Six new projects by young entrepreneurs were approved at the 71st Social Business Design Lab in the capital yesterday.
Yunus Centre organised the event, which was chaired by Nobel laureate Prof Muhammad Yunus, at Grameen Bank Bhaban. It brought together more than 130 participants from home and abroad.
The entrepreneurs who received approvals are members of Grameen Bank families, and four of them are women, the Centre said in a statement.
The businesses presented were Choa Boutiques by Mafia Parvin; Taslima Shoes by Md Al Amin; Najnin Handicraft by Najnin; Shahed Decorator by Poly Begum; Forhan Cow Fattening Farm by Forhan Firoz Rony; and Khuku Mudi Store by Khuku Rani.
Rani from Thakurgaon belongs to a minority community in that region. She began her business with Tk 2,000 and has since expanded her capital to Tk 83,000.
Investment from Grameen's social business fund would add another Tk 1.5 lakh to her business, Yunus Centre said.
Since launch of the lab in January 2013, 866 of the 891 social business projects presented at the labs have been approved for investment and most of them are already in operation.
Speaking at the lab, Prof Yunus said the vast majority of the approved projects have been launched by young entrepreneurs. These young people are running their businesses and would create jobs for others instead of becoming jobseekers.
“This is an invaluable contribution to the national economy.”