ygap Bangladesh Supports Government Entrepreneurship Initiative

“Life’s most persistent and urgent question is, ‘What are you doing for others?’”

– Martin Luther King, Jr. 

As Bangladesh grips into fighting the catastrophic impacts of the Coronavirus, the crisis has led the Country and its People to battle the pandemic collectively as a Nation. In April 2020, The ICT Ministry of the Bangladesh Government launched their initiative “Call for Nation” in partnership with YGAP Bangladesh as the knowledge partner, to promote and support ideas and business solutions from talented and innovative entrepreneurs to address the challenges ensued from Covid-19. The initiative was inaugurated by the honourable Minister of State for Information and Communication Technology Division of Bangladesh, Mr. Zunaid Ahmed Palak.

YGAP Bangladesh played a crucial role to aid the Government to bring this idea to execute the initiative successfully. YGAP Bangladesh co-designed the selection process of the applications as well as developed the selection criterion based on which the top finalists would be selected. We also co-designed the coaching sessions for the top finalists and were advisors to the Government for the Jury Selections where we advised and provided our expert opinions on which industry leaders would be appropriate to take on the role of a Jury Member in accordance to the categories of applications. We also co-designed and set the KPIs for both Coaches and Jurors to ensure progress from both sides.

The program was executed entirely digitally in multiple phases. A total of 680 start-up applications were pre-screened to shortlist the top 70 applicants using the selection criterions: Viability of Business, Potential for Impact and Alignment, Scalability, Team and Innovative Approach. These 70 applicants were then provided 1:1 coaching from 18 handpicked coaches by the Government which included Mr. Erad Kawsar, Country Director of YGAP Bangladesh. Following the coaching sessions, we conducted a deep-analysis of the start-ups and aided the second screening for the selection where the top 20 finalists were selected for their Live Pitch sessions on Facebook. Subsequently, we provided coaching to the 5 of the top 20 finalists who are working to respond to social and industrial needs in Risk Management, Healthcare, Employment Creation and Communication sectors. Our one-on-one coaching with the top 5 finalists revolved around supporting the entrepreneurs to strengthen their business model to ensure sustainability and their presentation skills for their live pitch sessions online.

We further aided the judges to make informed decisions through our data metrics and expert opinions of the start-ups who had applied to select a winner from each of the 6 categories, which are:

  • Socioeconomically disadvantaged population – Total 102 Applications

Winner: Shujog – a virtual operational network which strengthens the existing Relief Management system to support the disadvantaged marginalised population.

  • Business operation & production – Total 82 Applications

Winner: Landknock – A low-cost digital grocery management platform for the micro and small retailers to enable them to sell online.

  • Health care equipment & treatment – Total 158 Applications

Winner: PAPR – A low cost PAPR system (Powered air-purifying respirators) which provides maximum protection against virus, bacteria and contaminated environments to its users.

  • Access to information – Total 133 Applications

Winner: Nirapod – An online monitoring and management system to aid the Government of Bangladesh to monitor home-quarantined patients. They also have a supporting app for people who are in home-quarantine to inform the authority that they are following their quarantine as advised.

  • Mental Health – 39 Applications

Winner: Moner Bondhu – A digital mental healthcare and well-being platform, providing counselling, conducting workshops and group sessions, conducting research projects and raising awareness through online content, radio show, TV show and campaigns. They were also part of YGAP Bangladesh’s UNDP Youth Co:Lab 2.0 Mentorship program where we supported them to strengthen their business from multiple dimensions to ensure scalability and survivability.

  • Open ideas – 86 Applications

Winner: Long Distance Disinfection Services – Using Remotely Piloted Vehicles (Ground Robots and Drones), LDDS provides disinfection in locked down areas to provide rapid/continuous disinfection. 


To scale and develop their business, as the winners, they received:

  1. Seed funding/Funds to scale up
  2. Support to avail resources required to successfully build their products/services
  3. Bridging with other large-scale enterprises/entrepreneurs
  4. Opportunity to showcase their winning solutions on Oracle Cloud Platform in Oracle Event/Seminar.

The winner with the most impactful business will also receive further mentorship support from YGAP Bangladesh.

These heroes are now helping the Government fight the pandemic and protect the Nation’s people from the deadly pandemic. We salute these heroes for their resilience and dedication to help their Country.


“The best thing I did was to choose the right heroes”

– Warren Buffet, CEO, Berkshire Hathaway

– Written by ygap Bangladesh Country Director, Erad Kawsar, and ygap Bangladesh Program Manager Mehrab bin Tarek