The British Council’s Global Social Enterprise programme draws on the UK’s expertise to support the development of social enterprise and social investment in the UK and other countries, share best practice and create opportunities between them. The programme was launched in China and Indonesia in 2009 and is currently operating in 24 countries. Our programme is delivered with partners who share our determination to support positive social change, sustainable development and inclusive growth. They provide business consulting, study tours, networking opportunities and funding support, enabling proven social enterprises to scale up their activities. Through the programme, we provide aspiring and practising social entrepreneurs as well as NGO practitioners, community leaders and university students with skills training, mentoring and access to UK expertise. We also offer proven social enterprises access to partner supplied mentoring and funding opportunities through business plan competitions.
As part of the British Council’s Social Enterprise programme, senior policy influencers, academics, and social entrepreneurs from across South and East Asia and the UK will come together in February 2015 in Dhaka for a two-day policy dialogue. The dialogue will allow delegates to discuss the Bangladeshi context for Social Enterprise and to share and learn from each other’s experiences from across Asia and the UK. This event will act as a legacy of the Berlin policy dialogue that took place in July 2013, and of the country consultation meeting which was organised in January 2014 in Dhaka. We know from participants in the country consultation meeting and from recent research by the British Council that there is a lack of policy support in Bangladesh in the field of Social Enterprise, which could be overcome through policy dialogues, knowledge sharing and adopting examples from Asia, Europe, and the UK.
Social Enterprise: How can the Bangladesh economy take full advantage of the opportunities presented by Social Enterprise?
Across the globe, there has been a remarkable growth in social enterprises in the last decade as social enterprise delivers sustainable economic growth while fostering social change and innovation. In South Asia, the social enterprise sector has been growing, but its size, characteristics and approach vary significantly in each country. In Bangladesh we see two large well-established models in BRAC and Grameen that dominate the social enterprise landscape and developed their own successful approach. However, in order to channel the benefits of the social enterprise in to its economy, Bangladesh needs a well thought, long term pragmatic policy encompassing government, legislative, academic and infrastructural supports.