300 startups to get up to Tk 10cr each
The government will provide up to Tk 10 crore to promising start-ups in Bangladesh, said State Minister for ICT Zunaid Ahmed Palak Yesterday.
The government will give the fund to 300 startups, including 200 this year, in the form of equity investment, he said.
"We will also provide free office space to the startups in 39 hi-tech parks for six months," he said at an event on the inclusion of micro-merchants into the digital marketplace.
The United Nations Capital Development Fund (UNCDF) organised the programme at The Westin Dhaka to share learnings gained from an initiative titled "Merchants Development Driving Rural Markets (MDDRM)".
The initiative was taken in 2017 to support micro, and small retail shops to use technologies and participate in the online marketplace.
Under a European Union-funded initiative, the UNCDF has reached out 20 lakh retail micro-merchants in Bangladesh, according to a press release.
State-sponsored venture capital company Startup Bangladesh Ltd and local startup Sheba.xyz are going to sign a partnership agreement to provide microloans to small and medium entrepreneurs without collateral, said Palak.
The government is expanding initiatives such as the MDDRM with the help of development partners and investors to ensure that Bangladesh does not lag in the age of digital economy, he said.
Citing the Fourth Industrial Revolution, Palak said the government had formulated five national strategies on robotics, block-chain, Internet of Things, Artificial Intelligence, and microprocessor design capabilities to prepare for that.
"This will help build a solid foundation for our local startups," he said.
Senior Secretary of Financial Institutions Division Md Ashadul Islam, Head of Cooperation of the Delegation of the EU Maurizio Cian, and United Nations Development Programme Resident Representative Sudipto Mukerjee also spoke at the event.