SME Foundation, AIUB hunt for business plans | The Daily Star
12:00 AM, March 21, 2011 / LAST MODIFIED: 12:00 AM, March 21, 2011

Pockets of Change

SME Foundation, AIUB hunt for business plans

The SME Foundation has joined hands with American International University of Bangladesh (AIUB) as part of the state-run agency's efforts to create more enterprises and entrepreneurs to foster faster economic growth.
Under the 'SME Business Plan Competition 2010', the foundation and the private university will start a nationwide campaign next month in search of innovative projects. An agreement between the two has already been signed.
During the three-month long campaign, applications will be invited to seek concepts from entrepreneurs.
The competition will be split in three groups -- SME Entrepreneur (single), SME Entrepreneur (group) and SME Organisation.
A preliminary evaluation committee of the foundation will evaluate the applications. The committee will prepare a final report and submit it to the independent jury board, which will be consisted of professionals, experts and financial partners.
Of the available concepts, three will be selected. The winner in each group will win Tk 2 lakh in prize money, while the first runner up will win Tk 1.5 lakh and the second-runner up will receive Tk 1 lakh, officials said.
In addition, steps will also be taken to provide financial assistance to the winning ideas to setup the businesses.
"We will link up the winning projects with financial institutions so that they can get loans at low interest rates and set up the projects," said Syed Rezwanul Kabir, managing director of the SME Foundation.
He said the proposals from the fresh graduates, who are looking for jobs, would get priority. "We are trying to pass them a message that they can still build a career without running after jobs. We are creating the environment for them."
SME Foundation officials said new business enterprises and entrepreneurs have to be created to foster the country's economic growth. The business plan competition is part of the strategies taken by the foundation to do so.

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