The programme, led by Youth Business International (YBI) and funded by Google’s philanthropic arm, Google.org, will support underserved micro, small and medium businesses to respond to the COVID-19 crisis.
The global economy is suffering from an unprecedented shock as a result of COVID-19. With typically tight margins, micro, small and medium businesses are vulnerable to the economic downturn. The current pandemic is having a particularly serious impact on business owners and entrepreneurs from underserved communities, including young people (aged 18-35 years), women, and refugees and other migrants. Many are struggling to get through the crisis and need support now.
The Covid-19 pandemic has impacted all types of businesses supported by B’Yeah to various degrees in Bangladesh. Businesses that are largely dependent on production and distribution are at high risk of burning out the capital. The uncertainty of the pandemic makes the whole situation more worrying and the global impact of economic slowdown keeps the micro and small-sized businesses at the risk of being wiped out.
In this situation, with the support of Google.org and YBI, B’Yeah plans to extend its support to deal with the pandemic alternatively through online support. Constant support through a business clinic, a common platform to exchange new ideas and offering mentoring services online along with conducting Webinar to understand the ground realities from the participants’ perspective are some of the ways B’Yeah will support the entrepreneurs in this time of Covid-19 pandemic. Google employees plan to volunteer their time to share their knowledge and expertise with B’Yeah, helping business owners to upskill and adapt in response to the current crisis.
Ashfah Huque, Executive Director of B’Yeah said, we are committed to supporting business owners during the COVID-19 pandemic and are excited to be part of YBI’s rapid response programme funded by Google.org.”
The global programme is led by YBI, an experienced network of enterprise support organisations. It will support over 200,000 small and medium business owners across 32 countries across Europe, the Middle East, Africa and the Asia Pacific to respond to and recover from the impact of COVID-19. B’Yeah, has been part of the YBI network since 2009
Anita Tiessen, CEO of Youth Business International, said: “The world is changing dramatically from day to day and I feel deeply for business owners everywhere, especially those running smaller businesses and are from underserved communities, who are often least able to bear the economic shocks of this crisis.
“In the face of these challenges, I have been incredibly inspired by the quick response of our network to support business owners around the world. YBI, with Google.org’s new funding commitment, will help us sustain and extend this support throughout 2020, ensuring more than 200,000 businesses can get the advice they need right now to navigate this crisis.”
Rowan Barnett, Head of Google.org, EMEA & APAC, said: “The coronavirus outbreak is taking a devastating toll on lives and communities, and small businesses are facing unprecedented challenges as they struggle to stay afloat. With this grant to Youth Business International, alongside a series of Google initiatives and products, we hope to help some of the most vulnerable small businesses find a way through the crisis.”
Md. Saiful Islam, the owner of Vartex Craft (jute product manufacturer), who has been suffering due to COVID-19, said, many young entrepreneurs like him have been affected by this pandemic. If it continues, his business will have to be shut down soon. Right now the alternative is to do something and tackle the situation and start afresh. They need support not only financially but also need an alternative way such as enhanced digital skills, online training- mentoring, and business counselling to cope with this situation confidently.
Abdullah Hasan is one of the Mentor of B’Yeah hopes, young entrepreneurs and other SMEs can be benefited from the project that B’Yeah is going to implement with the support from Google. He said ‘I am convinced that we will be able to teach something new about online activities to cope with the COVID-19 situation for our entrepreneurs.’
Bangladesh Youth Enterprise Advice and Helpcenter (B’Yeah)
Bangladesh Youth Enterprise Advice and Helpcenter (B’Yeah) was established in July 2007 as a non-profit and non-political organization and it is registered with the NGO Affairs Bureau (NGOAB) and an affiliated network member of Youth Business International (YBI) since 2009. B’Yeah’s aim is to support the youth business community by providing access to training, financial resources, management knowledge, mentoring expertise and our support networks that enable small businesses to succeed and flourish with a special focus on small, micro at urban, peri-urban and rural youth entrepreneurs. The members are predominantly engaged in sectors like food, beauty, fashion, health products and services, handicrafts, ICT, IT, e-commerce, light engineering, agriculture, small industries and media.
Youth Business International (YBI)
YBI is a global network of expert organisations in over 50 countries supporting underserved young people to turn their ideas into successful businesses, creating jobs and strengthening communities. Our vision is a world where youth entrepreneurship is recognised for driving sustainable economic development and all young people who want to set up a business can fulfil their potential. We connect our members to share expertise and collaborate on solutions to common challenges. Visit www.youthbusiness.org.
Google.org, Google’s philanthropy, supports nonprofits that address humanitarian issues and apply scalable, data-driven innovation to solving the world’s biggest challenges. We accelerate their progress by connecting them with a unique blend of support that includes funding, products, and technical expertise from Google volunteers. We engage with these believers-turned-doers who make a significant impact on the communities they represent, and whose work has the potential to produce meaningful change. We want a world that works for everyone—and we believe technology and innovation can move the needle in four key areas: education, economic opportunity, inclusion and crisis response.