Mopasha Samaddar is a fourth year BBA student at NSU. With a dual major in Finance and Marketing, his life seems pretty set in the business arena. But his dreams go far beyond the boundaries of his university or the peripheries of “business.”
He plans to address an issue that often goes unnoticed - oral hygiene of the under- privileged community. “Our idea is to eradicate the problem of oral hygiene of poor people, who don’t have money to buy toothpaste,” he told the Dhaka Tribune.
And helping him develop this dream into a possible reality – or, at the least, guiding him through the process – is the Social Business Youth Alliance Global (SBYA Global).
Mopasha, along with his team “Team Snorlax,” attended SBYA Global’s Training on Social Business Development (TSBD) on Saturday, along with 99 other teams that had been shortlisted to participate in the event.
TSBD, which was held at the Krishibid Institute Bangladesh Complex, is the first of four steps in the Social Business Champ 2015 that will, after three more rounds, announce the final three winners. The event is being held under the guidance of the Yunus Center.
On Saturday, business professionals from various backgrounds spoke at the event, including MFM Amir Khasru, general manager at Yunus Centre, Rumana Habib, head of sales and marketing at the Dhaka Tribune, Wahid Hossai, chief ideation officer, SBYA Global, Tanbirul Islam, programme officer, Yunus Centre, and Azam Khan, head of marketing, development and PR division at First Security Islami Bank Ltd.
Shazeeb M Khairul Islam, founder and ceo of SBYA says he organises this event to promote the idea of social business, as well as connect entrepreneurs to experts and possible funders.
This works rather well for Mopasha and his team, who have a clear plan for their business model to sell low-cost toothpaste to the underprivileged while, at the same time, rearing profit in their business.
A platform such as SBYA Global is an excellent one for Mopasha and his team to make it into a reality.
And this goes hand in hand with Shazeeb’s concept of the programme as well.
“We are doing this in order to bring students into the social business scenario,” Shazeeb told the Dhaka Tribune. “Through programmes as these, participants are also learning about the concept of social business – which enhances their learning while also promoting social business.”
Shazeeb has been working on this since 2013, and this is the second season of this championship.
This year, a total of 245 teams submitted their business concepts to the programme, of which 100 have been shortlisted, with 300 participants in total.
Now in their second round, the participants will write a brief business plan and submit it in order to be shortlisted for the next round. After four rounds, three winners will be awarded the Social Business Champ 2015.
As for Mopasha, he is quite confident that their team has a good chance, and appreciates the support provided by SBYA Global.
“A platform like this gives you a lot of time to think, research and improvise,” he told the Dhaka Tribune. “This is very important because you cannot just jump into a business like that, it needs time and that is being provided here.”