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Inside Social Enterprise Day, 2015

With a vision to build a greater ecosystem of social enterprise, Betterstories Limited celebrated Social Enterprise Day, 2015 powered by British Council, at their Gulshan office on December 29, 2015. The purpose of the event was to create a bridge between different Social Enterprises from Dhaka with British Council, Overseas Development Institute, Social Enterprise UK along with the opportunities to be a part of larger extensive platform of expansion.

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The What
Although social enterprises address social and environmental problems through innovative solutions, there is little data about their activity in most countries. It is an exciting project, as there is currently a data gap on social enterprise activities in these countries and an established demand for this information. Social Enterprise Day helped Betterstories Limited to conduct a research project titled “Surveys of social enterprise activity in Bangladesh, Ghana, India and Pakistan” that seeks to gain an understanding of existing social enterprises' roles and their achievements along with the aim to compile a specific set of quantitative information on social enterprise activities in these four countries.

During the event, every participating Social Enterprises contributed to the research by completing the survey questionnaire all day long.

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Talks and inspirations
Successful entrepreneurs and thought leaders of the Social Entrepreneurship arena were present at the event to inspire and encourage the different emerging social enterprises around the country. Each of the speakers took session on different aspects of social entrepreneurship and helped audiences to get a better understanding of building a social enterprise.

The very first session starting with Muhaimin Khan, COO, BetterStories Limited, focused on detailing the Social Enterprise Survey: Market Trend Analysis followed by Dr. Ananya Raihan, CEO of Dnet, shared his success stories through which he highly appreciated others with the idea to start together to build or create a good ecosystem of social enterprises along with the Social Impact Analysis by Social Innovation.

Later, Shahana Sharmin of WE Evangelist took an interactive session on the social enterprises that are good for the economy as well as women in the world. She mentioned that the social enterprise occurs when we use both our head and heart at the same time and simplified the definition of social enterprise which is the business where we invest money, make profit and create a value in the society and then reinvest a portion of the profit through which we are developing a product or service for social development. The session ended with her speech briefly mentioning how women are leading the position of CEOs equally and encouraged women to be more confident and start social enterprises.

The different social enterprises that took part in the event were BRIDGE Foundation, Shahin’s Helpline, Youth School for Social Entrepreneurs, Light of Hope, Durbin Foundation, Its Humanity Foundation, Criticalink, School for Social Entrepreneurs, ARDL and Social Network, The Way Forge, Traumalink, Project Kombol and few others. In order to showcase all the enterprises to the other enterprises and also to the audiences, each of them participated in the ‘one minute pitch’ session which helped them to introduce their objectives, achievements and future plans.

Shazeeb M khairul Islam, Founder and CEO, Social Business Youth Alliance Global, took the floor at the start of the third and last session of the day. He introduced his organization and shared the success stories and achievements with everyone. He inspired the audiences as he shared his career story and how greatly he was inspired by the work of Noble Peace Laureate Muhammad Yunus and the concept of Social Business that strive to solve social problems in a sustainable way.

Samira Zuberi Himika of Team Engine conducted an interactive session where she answered different questions and queries from the audience. She encouraged everyone to collaborate and to go for common team building by leaving ego behind.

Rubayat Khan of mDoc was another icon who was very moving with his words. He mainly concentrated on social enterprises about why you should, and how you shouldn't invest in social enterprise.

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The End
The last speech of the day was delivered by Minhaz Anwar, Chief Storyteller and Managing Director, BetterStories. He concluded by focusing on the social enterprises to rise up and call for actions. The day ended with great response and a promise to find out how social enterprise can create better impact for the society.

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