Calling All Student Entrepreneurs: Tell Us About Your Startup

The first step: How to start a startup

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May 29, 2014

For the past few months I’ve been involved with the new and very exciting startup movement in Bangladesh. I’ve attended accelerators, incubators and co-working spaces, I’ve volunteered as a mentor and shared my experiences. Now, more than ever there are so many, mostly young, people who want to start businesses here and it’s thrilling.

But maybe the roller coaster is moving so fast for some that, in their excitement, they are forgetting the first step in starting a business. Many times now I’ve heard people say ‘I want a startup’, as if a ‘startup’ was a product in itself and when I go on to ask what their new startup will do, they are not quite so sure.

Many times now I’ve heard people say ‘I want a startup’, as if a ‘startup’ was a product in itself and when I go on to ask what their new startup will do, they are not quite so sure.

how to start a startup

The paths for starting and growing a business are many and varied. There is no ‘one-size fits all’ solution. It depends on so many things – the product or service, the location, the financing options, the skills of the entrepreneur, the aims and objectives etc. The list goes on forever. But they all start at the same place – an IDEA.

You need an idea for a product or service that the market wants and is not currently available. You need an idea for something completely new or a way of improving something that is done already. Often a good place to start is with your own experiences and interest. The founders of AmarCV are Shakur Anwar, Fahad Ifaz and Shadab Alam and I really enjoyed a talk they gave about how they started their startup. One of the founders had made a CV for himself and it was good, and when his family saw it some of them also wanted one made in the same way, and then when his friends saw it, they also wanted one made in the same way and he realized – this is a good idea for a business. He realized that he’d created something that wasn’t already available in the market and for which there was a clear demand.

The paths for starting and growing a business are many and varied. There is no ‘one-size fits all’ solution. It depends on so many things – the product or service, the location, the financing options, the skills of the entrepreneur, the aims and objectives etc. The list goes on forever. But they all start at the same place – an IDEA.

This is a great way to start a startup. Come up with an idea and test it on your friends to see if it is something that they would also buy or use. The starting point for any startup is an IDEA.

Image Credits: Flickr image by Steven, Khalid


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Samantha Morshed, is the founder of Hathay Bunano and its brand Pebble. Born in Nottingham UK, educated at Oxford Brookes in Physics, Birkbeck College, University of London in Financial Economics and with 8 years in the City of London with Credit Suisse Financial Products, Schroders and Nomura Research Institute – Europe (NRI-E), Samantha's interest in social enterprise started in 2004 with a basic question 'how do you create sustainable employment without microfinance debt or economic migration for rural women?'. What started out as a question and a personal initial investment of $500, a decade later has evolved into a thriving social enterprise, comprising a non-profit organization in Bangladesh and three limited companies in Bangladesh, UK and Malaysia, with employment creation for more than 6000 artisans in more than 60 rural production centres throughout Bangladesh and export of handmade toys around the world. Samantha was recognized in the 2009 New Years Honours List with an MBE (Member of the Order of the British Empire) from the Queen of England for her services in creating rural employment for poor and disadvantaged women.

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