Bangladesh will become a developed country by 2041 by harnessing the innovative power of the youth, said Finance Minister AHM Mustafa Kamal on Saturday.
"The government has allocated Tk100 crore in the current budget to support young innovators. We'll move forward in the right direction by transforming the challenges into opportunities," the minister told young inventors.
He also urged them to uphold the economic prosperity of Bangladesh in the global arena by establishing new companies like Google and Facebook.
The minister came up with remarks while addressing an award-giving ceremony among the grant final winners of the 'Bangabandhu Innovation Grant (BIG) 2021'.
The finance minister said the journey of the startup ecosystem in Bangladesh started in 2010.
Currently, over 2,500 startups are there in Bangladesh and they are playing an important role in our economy where around 1.5 million people have been directly or indirectly employed through startups, Kamal said.
On the occasion of the Golden Jubilee of Bangladesh's Independence and Mujib Year, the grand finale of this special event was held on Saturday at the Multipurpose Auditorium of Bangladesh Film Archive at Agargaon.
The state minister for ICT Division Zunaid Ahmed Palak presided over the programme. Senior Secretary of ICT Division N M Zeaul Alam and Executive Director and Additional Secretary of Bangladesh Computer Council (BCC) Dr Md Abdul Mannan were the special guests at the function. Project Director of Innovation Design and Entrepreneurship Academy (iDEA) Md. Abdur Rakib also spoke on the occasion.
The "Bangabandhu Innovation Grant (BIG) 2021" was organised by the iDEA Project of Bangladesh Computer Council (BCC) under the ICT Division to inspire young entrepreneurs and startups.
One of the aims of this initiative is to create a startup ecosystem in the country by encouraging young entrepreneurs having innovative ideas.
At the end of the campaign in 142 countries, more than 7,000 startups and inventors from 57 countries, including Bangladesh, participated in the contest at the initial stage.
The best of the best winning startup "OpenRefactory" received a grant of $1,00,000 with special honours as "One Big Winner 2021", which is the biggest reward from the ICT Division for the startups in this Mujib Year.
In the BIG 2021 Grand Finale programme, 36 startups chosen from home and abroad will receive a total grant of Tk3.60 crore where each startup will get Tk10 lakh.
A total of 46 startups, including 26 local startups selected from the reality show, the top 10 startups at the international level and the top 10 startups of the iDEA Project portfolio, were in the "BIG 2021 Grand Finale".