The launching of a technology centre dubbed 'Tech C' by the Federation of Bangladesh Chambers of Commerce and Industry (FBCCI) last week to support SMEs and start-ups in enabling technology in their respective businesses is no doubt an appreciable move. This is more so because the huge changes in the dynamics of business practices in recent times, partly attributable to the ongoing pandemic, necessitates proper grooming of fresh entrepreneurs to not only keep up with the changes but also to innovate ideas equal to the needs of the time. Under the initiative, the apex trade body will impart training to aspiring entrepreneurs on using technology in their businesses for better management of supply chain, value addition in order to make ventures profitable. The initiative is ostensibly meant to build a digital ecosystem in the country by creating "Impact Tech-Preneurs" who can have a transformative impact on the digital landscape. It entails startup preparedness skills in a host of areas including, among others, agricultural technology (Ag Tech), digital financial service (Fin Tech), medical and healthcare technology (Health Tech), educational technology (Education Tech), e-commerce and so on. The 'Tech C' is part of the FBCCI Impact 4.0 (2020) project, which was launched to mark the centennial birth anniversary of Bangabandhu Sheikh Mujibur Rahman.
The most remarkable aspect of the FBCCI initiative is the targeted mix of academia and business -- a long felt need, absence of which has been acutely felt in training and nurturing future entrepreneurs in the country. It is pretty well known that training and grooming of entrepreneurs in areas of their choices has hardly ever drawn the attention of concerned quarters. The result-- following the foot steps of others-- has not been able to add much beyond conventional business knowledge. It has been learnt that to run the 'Tech C' project, the apex chamber has signed agreements with the Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT), Accelerating Asia, Seneca College and the University of Toronto. This collaboration between industry and academia can be crucial in encouraging young entrepreneurs to come up with innovative ideas and knowledge-based endeavours to leverage innovations across economic sectors.
Another important aspect of the project, according to the president of the apex chamber, is that apart from training entrepreneurs, it will also link start-ups with venture capital companies, accelerators and innovation labs. In fact, this, if pursued properly in keeping with the needs of the aspiring entrepreneurs is potentially likely to deliver results that can make the project truly beneficial. It is here that the 'Tech C' promises to inspire hope among many future entrepreneurs who along with the country will be able to reap rich dividends in the future.
One only hopes that the 'Tech C', unlike many initiatives with rosy prospects that eventually failed to make it to targeted goals, will receive support and encouragement from all quarters concerned including the government in realising its objective.