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বাংলা
Dhaka Tribune

Young innovators unite to address climate change issues in Bangladesh

  • Most teams focused on waste management system 
  • Two teams will participate in a virtual competition in September
  • Each of top 10 teams to get a $10,000 seed fund
  • Six divisions organized six boot camps in 2022

 

Update : 03 Aug 2023, 03:38 PM

Amid growing global concern over climate change, a group of young innovators has been working hard to develop viable and efficient solutions to some of Bangladesh's most pressing environmental and climate change issues.

A total of 19 teams of young entrepreneurs, aged between 15 and 24, presented their business plans at a national pitch competition organized by GenU Ima Gen Ventures on Wednesday.

The top two teams from this competition will be chosen to participate in a virtual competition in September 2023 as part of the global GenU Imagen Ventures Youth Challenge.

The participants came from different regions such as Dhaka, Chittagong, Rajshahi, and Khulna. They presented their ideas to help protect the country from the impacts of climate change.

However, most of the teams focused on projects related to improving the waste management system in the capital.

Srobona Nubah Sabir, an A-level student from the Marie Curie School, participated in the competition with her organization, “Team Climate Warriors”, focusing on managing food waste in Bangladesh.

“We are concentrating on managing food waste”, Srobona stated.

She said: “To do this, we created a machine that can transform any kind of food waste into a highly nourishing paste by processing it. People can use the stuff as fertilizer in their garden. That really sums up our business strategy.

"We initially intend to begin it at home. Later, we will inform others about this device and also extend the invitation to give fertilizer to us for selling. On their behalf, we will sell that fertilizer. We'll share the earnings with them after selling. We'll also invite the eateries to collaborate with us,” Srobona added.

Young innovators unite to address climate change issues in Bangladesh/Courtesy

Sheldon Yett, a Unicef representative in Bangladesh, stated that these finalists had the finest ideas and solutions. They come up with concepts and consider future assistance for Bangladesh.

"As Unicef, we consider it an enormous honour to work with you (young people); we rely on your suggestions to make sure Bangladesh develops further. Without you, we cannot accomplish it. Bangladesh is incredibly fortunate to have such creative and vivacious people,” he continued.

"If you really can do something for the marginal people of Bangladesh, they will pray for you," remarked Abul Kalam Azad, chair of GenU Bangladesh.

“The first responder, icebreaker, and agent of change must be youth. You must get Bangladesh ready for upcoming difficulties,” said Abul Kalam Azad.

The ImaGen Venture Youth Challenge basically set out on its journey in 2022 with the aim of encouraging youth entrepreneurship skills and opportunities to identify key impacts of climate change and environmental issues in their communities and to generate and design youth-led, socially significant solutions.

Six divisions around the nation organized a total of six boot camps in 2022.

Twenty youth-led first solutions were selected for incubation with seed money and mentoring support out of 133 teams who submitted ideas at the time.

Nineteen of the original 20 selected teams ultimately presented their incubation concepts to a panel of judges on Wednesday.

The top two teams from this competition will be chosen to participate in a virtual competition in September 2023 as part of the global GenU Imagen Ventures Youth Challenge.

The two teams from Bangladesh will be among the 60 teams from 30 nations competing for a position in the final, where the top 10 teams will be crowned world champions.

Each of the top 10 teams will get a $10,000 seed fund. Additionally, individuals who were chosen for the previous boot camps received $1,000 each to put their ideas into practice. For the past six months, the teams have been working to refine and test their solutions.

With assistance from Unicef Bangladesh, Generation Unlimited, Jaago Foundation Trust, Bangladesh Brand Forum, SIYB Bangladesh, Technovation, and the International Labour Organization coordinated this final pitching event for the GenU Imagen Ventures Youth Challenge 2022.

Sadikin Haider, a first-year student at North South University expressed his experience to the audience with his team about this event.

He said: “I hope in the future more and more people from the young generation will understand the issues of climate change and also realize how dangerous the issues will be if we don't think about this from now on.”

“As the saying goes ‘Our future is in our hands’ and youth like us are desperately trying to fight against climate change to shape the future and make it better for the betterment of us,” added the NSU student.

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