Daffodil International University (DIU) launched their Department of Innovation & Entrepreneurship in 2015. DIU is the first university in Bangladesh to offer a four-year Bachelor’s degree solely on entrepreneurship. The programme focuses on both theoretical knowledge and practical learning.
Mohammad Shibli Shahriar, Head of the Department of Innovation & Entrepreneurship, shared his ideas and aspirations for the department. “Our mission is to create young leaders who will be able to solve social problems and fulfil the needs and wants of the people,” he said.
After launching the department, many graduates and professionals started seeking similar entrepreneurship programmes. As a result, diploma courses and MBA on entrepreneurship were also introduced. The curriculum of the department allows students to explore their own ideas and decide on the kind of learning opportunities they want out of the degree. This approach is the first of its kind in Bangladesh. The students gain the opportunities to find their passions and to truly understand their abilities through the creative and practical programme.
Currently, there are 51 students in the department, with three batches in each term. The students have to participate in a project in each term. Throughout the course of the four-year programme, students can launch their own start-ups.
“Being able to test our own start-up ideas in the real world is a great opportunity and the department goes out of their way to help the students in this regard,” says Tisha Farhana, a final-year student from the Department of Innovation & Entrepreneurship. She recently launched her own startup, Craftiques.
Himel Hasan, another student from the department, is the Founder and Managing Director of Twisted Cafe. “All the faculty members of the department are very cooperative. My teachers help me immensely in both my coursework and in managing my restaurant. I could not have done this without the financial and mental support from my department,” says Himel.
The department offers 100 percent scholarships to deserving students. The students can also participate in exchange programmes in other countries, as a part of their degree. Bangladesh Venture Capital Limited invests in the student startups in the early stages and students receive fundsbased on their ideas. There is also an entrepreneur development fund, which provides an interest free loan of up to BDT 50,000 to the students. Moreover, if any student fails to repay the loan on time, their deadline can be extended.
This innovative department also provides a ‘Maker Space’, where the students create their own products, learn to build the products and simply have fun. The department also offers an industry academy lecture series, which is conducted by prominent CEOs and entrepreneurs of the country.
Atikur Rahman is the very first graduate from the Department of Entrepreneurship & Innovation at DIU. He believes that the department has truly set an example of a participative and creative educational system in Bangladesh.