Business and Investment Readiness Programme (BiR) was launched successfully in Bangladesh at the British Council Library premises with an aim to strengthen social enterprises around the world by providing them with the support they need to enhance and scale-up the impact of their work.
BiR provides business readiness support to Social Enterprises at early stages in their development to allow them to strengthen their organisational capacity and put in place plans for future growth and increase impact. Matt Pusey, Deputy Director, British Council Bangladesh welcomed the guests and expressed his confidence that the social enterprises intermediaries in Bangaladesh will strengthen their capacity, working in close collaboration with their UK partner Social Enterprises.
Tristan Ace, Global Partnerships and Development Manager of Social Enterprise, British Council explained what BiR is and how it is going to work in the countries and in the UK. Head of the Partner organisations- Minhaz Anwar from Betterstories Ltd, Samira Himika from Team Engine, Jerry Nicholson from Tinder Capital, Bangladesh and Richard Catherall of Radical Capital from the UK were introduced in the launch. They all shared their expectations from the programme. Heads of the two UK partner organisations -Bethnal Green and Resonance joined the programme virtually through videoconference. Experts, Faisel Rahman, OBE, Managing Director of Fair Finance, Richard Catherall, Director of Radical Capital Limited, Dr Ananya Raihan, Chief Executive Officer of D.Net took part in a very lively and interactive panel discussion on “How Social Enterprises can scale their impact”. Tristan Ace, Global Partnerships and Development Manager of Social Enterprise, British Council moderated the panel discussion.
The discussion triggered some fundamental questions from the audience regarding Social Enterprises such as what role can universities play in educating social entrepreneurs, how academia could be connected with the social enterprises, why donor agencies only donate to NGOs rather than providing the same funding as investment to Social Enterprises, what are the ways to measure the impact of the social enterprises, how social enterprises can work for the ultra-poor and sustain their economy etc.
The event was attended by policymakers, social entrepreneurs, and heads of the NGOs, donor agencies, investors, academia and aspiring young entrepreneurs.