed on the country’s stock exchanges and offer initial public offers.

Over the last decade, Bangladeshi start-ups have raised over $800 million in investments, spearheading the economy and creating 1.5 million direct and indirect employment opportunities while positively impacting the citizens’ day-to-day lives.

However, industry insiders feel as the start-up ecosystem in the country matures, the support for them needs to evolve to enable Bangladesh’s economic growth further. The impact made by startups makes the sector an economic powerhouse that needs more attention and support.