Around 55 million people live in the cities and other urban areas of Bangladesh. With the ever increasing pressure of people bound for urban areas the problems in urban living are rising too. Social development organisation BRAC is encouraging and promoting the youths to take on these challenges with creative solutions. With this objective BRAC launched its second 'Urban Innovation Challenge' today on 24 July (Tuesday).
State minister for information communication and technology Zunaid Ahmed Palak opened the programme at the BRAC Centre. Asif Saleh, senior, director, strategy, communications and empowerment, BRAC and BRAC International, moderated the event.
Having called on all to come forward to create scopes for youths to explore their power of innovation, the state minister said that this responsibility does not lies solely with the government.
The government is ready to extend all kinds of assistance to the innovators who are coming forward from such initiatives of the non-governmental actors, he further said, hoping that the innovations by the young people will one day solve all the problems plaguing the life of the urban people at present.
Savar municipality mayor Mohammad Abdul Gani was present at the programme as special guest. The panel speakers at the event were Tina Jabeen, investment adviser, Startup Bangladesh, ICT Division, Munir Hasan, coordinator, Youth Programme, Prothom Alo, Saif Kamal, founder, Toru Institute of Inclusive Innovation, and Rubana Huq, managing director, Mohammadi Group.
In the 'Entrepreneurs talk' session the speakers were Abu Sayed Al Sagor, chief executive officer, BD Assistant, Farhana Rashid, co-founder, Bhumijo, and Shahriar Hasan Jisun, chairman, Bloodman.
BRAC senior director Asif Saleh said, 'We are intent on providing scope and necessary assistance so that the different innovative ideas for solving urban problems can be translated into social entrepreneurships.' He also called on the investors to take initiatives to nurture the country's young talents.
In this competition event plans for sustainable solutions addressing different urban problems in five categories can be submitted from across the country. The categories are housing, healthcare, safe water and hygiene, renewable fuel resources, and climate change. A jury board, after analysing the merit of these plans, will declare awards in all the categories.
BRAC will grant a period of six months to the winning team to implement their plans with a grant of up to BDT 5 lakh. BRAC will also help the winning teams establish contact with probable investors.
Deadline for submission of applications: 30 August 2018.
To send applications please log-in to: uic.brac.net