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1
Currently there is a growing academic offer worldwide of programs oriented to entrepreneurship. There is even a ranking from The Princeton Review that evaluates the main universities to study entrepreneurship at the undergraduate and graduate levels. Curiously, these lists of 50 universities at each level are made up of only North American universities with the exception of Tecnológico de Monterrey, which ranks fifth in the undergraduate category in its 2021 edition.

Multiple scientific studies on entrepreneurship ecosystems have verified the interdependence of actors in them where universities, the government, and entrepreneurs, among others, are the most relevant to promote entrepreneurship activities. In this article I will focus on the specific actions of universities as triggers and drivers of entrepreneurial activity. It is worth mentioning that there is also a lot of research in progress on the development of entrepreneurship in university students and the largest is the Global University Entrepreneurial Spirit Students' Survey or GUESSS for its acronym. The OECD also conducted a study in Germany on how universities lead the way to entrepreneurship and the World Economic Forum published an article on how to build entrepreneurial universities, both taken into account.

According to the GUESSS 2018 global report , the university context plays a key role where entrepreneurship education and entrepreneurial culture are determinants of the entrepreneurial intentions and activities of students. If you analyze the list of universities to study entrepreneurship from The Princeton Review and cross it with the ranking of global ecosystems published byStartup Genome , you will find that they coincide in most cities. It is no coincidence that the presence of highly educated universities coincides with the development of the entrepreneurial ecosystem. As is the notorious case of Silicon Valley where there are more than ten universities, the most important are Stanford and UC Berkeley.

The government on its own also has a key role since it can create programs and public policies that regulate activities, either by encouraging productive sectors and / or improving the conditions to open companies, as well as having conditions of intellectual property rights to exploit opportunities. . However, I am convinced that universities have a much less politicized mission that favors the ecosystem and are already knowledge centers that are barely being recognized as catalysts for entrepreneurship.

An example is a country very far from the United States that has realized this potential, Qatar in the Middle East, the headquarters of the 2022 FIFA World Cup, which since 1997 as part of the Qatar 2030 National Vision, initiated the development Education City , a 12-square-kilometer compendium of infrastructure that is home to eight international universities, research institutes, business incubators, technology and cultural parks, and more.

This year I am coordinating the deployment and implementation of the GUESSS project in Qatar for the first time from my trench at HEC Paris University in Qatar as a postdoctoral researcher of the entrepreneurship ecosystem. I have witnessed the joint effort of key players to promote a long-term strategic plan (Qatar National Vision 2030) that includes innovation, science and entrepreneurship as axes for the transformation of the economy and to move from being based on oil and gas, to be based on knowledge. I have written a book about this ecosystem of entrepreneurship and when comparing what is done in other parts of the world with my experience in studying ecosystems of emerging economies I came to the conclusion that there are three ways in which universities are contributing to the development of the ecosystem where they are established.

1. As a hotbed of talent
According to the Global Entrepreneurship Monitor, there are approximately 582 million entrepreneurs in the world, that's 7.7% of the world's population. This means that more than half of the world works or will work for some company or organization. However, most aspire to be an entrepreneur and therefore not all manage to do so. There may be various reasons such as fear of failure, lack of education, lack of capital, ignorance, etc.

Universities, for their part, are already a filter of people who have reached a higher educational level and who aspire to have better working conditions one day. Universities are increasingly competitive among others and seek international accreditations such as QS Ranking, Financial Times, EQUIS , AACSB , EMBA , etc. It depends on the field of study, but something that is common in the rankings is that they are asked to monitor the labor insertion of former students, that is, to know what they work in after graduating, if there were salary increases, if it took them a long time find work, and now also, if they are partners in a business.

This reflects that the university has a critical role not only to prepare the workforce of existing organizations, but also to prepare the next generation of entrepreneurs. Entrepreneurship is known to be recognized as the main engine of economic development due to its contribution to internal production and job creation. Consequently, today there is an update and expansion of study programs in universities to incorporate the development of skills and acquisition of knowledge aimed at entrepreneurship. Many are taking interdisciplinary approaches and new teaching methods in such a way that before graduation, students have already experienced in a controlled environment how they can start a business idea. In more developed entrepreneurship ecosystems, students are having this type of internship with local companies, so the relationship with the industry is increasingly important for universities.

2. As an incubator for business ideas

Regardless of whether students are pursuing specific programs such as a bachelor's degree in business creation or an MBA in entrepreneurship and innovation, universities make available to all schools (medicine, humanities, architecture, engineering, etc.) and interested collaborators, programs incubation of companies. Some even accelerators and technology transfer offices, but I will discuss the latter in the next section. On the part of the university business incubators, they are working more as headhunters or hunters of internal projects that the students are developing in different programs and courses, to help them not to get lost and to be followed up. To achieve this, they organize entrepreneurship competitions with attractive prizes for the winning projects.

University business incubators are empowered to provide specialized mentoring, training, and normally function as an autonomous institute from the university. Many provide physical space and support with obtaining capital at an early stage for the development of the business model. In most cases, the faculty has an important link with the incubator or entrepreneurship center of their university since they can participate as mentors, but more importantly, they are those who know closely about projects that originate in the classrooms and they can channel them.

3. As a mentor in knowledge transfer
Universities that also do applied research as part of their accreditation activities are growing in number of patents, articles, and registered intellectual property rights. Faculty members and students are collaborating increasingly closely on research projects where experience and creativity converge. Likewise, universities have the possibility of attracting funds for research by having recognized researchers.

The problem is when investigations remain in publications and are not exploited as a business opportunity. Therefore, another way in which universities are contributing to the development of the local entrepreneurship ecosystem is by establishing links with the industry and advising on the transfer of knowledge. Knowledge transfer can take place through licenses, consulting, spin-offs, among others. Thus, recognizing this potential, universities sometimes open technology transfer and / or research offices so that they do not miss out on opportunities that they own.

MIT has been one of the most recognized examples in the creation of a university micro ecosystem that favors the transfer of research and development for innovation. This university has four centers for research support and five more for direct support to students, plus student associations focused on scaling technology-based entrepreneurship and innovation projects.

Somehow the proximity between universities, research centers and universities is giving results in already more mature entrepreneurship ecosystems. The difficult thing is to recreate the conditions in other countries with different economies, different cultures, laws, etc. That is why what he suggests is not to replicate a Silicon Valley , but to understand what works for them and adapt to local conditions while evaluating the development you are having. The evaluation of entrepreneurship ecosystems is normally done by total risk capital raised by companies, number of outlets in public offering or IPOs , and number of startups created. For universities, it is recommended to carry out a very similar follow-up and update evaluation among alumni, for which the GUESSS can serve very well.

Ref: https://www.entrepreneur.com/article/367683

2
The government has released Tk 570 crore from the Tk 1,500 crore stimulus package for their disbursement among small traders, entrepreneurs and farmers to help them survive the ongoing pandemic.

Eight government and semi-government agencies will disburse the fund this fiscal year while the rest of the amount will the disbursed in the next fiscal year.

The government approved the new packages on January 17 with an aim to improve the living standards of marginalised people living in rural areas.

The loans will be given as grants among cottage, micro and small enterprises (CMSE) in rural areas that previously had no access to formal banking channels.

Borrowers can avail the loan at 4 per cent interest while the lenders will charge this interest as transaction costs.


The Bangladesh Rural Development Board got the highest allocation of Tk 150 crore for disbursement within 2020-21 out of its total allocation of Tk 300 crore for two fiscals, including 2021-22.

Of the remaining amount, Tk 100 crore each has been allocated for the Palli Daridro Bimochon Foundation, Social Development Foundation and SME Foundation.

Tk 50 crore will go to both the Bangladesh Small and Cottage Industries Corporation (BSCIC) and Small Farmer Development Foundation while the NGO Foundation and Joyeeta Foundation have been given Tk 10 crore each.

Micro businesses and farmers that could not avail loans from banks due to a lack of necessary documentation will get funds under the package.

The finance division has set some conditions for disbursing the loan.

Borrowers will have to repay the loan within two years in 18 monthly instalments with a grace period of six months.

The disbursing agencies will have to formulate a separate policy to ensure convenience for potential borrowers from the package, which also aims to expedite Bangladesh's recovery from the Covid-19 fallout.

The lenders will have to ensure receipt of the loan at the marginalised level clients.

The grant is non-refundable while lenders will have to deposit the total collected money, including the principal amount and interest, by forming a separate revolving fund.

It is mandatory for the lending agencies to send soft copies of the detailed expenditure statements regarding disbursements against a particular firm to the finance division.

The agencies will also have to properly follow all the rules and regulations while disbursing the fund.   

Ref: https://www.thedailystar.net/business/news/govt-releases-tk-570cr-support-small-firms-2062509

3
Early-stage startups are businesses focused on product development, building a customer base, and creating defensible value in the market. These companies might have a brilliant idea, a dedicated team, advisors, and supporters. They could even generate revenues to some extent. But to get the startup off the ground, capital is essential.

Fundraising for startups is not a one-off thing. A startup needs subsequent rounds of funding, and the funds can have multiple sources. The funding rounds are a series of investments that raise capital. The fundraising process for every startup is similar regardless of the industries they're operating in. As a startup becomes profitable, each funding round serves as a stepping stone towards more significant growth.

The stages of fundraising and startup growth

Pre-seed and seed: Funding rounds begin with an initial pre-seed and seed round. The pre-seed funding stage usually refers to when the startup is trying to get its idea off the ground. Pre-seed funding can initially come from "bootstrapping" – where the founder invests their own money into the business. Funders of this round can also be the founders' close friends and family members. The pre-seed is followed by a seed funding round.

In the seed funding round, the funds typically come from angel investors and early-stage venture capital firms – who invest in exchange for stakes at the company. Angels give capital to startups at very early stages – when the company might not even have revenue, traction, or a minimum viable product (MVP). The seed funding from angel investors helps the startup finance its first steps. A startup typically tries to develop its product in this stage. Funds can be raised from multiple angel investors, and the seed funding amount can range from anywhere between $10,000 to $2 million. (That's around BDT 10 lacs BDT to BDT 17 crores).

Series A: Startups with an actual and profitable business model will raise funds on this round for long-term growth. Investors will look for a higher return on investment (ROI) and startups need to have a viable strategy to raise funds from them. The investment amount on this round can range from $2 million to $15 million.

Series B: This round indicates the growth of the startup. A startup is expanding and has an established customer base growing steadily in this stage. The funds raised from this round helps startups transition into well-established companies. Series B can generate from $15 million to $25 million, but the investment can also surpass that amount.

Series C and D: Startups continue to fundraise in round C and/or D with further expansion plans at a higher level. These startups can have a value of at least $100 million and are highly successful businesses. In rounds C and D, startups want to create new products, acquire new companies and expand their reach through entering new markets. In such a case, they can raise more than $50 million. Investments in these rounds are no longer for early-stage startups – they are called late-stage funding.

Companies raising funds in their late stages are typically ramping up for an Initial Public Offering (IPO). As the company goes public, it might begin to explore its exit strategies.

Creating an investor pitch – the first step

Raising money through the funding rounds is dependent on the business pitch made to the investors. A compelling pitch deck about the business that touches all the essential aspects without taking much time from the investors helps smoothen the fundraising process. Before creating the pitch, founders should have a thorough understanding of their business model, products, and services. Knowing what sets the business apart from competitors and the industry is also a core requirement for a good pitch.

What makes a good pitch deck – the basics to start with

According to experts at Sketchdeck, a pitch deck should not be more than 10-12 slides. In a report published by Forbes, the companies that raised the most amount of capital in their early-stages amid a challenging financial environment had one thing in common--none of their pitch decks had more than 20 slides.

Hence, overstuffing the presentation must be avoided. It should concisely put together the business idea and specific details such as financial projections, future roadmap, etc.

Hristo Odiseev, CIO of Bertelsmann's rtv media group, says, "The average time an investor spends on your pitch deck is close to but under 4 minutes."

His statement's learning is that the slides should be skimmable while telling a brief story about its operations. Using statistics and charts over words, adhering to large fonts, and setting a slide limit can help founders deliver an effective presentation within this timeframe.

Knowing when to raise funds for early-stage startups

The right time to fundraise for early-stage startups depends on why the startup needs to raise money. Fundraising blindly without a plan can cause more harm than good for the company. Setting specific, measurable, and achievable goals that are time-bound is essential when crafting a fundraising strategy.

The money that a startup wants to raise should accomplish milestones for the company. These milestones can be grabbing a market share or figuring out a market opportunity. The timing of fundraising plays a big role in this as well.

Startups should raise money from a position of strength. A good indicator of strength for the startup would be when it has figured out what the market opportunity is, who the customer is, and if it has a product-market fit.

Ref: https://www.thedailystar.net/toggle/news/understanding-the-basics-fundraising-early-stage-startups-2063313

4
The transition was never planned this way. First the course material went from print room to Learning Management System, and we said: “Great!” Then the lectures were recorded and available online for students who might have been sick that week, and we said: “Great!”

Then the students stopped coming to the lectures because they could watch the recordings at home, leaving it until the week before the exam to binge an entire season of ECON101 in three days.

So, we were told to “flip the classroom”. Why not edit those lecture recordings into 15-minute, bite-sized lessons, because apparently Gen Z can’t concentrate for longer than that (they certainly can).

Suddenly academics became video editors – mostly bad ones – and our students turned to YouTube, because on YouTube you can get a better explanation of the same thing (for free I might add). Universities turned from communities of learning and collaboration into B-grade content providers. This is the death march of higher education. Universities are not content providers. Somewhere along this unplanned journey we lost our way.

My wife, recently doing an online degree at a top-ranked university, listened excitedly to one of those 15-minute videos by a renowned researcher in the field. Without the professor actually being part of the course forums, she enthusiastically emailed her lecturer instead.

“You are not authorised to contact this person,” the automatic email reply echoed back instantly. Herein lies the absolute limit of suspension of disbelief: that the student is actually still connected to their professor.

The philosopher John Dewey told us that an educational experience – what he called a community of inquiry – requires a cognitive presence (the learner), a social presence (the learning community) and a teaching presence (the professor). My wife could still, just barely, imagine that her professor was being a teacher.

In 2020, a student from Concordia University had a similar experience to my wife, except he discovered that his professor had died the year before. Suspension of disbelief collapsed, and students were understandably upset both academically and emotionally.

In an astoundingly prophetic essay published in Science in 1995, Eli Noam wrote: “In the past, people came to the information, which was stored at the university. In the future, the information will come to the people, wherever they are. What then is the role of the university?”

Prior to the digitisation of the university experience, students sat next to one another, made friends, copied notes if they had been sick, spoke to their professor after class. Certainly, the poor practice of didactic lecturing existed, but students were part of a necessary community-by-proxy. When digital took the students away from the campus, it also it took them away from their would-be community.

We have to evolve, and it won’t be the first time. The earliest universities were built around libraries with vast repositories of painstakingly handwritten books. With few copies in existence, the best way to disseminate this information was for one person to stand up and to read it out to an audience, to “lecture”.

In fact, the word “lecture” originates from the Latin term “to read”. When movable type came along, outcry followed: “The university is dead! People will just get copies of books and learn it themselves!” A similar prophecy was made about education-by-television. Hundreds of years later, we now have all the content imaginable at our fingertips on the internet, most of it free. People are starting to say all over again: “Universities are dead! Everyone can self-learn whatever they want, whenever they want to!”

Content can enable learning, but it cannot provide an education. Similarly, content is not our core value. There is a long tradition, going back to the printing press, of universities outsourcing their content provision to the textbook: an expensive relic, now replaced by largely free content on the internet. This is progress. Education should be better than ever, as we are now able to point at myriad incredible resources, possibly on the web, perhaps in our library, where we act as content aggregator, not creator. Creation is done when we have our researcher hats on, not our teaching hats.

The modern lecture theatre, post-printing press, was supposed to be a place where students and professor came together to discuss the content. When we go online, when those classes are recorded then transformed into 15-minute snacks, the soul of education begins to die. The community of inquiry must be reinvented for the digital campus.

By Dewey’s definition, if our professors spend their time editing videos instead of engaging with students, we cease to even be “educational” institutions. A video made by a professor for only their class is akin to the single-copy, handwritten book disseminated to just one room of people. It is regression, not progress.

A quarter century ago, Noam further predicted that “the strength of the future physical university lies less in pure information and more in college as a community”.

We, as teachers in modern university settings, can think of ourselves as community figureheads and team leaders. The students are part of our community, our team, and we are there to manage them, coach them, guide them, to be mentors, to help teach them over a longer journey, and to corral them through this common goal of thought, understanding and mastery.

We are on their side, certainly not standing at a lectern giving our monologues, just as much as we should not be recording or editing those monologues. There is an oversupply and overload of content at our fingertips today, and if we keep along the strayed path it will end in irrelevancy.

Ref: https://www.timeshighereducation.com/opinion/academics-arent-content-creators-and-its-regressive-make-them-so

5
We're excited to announce that private and secure one-to-one voice and video calls are now available on WhatsApp’s desktop app.



Throughout the last year we've seen significant increases in people calling one another on WhatsApp, often for long conversations. Last New Year’s Eve, we broke the record for the most calls ever made in a single day with 1.4 billion voice and video calls. With so many people still apart from their loved ones, and adjusting to new ways of working, we want conversations on WhatsApp to feel as close to in-person as possible, regardless of where you are in the world or the tech you’re using.

Answering on a bigger screen makes it easier to work with colleagues, see your family more clearly on a bigger canvas, or free up your hands to move around a room while talking. To make desktop calling more useful, we made sure it works seamlessly for both portrait and landscape orientation, appears in a resizable standalone window on your computer screen, and is set to be always on top so you never lose your video chats in a browser tab or stack of open windows.

Voice and video calls on WhatsApp are end-to-end encrypted, so WhatsApp can’t hear or see them, whether you call from your phone or your computer. We’re starting with one-to-one calls on the WhatsApp desktop app so we make sure we can give you a reliable and high-quality experience. We will be expanding this feature to include group voice and video calls in the future.

We hope people enjoy private and secure desktop calling with their friends and families. You can read more, including how to download the desktop app on Windows PC and Mac here: https://faq.whatsapp.com/web/voice-and-video-calls/about-desktop-calling

Ref: https://blog.whatsapp.com/

6
As interest in the Bangladeshi startup ecosystem has grown, so has the responsibility of angel investors and other early stage stakeholders to properly assist founders and startups in preparing for their next stages of growth and funding. At Anchorless Bangladesh, we've spent the last 18 months better understanding how to accelerate the ecosystem relative to regional peers. This included a wide sweep with our friends at LightCastle Partners into the amount, type and sources of funding for startups. Of the roughly US$300 million invested in startups so far, under $25 million came from angels, of which less than a third were from local angels.

In our assessment, lack of consistent and appropriately structured angel funding is one of the single biggest weaknesses that has limited the development of the ecosystem.  In comparison, our regional peers in India, Indonesia and Vietnam have benefitted from angels playing a critical role in the early development and future funding of startups.  Not only does Bangladesh need more angel investors, but we need those who do become angels to invest more effectively and thoughtfully so founders can proceed to raise future rounds of funding abroad to scale their businesses.  Why does this matter?  Because startups and venture capitals can have a generational impact on the Bangladeshi economy, paving the pathway for our own Google, Facebook and Microsoft.


The role of angels in the funding process

Angel investors give startups capital at very early stages — often even before the company has revenue, traction or even a minimum viable product (MVP). While there are cases where angels invest in just an idea, especially for second or third-time founders with a track record, this is rare. Angels are critical in supporting startups before they receive proper seed funding, when ideally an institutional investor would come in with sizable capital to aggressively go for product-market fit and scaling. Angels invest in startups to lock-in a disproportionately high return in return for the risk they take. For instance, well-known angel investor Jason Calacanis received a return of over $100 million for the $25,000 he initially put in.  We encourage angel investors to build rapport with founders and the ecosystem; once an angel is known to properly support founders, they will likely get access to more future deals from the best founders. This explains why some angel investors get repeated deal flow into the best startups.

FINDING THE RIGHT INVESTMENT

The process of finding the right founders and funding the startups is not easy—however, if done right, the chances of a better return are significantly greater.  Here are some suggestions for angel investors on how to find the next investment.

Quality of the founder and their focus

Finding the right investment starts with talking to founders. When we at Anchorless meet with companies, a sizable portion of our interest is related to the founders themselves. Similarly, an angel also invests in founders. Why? Because at the early stage of a startup, there's a lot of uncertainty regarding the market and the solution. This is exactly why an investor must trust founders to navigate such complexities. Before an investor puts in a dollar, they must make sure they're betting on those they trust and whose values and goals they align with — especially since an investment can last anywhere from 3-5 years, maybe even longer. Good founders will take capital and use it effectively to create value. If they are jumping from idea to idea without market research and validation, that may be a red flag.

Unit economics & tech-enabled scaling

While a startup will almost always be initially unprofitable, that doesn't mean it shouldn't have a strategy to improve its unit economics. It's a good sign when each successive sale the startup makes loses less money than the previous sale. One way to improve unit economics and scale efficiently is by having founders who have built or are capable of building a tech-enabled process that allows for the company to grow faster as it gets more customers. For instance, if a company needs to hire a new person for every new sale, then it's likely that the founders do not have a clear strategy on how to scale.

Market size and potential

During due diligence, investors should confirm that there is a reasonable market size for the product or service that the founders are envisioning. In addition, ask them, "What  would you do if you had 100% market share?" This will show you how they think beyond their current business.

Valuing the investment

While there are no hard and fast rules for valuing an angel investment, taking a mid-to-long term view here is necessary to ensure a positive outcome. The goal of an angel should be to make sure the company is properly set up for the next round of funding.


Exit strategy

Angel investors need to understand how their capital fits into the larger scheme of the fundraising process. Angels need to structure their involvement in a way from the beginning that allows a startup to successfully raise capital from institutional funds, likely from abroad, in a future round. We stress the importance of doing things the right way early so that an angel investor has a clearer path in actualising a return—or, in other words, get money back for the investment. In order to do this, angel investors must be able to sell their shares into the market either through an acquisition, secondary sale or IPO. It's important to gauge the possibility of these options for each company.

CURRENT ISSUES WITH ANGEL INVESTING

Prospective investors not only need to assess startups with the right criteria but also need to evaluate their own motivations so that they can provide the kind of capital and support. Before getting into angel investing, prospective investors must ask themselves why they want to invest: Is it financial gain? If so, what is your time horizon? Is it personal satisfaction? Maybe a story to tell at a dinner party? Is it to show support to the community? How important is return?

"Am I interested in investing in a startup or an SME?" This reflection is critical; the inability to understand the difference between the two has caused significant issues between investors and founders and, at times, negatively impacted the ecosystem's progress. Capital should only be allocated to a startup when the goals and vision of the investor and the founders are aligned.

The following is a compilation of issues based on feedback from local founders currently affecting the Bangladeshi angel investment scene:

• Angels taking more than around 20% of companies: As a startup is expected to raise multiple rounds of capital, it's important that the founders retain a sizable portion of equity in order to remain incentivised. We have  repeatedly seen that founders who own a larger part of their company will work on its success more than founders who own a small percentage of a startup. Globally, angels usually do not take over 15% in the initial round. Due to the risky nature of the Bangladeshi ecosystem, taking a slightly higher percentage within reason is understandable. Ultimately, an angel investor's goal is to get the highest absolute dollar return regardless of percentage; 5% of $100 million is preferable to 20% of $10 million.

• Angels taking board control: In short, when an institutional investor (such as a venture capital fund) invests in a company, it wants to make sure the founders are in control of their company instead of an early angel who came in with a relatively small amount of early capital — especially when they are looking to put in a much larger sum.

• Focus on short-term metrics such as break-even and profitability: As discussed above, the primary goal for a startup should be to create defensible value through providing a scalable product, service or technology. Focusing on these two metrics will often stunt long-term value creation which may limit the investor's return.

• Asking for dividends: Startups do not pay dividends as all positive cashflow a company may produce should be put back into the business for further growth.

• Failing to add value beyond the money: The best angels provide mentorship, aid in business development and help with fundraising to further increase the value of the startup.

• Focus on physical assets: In general, asset-light startups will be valued higher due to their ability to use capital and scale more efficiently. For many, this may seem counter-intuitive, but the goal of founders is to maximize the return on every dollar raised.

That is easier to do through technology than physical assets.

• Not aiming high enough: Investors need to recognize that a startup should at least aim to dominate a market. Lowered expectations may stunt the company's growth and make it less attractive to future venture investors.     

• Funding properly and following up on financial commitments: Investors must allocate capital in no more than two tranches—and not monthly. An investor should want founders to worry about who to hire next or what product feature to add rather than focusing on whether they will be able to pay their employees.

To reiterate, the reason an angel invests in a founder is because they trust them. Investors should be there for guidance and support, not to treat them as employees without their own will and direction. Additionally, investors need to remember that if the founders' mental health does not allow them to operate at optimal efficiency, the investor's return will be limited. When we think of the best founders globally, we see the strength of their leadership and the support of their investors through their journey as a key complement to their success.

MANAGING PORTFOLIO RISK

The most important thing to understand is that, while an angel may lose money in the majority of their investments, the ones that are successful should yield a disproportionately positive overall return. So, how does one approach angel investing knowing this? By creating a diversified portfolio. Once a potential investor decides how much money they will allocate to angel investing, the next step is to diversify risk.

For instance, this is how we explain the risk management process to potential angels: if an angel investor has $100,000 to invest, make 5 investments ranging from $15,000 to $25,000. The goal is to champion your portfolio companies' ambitions without constant risk of failure. Per our previous point, if we allocated $20,000 into five investments, consider the difference between the two following scenarios:

In Scenario A, each of the five investments return 25% resulting in a total return of $25,000. In Scenario B, however, four of the five investments go to zero—but the fifth investment returns 2,000%, or 20x, bringing in a return of $400,000!  This kind of portfolio allocation is what makes angel investors successful.

 We remind angel investors that supporting ambitious founders can often result in better returns for an overall portfolio than seemingly safe business models.

The impact of quality angels

When angel investing is done right, its value to the ecosystem and economy as a whole cannot be understated. Think about what percentage of global GDP is attributed to venture-funded startups like Facebook and Google, or the fact that Gojek contributed $7.1 billion to Indonesian GDP in 2019. As angels are a critical component of early stage funding, without their presence, startup ecosystems can be held back. In Bangladesh, the need for greater angel funding is currently a limiting factor for the success of our brilliant, young founders.  By increasing local angel capital and bringing in global angels, including NRBs (non-resident Bangladeshis) through networks such as Bangladesh Angels, we can set up our startups for future success.

Quality angel investors can help founders take their companies to the seed stage where they can get further funding from institutional funds, including a vast amount of global capital that is actively looking to enter Bangladesh.

The impact of venture capital is significant to an economy. Companies such as Uber and Facebook had angel investors before they became companies that changed the way we live. In Bangladesh, only a few startups have scaled to a level of national visibility, yet none with the possible exception of bKash are at the level of funding and valuation that regional peers in India or Indonesia have achieved.

For Bangladesh to go from $500 GDP per capita to $1,000, and then $1,000 to $2,000e was achievable with low-level labor arbitrage, but for the country to double from $2,000 to $4,000 and beyond, we'll need to not only nurture home-grown startups but also build a culture of local wealth creation by empowering local founders to move up the value chain and bring in global capital.

In celebration of our country's 50th anniversary, let this next decade be filled with opportunities for every one of us.  Let's give our founders the tools to put Bangladesh on the global map as a destination for the startups that may come to shape our collective futures.

The author is the CEO and Founding Partner of Anchorless Bangladesh, an early stage venture investment fund.

Ref: https://www.thedailystar.net/supplements/30th-anniversary-supplements/going-digital/news/angel-investing-101-doing-it-right-bangladesh-2043829

7
Financial inclusion supports inclusive development. It is a key enabler for many of the Sustainable Development Goals and it is also at the heart of the G20 agenda. Notwithstanding the progress made to date in advancing financial inclusion, almost half of the world’s young adults (aged 15-24) are financially excluded. This report examines which young people are more likely to be financially excluded, the factors contributing to financial inclusion, the opportunities and risks brought about by digitalization in relation to youth financial inclusion, and country approaches to advance youth digital financial inclusion.

Digitalization and access to digital financial services may offer ways to overcome some of the challenges that impede youth from accessing and using financial services, such as physical infrastructure barriers or high costs, by offering convenient, faster, secure and
timely transactions and adapting to specific needs through customization. Digital financial services, when provided in a responsible way within a robust infrastructure, may contribute to increased resilience of the financial sector and of individuals in times of crisis. Within
the current environment, as governments around the world respond to the health, social and economic effects of the COVID-19 pandemic, the opportunities provided by digital means for individuals and businesses to continue accessing and using financial products and services, are important and relevant.

Children and young people have access to personal digital devices earlier and earlier in life, in some countries as young as seven or younger. They are commonly referred to as “digital natives”. This brings new prospects for existing financial institutions, such as banks, credit unions, or microfinance institutions as well as new Fintech companies to develop digital products and services for youth, alongside traditional financial products and services. The report considers opportunities for bringing youth into the formal financial sector in an
the appropriate and age-sensitive way through digital innovation and technology taking into account broader contextual factors affecting financial inclusion, since digitalization is not experienced in isolation.

At the same time, it is equally important to acknowledge the potential risks of technological innovations, especially when considering their impact on young people. The report, therefore, recognizes that access to digital financial services must be supported by digital and financial education and provided in an appropriate financial consumer protection framework, in the context of broader child protection policies.


Find the full report: http://www.oecd.org/daf/fin/financial-education/advancing-the-digital-financial-inclusion-of-youth.pdf

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In 2020 the priority for the Global Partnership for Financial Inclusion (GPFI), under the Saudi G20 Presidency, is to leverage new technologies to boost financial access for youth, women, and small and medium enterprises (SMEs). This is a stock-take report that focuses on digital financial services and products for SMEs. Building on the work done under previous G20 Presidencies and GPFI partners,d the report provides an overview of innovative approaches and digital financial products/services that have been developed in G20 and non-G20 countries to address the SME financing gap, highlighting the Middle East and North Africa (MENA) region. It also highlights policy, regulatory, and supervisory considerations and approaches aimed at facilitating and promoting SME digitalization of financing and concludes with policy options to increase SME access to and use of digital financial services. This report is targeted to mid-level and senior national and state officials;  central bank officials; payment service providers (PSPs); financial service providers, and business associations that aim to support increasing access to responsible finance to SMEs.

SMEs are a major driver of job creation and economic activity in most developing and developed economies. Although precise numbers are hard to establish due to the fragmented nature of the global data and varying definitions of SMEs, formal and informal SMEs account for between 60 percent to 70 percent of the gross domestic product (GDP) of low-income, middle-income, and high-income countries.2 They represent more than 90 percent of all businesses and provide more than 50 percent of employment worldwide.

However, lack of access to finance is a critical barrier to growth for SMEs globally. Among the reasons are higher cost to serve SMEs; information asymmetries, or the absence of traditional data used by banks to assess creditworthiness; lack of collateral; and onerous documentation requirements.

Find the full report: https://www.gpfi.org/sites/gpfi/files/saudi_digitalSME.pdf

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Digital financial services have expanded opportunities for millions of women across the globe. More than 240 million more women now have an account with a financial institution or mobile money service, compared to 2014.1 Through this increased engagement in the formal economy, women’s resilience to financial, economic and health shocks is improving. However, there remains much work to do to achieve gender equality in financial services. Approximately one billion women do not have formal financial services, due to persistent barriers in access to identification documents, mobile phones, digital skills, financial capability, as well as inappropriate products and more.

This report is co-authored by the Better Than Cash Alliance, Women’s World Banking and the World Bank Group, for the G20 Global Partnership for Financial Inclusion (GPFI), under the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia’s G20 Presidency. This paper was written by a team: Ruth GoodwinGroen, Better Than Cash Alliance - United Nations Capital Development Fund; Leora Klapper, Development Research Group - World Bank; Margaret Miller, Finance, Competitiveness and Innovation Global Practice - World Bank; and Andy Woolnough, Women’s World Banking; additional team members included Nandini Harihareswara, Better Than Cash Alliance - United Nations Capital Development Fund. The report benefitted from a World Bank peer review process with inputs from Mahesh Uttamchandani, Caren Grown, Colin Xu, Mehnaz Safavian, Yasmin Klaudia Bin Humam and Julia Constanze Braunmiller. The report was written with financial
support from the Better Than Cash Alliance - United Nations Capital Development Fund, the World Bank Group and the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia. The team would like to especially thank the G20 GPFI Saudi Presidency team, led by Haitham Alghulaiga and comprised of Alia Kabbani, Hamad Aljaad, Hamad Alrushaid, Sundos Altwaijri, Saud Albarrak and Hettaf Alqattan, for their leadership and guidance.
Additionally, the team extends its gratitude to G20 member countries and implementing organizations for their input and contributions, as well as to the Arab Monetary Fund and Islamic Development Bank.

Find the full report: https://www.gpfi.org/sites/gpfi/files/sites/default/files/saudig20_women.pdf

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Science and Information / The Technology That Will Define 2019
« on: January 08, 2019, 02:34:41 PM »
 year ago, I picked seven technologies that would play significant roles in 2018. Some of my predictions were correct, and some of them reappear on this list — 5G hasn’t quite happened yet, but we’re getting closer.

As George Saville, the 17th-century English statesman and essayist, once wrote, “The best qualification of a prophet is to have a good memory.” It’s a fancy way of saying the past is prologue, and no vision for the near future is possible without analyzing past trends. That’s what I’ve done to concoct these informed guesses about the state of tech in 2019.

Of course, there are bound to be surprises and off-base prognostications. Don’t sue me if things go a bit differently than expected.

1. Cryptocurrency

Bitcoin opened 2018 at almost $17,000 in value and exited at under $4,000. This does not mean the end of it or other emerging cryptocurrencies.
The year 2018 taught us that the broad concept behind cryptocurrency — the blockchain — could be useful elsewhere. Expect token experiments in banking, business, and media to expand in 2019. Many will fail as token entrepreneurs struggle to connect offerings to real-world value. But immutable ledgers are attractive to an increasingly security-conscious world, and they will become the foundation of innumerable new ways of buying, selling, and accounting.

2. “Screen Time” Services
We loved social media, we overused it, and now we’re finding that it probably isn’t that good for us. In addition, whatever trust we once had in the world’s most popular social platform, Facebook all but vanished in 2018. Thus, 2019 should bring a reconsideration of our obsession with sharing and those dopamine-producing likes and hearts.
Instead of measuring followers, we’ll start comparing screen times. Expect more apps, hardware, and IRL services to reward us for the time we don’t spend online. Apple’s iOS Screen Time, Android’s Dashboard, and third-party apps like Hold are just the tip of the iceberg.

3. Cyberwarfare
World War III is upon us, but instead of boots on the ground, it’s all about binaries in the ether.
After Russia essentially — albeit secretly — declared war on the United States by undermining the 2016 presidential election, it and other insurgents have turned their attention to manipulating hearts, minds, elections, and even Brexit. The quietest worldwide conflagration will continue this year.
Educating the populace on how they’re being manipulated every single day through technology and social media will become a critical priority in 2019. P.W. Singer and Emerson T. Brooking’s LikeWar should become required reading in high schools and colleges.

4. Regulation
The year 2018 was a low point for privacy, with revelations that the most popular social media platform on the planet all but handed the keys to our personal profiles to a range of partners. Americans, following the General Data Protection Regulation in Europe, will demand change.
In 2019, we’ll see movement on the collection of bills from the U.S. House and Senate that are aimed at officially regulating the tech industry. They could eventually be combined into one overarching Personal Data Privacy Act of 2019.
This kind of policy will have broad, bipartisan support and perhaps grudging support in the tech sector. Assuming the legislation doesn’t overreach, the big question will be if the regulation-averse Trump White House will sign. If and when that happens, expect GDPR-level changes in how companies like Google, Facebook, and Amazon do business. You’ll like some of it — it will be harder for companies to use your data without explicit consent, for example — but regulations may also slow innovation.

5. Electric Self-Driving Cars
Most states now have some sort of self-driving automotive legislation on the books, and many new cars have enough built-in intelligence to do typical driving tasks. Still, the spread of autonomous driving was sporadic at best in 2018. This year could be a huge turning point.
States that have yet to get on board with the technology are being spurred by new federal guidelines enacted in September. In addition, Tesla’s Model 3, the bestselling sedan in the United States (by revenue, not total units sold), already has some of the most powerful autonomous driving technology on the road.
Expect new, all-electric Model 3 competitors and tests with self-driving-only lanes on some highways.

6. Apple’s Mobile Lead Shrinks
Every time I run Geekbench on the latest flagship phones from Apple, Samsung, Motorola, LG, and others, the iPhone comes out on top. Apple’s custom silicon isn’t just marginally more powerful than the Qualcomm CPUs most Android handsets are running — it’s leaps and bounds better.


More Details: https://thepreneurs.blogspot.com/2019/01/the-technology-that-will-define-2019.html

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Faculty Forum / Re: Important Tutorial For DIU Forum Member........!!!
« on: January 08, 2019, 12:51:50 PM »
Thank yoU!

12
Investment / Venture capital: Bangladesh perspective
« on: January 08, 2019, 12:48:26 PM »
In Bangladesh, the financial system is bank-based. Securities market has started developing, but market of Non-Bank Financial Institutions (NBFIs) is a recent development. In such a scenario, banks have been the single most important sources for both short-term and long-term funds for the entrepreneurs.  However, banks generally handle known and proven clients, and commonly ask for collaterals, guarantees from a company's directors, consider past performance, etc., to assess credit worthiness. Approaches of banks and NBFIs do not match with the capital/financing requirements and the growth of startups. For addressing the need and capitalising on the true potential of these entreprises, it is mainly about understanding, owning and financing potentially innovative business ideas.

In regard to Bangladesh, venture capital financing institutions are primarily registered with the Registrar of Joint Stock Companies (RJSC) as limited companies under the Companies Act 1994. Subsequently, these companies are required to obtain separate registration from the Bangladesh Securities and Exchange Commission (BSEC) for establishing the fund as per the Bangladesh Securities and Exchange Commission (Alternative Investment) Rules, 2015. As per the rules, alternative investment funds must appoint fund managers and trustees. The aforementioned BSEC rules are applicable not only for the registration and regulation of alternative investment funds but also for fund managers and trustees of such funds.

All venture capital financing companies, particularly those which wish to enjoy government declared tax advantages and other benefits for such companies, must operate within the rules issued by BSEC. These rules have been in force since June 22, 2015. As of January 31, 2018, a total of 11 companies got registration as alternative investment fund under the BSEC rules. Though 11 companies got registration, a few are yet to start their operation in full swing. Three types of funds are given registration under this rules which are 'private equity fund', 'venture capital fund' and 'impact fund'. Of these funds, venture capital fund means an alternative investment fund which invests primarily in non-listed equity and equity linked securities of startups with less than two years' operational history or green field companies or emerging early-stage undertakings mainly involved in new products, services, technologies or intellectual property rights based activities or new business models. A venture capital fund under this rule is established for a specific period from five to fifteen years which shall be disclosed in the constitutive documents. Such funds can sell units to collect fund only from eligible investors and there are restrictions on investment from the fund too. Apart from Bangladesh Securities and Exchange Commission (Alternative Investment) Rules, 2015, Bangladesh Securities and Exchange Commission (Qualified Investor Offer by Small Capital Companies) Rules, 2016 have also been formulated for easing the exit route of venture capitalist firm. According to the new rules, companies with small capital (less than Tk 300 million) can also be listed in the capital market through IPO process. Other than these, the government and Bangladesh Bank have certain circulars/arrangements to support and promote venture capital in the market. Considering the key challenge of the shortage of fund, Bangladesh Bank provision allowing BDT 2.0 billion by a commercial bank for venture investment is a remarkable one. However, response from banks is almost absent in this connection. Practically, it is all about the collective initiatives of the stakeholders of venture capital financing in Bangladesh.


 
Almost all the venture capital financing  companies are relatively new and yet to start their business. Only one fund has so far registered and some funds are in the process of registration. A few companies have started venture financing from their own capital. As the companies are new in this arena, it is difficult to measure their financial performance. Apart from these, several companies which are yet to be registered with BSEC, are also providing venture capital. Practically, some of these companies have produced several success stories (for example, Popular Pharma by Brummer & Partners Asset Management); and have also proven workable environment for the venture funds in the country.

As a broad sector, the small and medium-sized enterprise (SME) is probably the biggest relevant area. Investment/financing demand-supply gap is glaring in the sector.  As traditional bankers are relatively conservative in offering loans to SMEs, venture capitalists have huge opportunities to bridge this gap by way of provision of equities or loans or both and 'participative management approach' where venture capitalists can also reduce information asymmetry and transactions costs of lending SMEs which are basically characterised by uncertainties. In some instances, banks usually face problems in intermediating funds for SMEs whereas venture capitalists do not feel so. It is to be mentioned here that venture capitalists not only supply finance to investee firms but also provide non-financial services, which a traditional bank can never offer. Institutionally, banks are in the lending business whereas venture capitalists are in a partnership business. It is argued that most of the SMEs in Bangladesh also suffer from shortage of managerial skills, marketing skills, lack of standard products, communication skills and so on besides being overburdened with financial problems. So, venture capitalists have the opportunity to offer different non-financial services like strategic decision making, marketing, management, contracts and so on for the betterment of the firm.

Banks and NBFIs are not at present interested to extend finance to Greenfield but high potential firms considering high risk. As such, high potential Greenfield firms suffer much due to shortage of funds. Venture capitalists' are trying to bridge this financing gap. However, due to shortage of fund from their own source, venture capitalists are facing hardship. By investing in venture capital funds, there is opportunity for banks and NBFIs to be benefited in the long-run having some clients suitable for financing.

Though banks and NBFIs are allowed to invest in alternative investment funds, as per Bangladesh Bank (BB) guideline, we have only one instance at this stage. A large part of the micro and small entrepreneurs is out of the banking services. Bangladesh Bank, as part of its financial inclusion programme, is motivating banks to include these unbanked groups under the fold of banking services. But banks are not interested to provide financing facility due to incomplete documentation, absence of collateral and other necessary information in several instances. Now this could be a great opportunity for the venture capitalists. So, the micro and small entrepreneur willing to get the fund from banks can be diverted to the venture funds/impact funds. Venture capitalists may nurture the entrepreneurs, prepare necessary documents, provide managerial services and offer other assistance.

There is a common fear of greater involvement of regulator in the development process of the financial segment like venture. It is to be mentioned here that policymakers and regulators generally acknowledge that venture capital funds should be exempted from the new stringent regulatory and reporting requirements. However, certain regulations must be in place to reduce systemic risk and promote the stability and efficiency of the markets. There must also be monitoring need and guideline to address high degree of information asymmetry between the fund managers, and the passive investors. Moreover, involvement of banks with such investment demands certain requirements to ensure safety and trust issues. At the end, it is about a customised balancing of regulatory and monitoring framework with sufficient incentive for the market players and investors to operate comfortably.

Ref: https://thefinancialexpress.com.bd/views/venture-capital-bangladesh-perspective-1523197842

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Bangladesh became the third tourist sending country to Indian Jummu and Kashmir, popularly known as "Paradise on Earth" last year after Malaysia and Thailand.
"We started our promotional campaign in Bangladesh last year and it is amazing that we received third largest number of foreign tourists from here in 2017 after Malaysia and Thailand," visiting Chairman of Association of Tour Operators of Kashmir (AKTO) Nazir Mir told BSS yesterday.

In 2017, he said around 5,500 Bangladeshi tourists visited different places in Kashmir followed by 15,000 Thai and 20,000 Malaysian tourists.

Mentioning that Domestic travellers are the backbone of Kashmir's tourism, he said, "As we are getting only 50,000 foreign tourists every year, now we concentrate more on international tourists to flourish our tourism industry."

About the security issue, AKTO Vice Chairman Nazir Ahmad Tunda said there is no security hazard for the tourists at all. "You can't find a single unwanted incident around the tourist spots so far," he said.

Jammu and Kashmir consists of three regions -- Jammu, the Kashmir Valley and Ladakh, he said, adding "We get pilgrims for Jammu, families and groups for Kashmir valley and youth for Ladakh," he added.


Tunda said tourism in the state is improving every year. This year, we have lined up many interesting activities for the tourists including fairs, festivals, sports and adventure and expect satisfactory growth in arrivals, he added.

AKTO organised a Kashmir night at a city hotel in Dhaka on Saturday to make a road show on different exciting tourist destinations of Kashmir.

Bangladesh Tourism Board CEO Dr Nasir Uddin, President of Tour Operator Association of Bangladesh (TOAB) Taufiq Uddin Ahmed and Secretary General of Association of Travel Agents of Bangladesh (ATAB) Abdus Salem Aref also spoke on the occasion.

The ATKO members made a visual presentation on different tourism features of Jummu and Kashmir.

Ref: https://www.thedailystar.net/business/tourism/bangladesh-3rd-tourist-spot-sending-country-india-jummu-kashmir-paradise-on-earth-1516696

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A new ranking that evaluated countries on everything from economic influence, power, citizenship and quality of life, has declared Switzerland the world's best country for 2018.
It's the second time the country has topped US News and World Report's Best Countries report, which looked at 80 countries for this year's ranking.

After Switzerland, Canada, Germany, UK and Japan round out the top five spots -- all countries with progressive social and environmental policies, analysts note.

Nordic countries like Sweden, Finland, Denmark and Norway are also heavily represented on the list and top other subcategories thanks to their famously progressive social policies: Denmark, for instance, is named the best country for women, and for raising children, while Norway ranks the top country for citizenship.

The category of citizenship considers a country's record on human rights, gender equality and religious freedom.

"For the countries that rose to the top of this year's rankings, it is once again clear that military vigor and economic power are no longer the key determinants to a country's brand success," said David Sable, Y&R Global CEO in a statement.


Y&R's BAV Group helped develop the model for the ranking.

"The Best Countries rankings continue to show us that just as brands must focus on a wide range of attributes to raise profiles and win over audiences, nations that are multidimensional and that reflect a wider range of qualities, such as innovation and compassion, have the brand appeal that propels them on the global stage."

New this year, respondents were also asked to evaluate major world leaders. Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau and German Chancellor Angela Merkel were deemed the most respected leaders globally, while US President Donald Trump and Russian President Vladimir Putin received the dubious distinction of receiving the worst approval ratings.

To determine the top countries, Y&R's BAV Group and The Wharton School of the University of Pennsylvania developed a model that identified 65 attributes, which were then presented in a survey to more than 21,000 business leaders, elites and general citizens around the world.

Participants assessed how closely they associated an attribute with a nation.

Here are the top 10 countries on the Best Countries 2018 list:

Overall
1. Switzerland

2. Canada

3. Germany

4. United Kingdom

5. Japan

6. Sweden

7. Australia

8. United States

9. France

10. Netherlands

To Start a Business: Thailand

To Headquarter a Corporation: Switzerland

Most Powerful: United States

For Women: Denmark

For Education: UK

For Comfortable Retirement: New Zealand

Ref: https://www.thedailystar.net/business/tourism/switzerland-the-world-best-country-2018-1524415

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Thanks no doubt to the fact that Easter falls during the same period as this year's cherry blossom season, Tokyo has topped a list of the most popular Easter destinations among Asia-Pacific travelers for 2018.
In the ranking, compiled by online hotel booking site Agoda, the Japanese capital knocked out last year's chart-topper, Manila, to take this year's top spot.

While the Philippines has the largest Christian population in Asia-Pacific and hosts no shortage of religious events for the holiday, the results of the list suggest that this year, travelers are keener to witness the miraculous beauty of Japanese cherry blossoms over the long weekend.

The list is based on Agoda's booking data for Easter weekend across Asia-Pacific.

According to the Japanese Meteorological Corporation, parts of the country are currently in full bloom, including Tokyo, Kyoto and Osaka.


The Tokyo Tower (background) is seen lit up as visitors row boats in a moat surrounding Edo Castle to admire full-bloom cherry blossoms in Tokyo on April 4, 2016. Viewing cherry blossoms is a national pastime and cultural event in Japan, where millions of people turn out to admire them annually. Photo: AFP
After Tokyo, the most popular destinations this weekend will be Bangkok and Manila.


The report also breaks down the top spots for specific regions. For Australians, for instance, the most popular international destination is Bali; for Filipinos it's Manila and for Singaporeans it's Bangkok.

Here are the top 10 destinations for Easter this year overall:

1. Tokyo, Japan

2. Bangkok, Thailand

3. Manila, Philippines

4. Bali, Indonesia

5. Singapore

6. Seoul, South Korea

7. Taipei, Taiwan

8. Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia

9. Hong Kong

10. Johor Bahru, Malaysia

Ref: https://www.thedailystar.net/world/asia/top-10-most-popular-easter-destinations-tokyo-bangkok-manila-asia-pacific-travelers-revealed-1555117

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