Ideas, not finance, vital for SMEs | The Daily Star
12:00 AM, December 09, 2018 / LAST MODIFIED: 12:05 AM, December 09, 2018

Ideas, not finance, vital for SMEs

Experts say

The concept that access to finance is the most important thing to set up an SME is wrong, rather the sector's growth slows because of thinking this way, experts said yesterday.

“I think ideas and concepts are extremely vital with which you can develop the true potential of your business,” said Rizwan Dawood Shams, deputy managing director of IPDC Finance. “If you come up with a good idea, banks and financial institutions are eagerly waiting to finance your projects,” he told “IPDC Uddokta Summit 2018” at the University of Asia Pacific in Dhaka.

“When you start a business you have to identify what you want to do, prospects of your product and its market,” he told the event which aimed at encouraging entrepreneurship.

IPDC Finance Ltd along with Bangladesh Open Source Network's (BdOSN) entrepreneur development initiative “Chakri khujbo na, chakri debo” and the university jointly organised the two-day event. The Daily Star is an associate organisation of the event.

The summit was inaugurated on Friday, hosting over 500 entrepreneurs from around Bangladesh and 45 stalls to display and showcase associated products and services alongside 10 sessions and four workshops.

“Lack of preparedness of the entrepreneurs in our country is another thing for finance not being available. At least, you have to get your business registration or trade licences to avail the loans,” said Shams.

He advised beginners to refrain from investing all of their capital in a single project.

“Some people make a mistake by investing all their resources in a single business. If you have Tk 10 lakh, spend three or four lakh at first. If it is a success story, than invest the rest. If it fails, you can have a fresh start with the remaining,” he said.

“I feel overwhelmed to see the bloom of entrepreneurs and the number of people getting involved to have new ideas and converting those into business,” added Shams.

The success of a business largely depends on the quality of services and communication skills, said Md Monir Hosen, CEO of Creative IT Institute.

“To become an entrepreneur you have to either innovate products or services that are not available in the market or you have to provide better services of the existing products,” he said.

“An entrepreneur should not only run for loans to the bank and financial institutions as there are many other ways of collecting capital,” said Hamidul H Khan, executive director of the Innovation in Development Pursuit.

“Concentrate on the customer and fully comprehend the market with a small start,” he said, suggesting entrepreneurs develop a product for which there is a market and has the ability to generate revenue.

Md Humayun Kabir, CEO of online payment gateway Walletmix, said, “Entrepreneurs of SMEs have to build up strategy, inclusive plan and patience to thrive.”

“Many people come to business but they do not know what they have to do. Without vision, you cannot be an entrepreneur,” he said.

The summit was inaugurated by National Professor Jamilur Reza Choudhury, vice chancellor of University of Asia Pacific.

Kazi M Aminul Islam, executive chairman of Bangladesh Investment Development Authority, and Mominul Islam, CEO of IPDC Finance, were present as special guests.

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