The British Council organised an event on 9 October 2016 to launch two research reports titled ‘The State of Social Enterprise in Bangladesh’ and ‘Social Enterprise Policy Landscape in Bangladesh’. The event brought together around 60 sector leaders, practitioners, policy influencers, social entrepreneurs and representatives from different sectors in Bangladesh.
The results of the reports show that social enterprise is growing and is creating jobs for disadvantaged groups, empowering women, and addressing social exclusion. The first report, ‘The State of Social Enterprise in Bangladesh’, attempts for the first time to understand the scale of social enterprise activity in Bangladesh as well as the sectors in which social enterprises are focused and the beneficiaries that they support. The second report, ‘Social Enterprise Policy Landscape in Bangladesh’, surveys the existing enabling environment for social enterprises in the country. It looks at government activity that influences social enterprise. Social enterprise is a welcoming and diverse sector that stands out for its comparatively high rate of women leaders in countries with relatively low rates of female entrepreneurship and women business leaders. For instance, the survey finds that more than 20% of social enterprises but fewer than 13% of mainstream businesses are led by women.
Jim Scarth, Deputy Director of the British Council presented the welcome note, while Tristan Ace, Global Social Enterprise Partnerships and Development Manager of the British Council overviewed the research reports. Minhaz Anwar, Managing Director and Chief Story Teller of Better Stories Limited shared findings of research reports. After the presentation of the research reports, there was a panel discussion which was moderated by Tristan Ace with Anita Ghazi Rahman, Barrister-at-Law, Advocate, Supreme Court of Bangladesh, Dr Ananya Raihan, Chief Executive Officer, Dnet, Md Ashadul Islam, Director General, NGO Affairs Bureau, Government of People’s Republic of Bangladesh and Minhaz Anwar. The discussants at the programme also replied to various queries of the participants. The event concluded with valuable comments, recommendations and extensive knowledge sharing that inspires to hope for a future filled with flourishing social enterprises in Bangladesh.