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Topics - Khan Ehsanul Hoque

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One of the many benefits to being part of GEM is networking with top  entrepreneurship researchers around the world. This was certainly on display during the VIII International Entrepreneurship Research Workshop GEM ACEDE(Entrepreneurship Division of the Spanish Academy of Management) that took place from September 21 - 23 at the University of Malaga in Spain.

Some 100 participants, including many GEM National Team members, discussed “research driven entrepreneurship” that generates a high impact in academia, business and society.

- GEM Chairman José Ernesto Amorós led a technical workshop.

- GEM Executive Director Aileen Ionescu-Somers shared perspectives on future challenges for a global research network.

- GEM researcher Niels Bosma delivered a session on how GEM data can be used for research and publications.

Organized by GEM Spain and ACEDE, the event was centered on promoting the exchange of scientific knowledge and experiences in research, teaching and transfer.

More than 60 academic papers were presented by researchers representing different Spanish and European universities. The opening ceremony was led by the Rector of the University of Malaga, José Ángel Narvaéz Bueno. Among the guests in attendance were:

Javier González Navarro, General Director of Entrepreneurship Training and Continuing Education (Government of Andalucia)
Alicia Izquierdo García, Deputy Mayor Delegate of Innovation, Digitization, Promotion, City Council of Malaga
Esperanza González Pazos, Deputy for Sustainable Economic Development, Employment, and Training in Malaga
Javier De Pro Rueda, Chief Financial Officer at Fundación Bancaria Unicaja
“This event was a great opportunity for us to witness firsthand so many different examples of entrepreneurship research generating tangible impacts on society,” stated Ionescu-Somers. “GEM Spain has numerous regional teams spread out across the country. The team acts like a ‘family’ of researchers all working in the same direction towards understanding the phenomenon of entrepreneurship both locally and nationally. It was inspiring to observe their passion and enthusiasm. The GEM Spain team is a great example of the potential of GEM research to be leveraged in the rest of the world.”


The entrepreneur’s guide to stress-free business trips

Many entrepreneurs have to travel across the country to pursue opportunities for growth. While traveling should be fun, business trips can affect physical well-being and mental equilibrium. So, as you gear up for your next journey of business conquests, let’s delve into some valuable tips and clever tricks to ensure you find moments of calm and relaxation along the way.

Healthy Habits on the Go
Maintaining a healthy lifestyle while on the move is not only about surviving the hustle and bustle of business trips but thriving throughout them. Your energy, clarity, and overall well-being depend on it. Here are a few health-conscious practices that will transform your business travel experience.

Energizing Movement
Imagine starting your journey with a brisk walk through the airport terminal. It’s not just about getting from point A to B; those steps can energize your body and boost your circulation, ensuring you step onto the plane feeling refreshed and alive. Moving your body is not just about exercise; it’s about keeping your energy levels up and counteracting the sedentary nature of travel.

In-Flight Bliss
We all know the cramped quarters of an airplane can lead to stiffness and discomfort. Ankle circles, seated stretches, and shoulder rolls are simple exercises you can do right in your seat. These in-flight movements alleviate physical tension and stimulate blood flow, helping you arrive at your destination with a spring in your step.

Nutrition for the Win
Snacking is another secret to keeping your energy levels stable while on the move. Opt for nutrient-dense snacks like trail mix, granola bars, and fresh fruit. These choices satisfy your hunger and provide sustainable energy without the post-snack slump. And remember to stay hydrated! Airplane cabins are notorious for drying out your skin and body, so water is your best friend. A reusable water bottle can be your trusty companion, ensuring you are well-hydrated from takeoff to landing.

Culinary Exploration
When it’s time to dine, seek out local restaurants offering healthier options. Exploring the culinary scene of your destination is not just a pleasure for your taste buds—it’s an opportunity to nourish your body with wholesome ingredients that can fuel your productivity.

Jet Lag Mastery
Jet lag is one of the common problems for travelers across the globe. And you might also suffer from it. But don’t let it dampen your spirits or slow down your productivity. You can practice some strategies that will help you lower its effect.

Start by adjusting your sleep schedule a few days before you depart. Shift your bedtime closer to the local time of your destination, helping your body transition more smoothly. During your flight, try to adapt to the destination’s time zone by sleeping and eating according to the new schedule. It might feel odd to have breakfast for dinner, but it’s a small sacrifice for a smoother adjustment.

Resist the temptation to nap immediately upon landing, even if your internal clock begs for it. Instead, expose yourself to natural sunlight to help reset your circadian rhythm. Take a leisurely walk, spend time outdoors, or sit by a window. By syncing your body with the local time zone as soon as possible, you’ll minimize the impact of jet lag and hit the ground running.

Productive Travel Rituals
As an entrepreneur, you are a master of multitasking, but business trips can challenge even the most organized individual. You need to create a travel ritual to deal with unprecedented changes.

Craft a travel routine that aligns with your work and personal goals. Utilize digital tools to manage your time efficiently- scheduling meetings, setting reminders, or mapping out work blocks. But remember, productivity isn’t just about work; it’s also about taking care of yourself. Incorporate mindfulness practices like deep breathing or short meditation sessions to stay grounded and reduce stress.

And speaking of staying grounded, take advantage of your accommodation’s amenities. If there’s a gym or fitness center, work out to keep your energy levels up. Don’t underestimate the power of a good night’s sleep, either. Prioritize rest to ensure you’re firing on all cylinders throughout your trip.

Business and Pleasure Fusion
Picture this: you are in a new city for a business meeting but have a few extra hours to spare. Don’t let those hours go to waste! Embrace the concept of “leisure” and discover how combining business and leisure can make your business trips even more rewarding.

While meetings and networking events are essential, take some time to explore the local culture and attractions. Whether trying exotic cuisines, visiting landmarks, or soaking in the city’s ambiance, these experiences can spark your creativity and enhance your business interactions. If your schedule permits, consider extending your stay by a day or two to enjoy traveling.

Travel Wellness Toolkit
A successful entrepreneur knows the importance of preparation. When it comes to travel, a well-stocked wellness toolkit can make all the difference in maintaining your health and vitality.

Load your smartphone with wellness apps that offer guided workouts, meditation sessions, and healthy recipes. These tools can help you stay active, manage stress, and make wise nutritional choices. Pack a small bag with travel-sized essentials like resistance bands for a quick workout, a reusable water bottle to stay hydrated, and wholesome snacks to avoid unhealthy temptations.

As you plan your itinerary, research your destination’s local gyms, parks, or jogging trails. A list of options ensures you can stick to your fitness routine, even when you’re far from home. And don’t forget about rest; quality sleep is the cornerstone of all successful business trips. Opt for accommodations that prioritize comfort and tranquility, enabling you to recharge for your busy days ahead.

Bottom Line
In a nutshell, some ways help you plan stress-free travel. You simply need to practice the tips mentioned above on applicable phases so that you don’t feel like avoiding business travels next time.


Startup / Startup Venture Entrepreneur Shares His Formula For Success
« on: October 04, 2023, 11:49:44 AM »
Startup Venture Entrepreneur Shares His Formula For Success

NEW YORK (October 3, 2023) — Start. Scale. Exit. Repeat.: Serial Entrepreneurs’ Secrets Revealed! by Colin C. Campbell is now available. The book is published with Forbes Books, the exclusive business book publishing imprint of Forbes, and is available today on Amazon.

There’s no shortage of media reporting that explores why startup companies fail—but what do those who succeed have in common? In his new book, Start. Scale. Exit. Repeat., Colin Campbell is on a mission to crack the code on entrepreneurial success.

From his formative years on a Canadian family farm to successfully exiting companies that today are valued at more than a billion dollars, Campbell collects firsthand experiences in helping build, scale, and sell startup companies. He also shares insights from fellow serial entrepreneurs and thought leaders.

In Start. Scale. Exit. Repeat., Campbell keeps his winning formula simple, leading his readers from the initial idea to the high-value sale. He provides real-life examples, best practices, and “Golden Nuggets” of wisdom derived from both his successes and failures. Topics include vetting your idea, picking an all-star team of partners and employees, finding the right investors and funding, preparing for negotiations, and how to repeat the formula—each time better and faster.

“I don’t pretend to be the next Steve Jobs, Bill Gates, or Elon Musk—and I don’t want to be,” said Campbell. “What I am is an entrepreneur who has successfully built small businesses over and over again. And like many other serial entrepreneurs, I’ve had wins and losses. But even the losses have helped me figure out what makes this formula different. By focusing on building a solid foundation and knowing what to look out for, I believe this strategy can dramatically increase your chances of success.”

About Colin C. Campbell

Hailing from his family’s farm in Canada, Colin Campbell has been an entrepreneur since launching a tech business with his brother in the early 1990s. Since then, some of his many startups he and partners have launched include internet companies like Internet Direct Canada, Tucows (TCX),, Hostopia, HipOptical, .CLUB Domains, Escape Club and pet product brand His companies have won numerous awards and earned recognition from publications like Profit and Inc. 5000. In his desire to support other entrepreneurs, he cofounded and co-hosts the live show and podcast Serial Entrepreneur: Secrets Revealed! Beyond his entrepreneurial pursuits, he loves spending time with his wife Kim, their two children, and their dogs.


Why Entrepreneurs Swear by WELD as the Secret to Maximizing Wealth

The world of entrepreneurship offers more than just innovation and freedom—it's a powerful conduit for wealth-building. With the right strategies, this journey can unlock financial potential like no other.

While entrepreneurship extends far beyond just profits, its advantages in creating wealth are unmatched. I like to say entrepreneurship is an "unfair wealth creator." The wealth benefits of owning a business boil down to a handy acronym I call WELD. Just like welding two pieces of metal together makes them stronger, combining these four entrepreneurship advantages will strengthen your finances.

WELD stands for Write-offs, Exit value, Lower taxes, and Depreciation. These pillars, when combined, illustrate why I'm a massive advocate for entrepreneurship, especially from a wealth perspective.

As entrepreneurs, we have the unique advantage of writing off certain expenses against our income. I love this part of being an entrepreneur. Business travel, cars, office expenses, education, and computer equipment can all be write-offs. I have some of the coolest tech and I get to write it off!

As an entrepreneur, you can write off portions of your travel, give your kids a $15,000 tax-free gift, rent your home from yourself, and more.

Don't forget, essentials like health care and retirement contributions can also be harnessed for write-off potential. The trick is to navigate and maximize these benefits while staying within the bounds of regulations, so I definitely recommend working with a seasoned tax advisor.

Exit Value
While a consistent income stream from a business is undeniably valuable, there's a hidden gem many entrepreneurs overlook: the potential profit from selling their enterprise.

Compare this to a traditional 9-to-5 job. Yes, you might enjoy a predictable paycheck every month, but the moment you decide to step away, that revenue stream stops. In contrast, when you're leading a business, not only do you often enjoy greater flexibility (imagine more quality time with your family), but there's also a tangible asset you're building.

Let's talk franchises for a moment. If you invest, say $300,000, into a franchise, you might get a consistent annual cash flow of about $100,000. But when you're ready to exit, that franchise might sell for a multiple of its yearly revenue (sometimes upwards of 5x or $500,000). Plus, being part of a franchise network gives you a ready pool of potential buyers.

Lower Taxes
One of the standout perks of entrepreneurship, beyond the freedom and creativity it allows, is the potential for reduced tax liabilities. Contrast this with traditional salaried roles where individuals might face tax rates ranging from 10% to 37%. Entrepreneurs, with a keen understanding of the tax code and strategic financial planning, often navigate to much friendlier tax rates.

Take the example of selling a business asset. Typically, such transactions incur tax rates of just 15% to 20%. This is considerably lower than the rates most salaried individuals encounter. Over the course of an entrepreneurial journey, these tax benefits can compound, leading to substantial wealth.

For franchise investors, understanding depreciation is like having a superpower. Depreciation isn't just a dry accounting term; it's a vital financial strategy that can play a significant role in the economics of your business. We've all heard the stories of the real-estate investor who brought their tax rates down to $0 or how big businesses pay a lower tax rate than the average Joe. So, how does it work?

Assets, whether they're heavy machinery, franchise-related vehicles, or even personal cars used for business, can undergo depreciation. This means their value diminishes systematically over time. Typically, businesses list these assets on a depreciation schedule, spreading this decrease in value across several years. However, thanks to provisions like Section 179, some assets can be depreciated immediately, allowing for significant tax breaks and write-offs.

Here's a simple illustration: let's say you've invested in a franchise and installed equipment worth $50,000. Over the year, you've earned a gain of $100,000. If you get that equipment running by year-end, it's possible to use its depreciation to offset your gain, reducing the taxable amount.

In real estate, you can combine both depreciation and property exchanges to bring your tax rates down considerably.

But a word of caution: while the concept of depreciation offers intriguing financial benefits, it's essential to navigate it carefully. Misconceptions, especially from oversimplified sources or platforms like Instagram and TikTok, can lead to costly mistakes. For instance, a luxury vehicle, unless justified as a genuine business expense, might not be fully write-off eligible.

As you explore the complexities of depreciation, always lean on the expertise of your CPA. They can guide you in optimizing these benefits while ensuring compliance.

Greater risk, greater reward
Entrepreneurship isn't just about the advantages. It's about taking risks. You've probably heard the saying: the greater the risk, the greater the potential reward. If it were easy, everyone would be doing it, right?

That's where we, at Franchise Sidekick, step in. We're passionate about helping people harness the massive potential of entrepreneurship. For many, franchising is a safer route to business ownership. Our mission? To help you navigate this path with minimized risks. We'll walk you through our proven process, provide you with insider information, and help you pick a winning franchise brand.


From Operator To Entrepreneur: How To Take Control Of Your Life

Work on the business, not in the business. I’m sure you’ve heard this advice not once—and not even twice. However, very few people explain how to do it. So many business owners struggle to move away from the operational work. If you’re one of them, then this five-step action plan is for you.

Below is my personal recipe for how to regain control over your time and start doing the kind of work you enjoy. Author’s note: You may not like what you read. If that’s the case, print it out and put it on the wall. Thank me later.

1. Get brutally honest with yourself.
Your two biggest enemies are perfectionism and ego. Many entrepreneurs feel like nobody can do their job better than them. And while it might be true, there’s no way one person can do it all. If your goal is to grow your business, you are going to need a team.

Start by assessing your current role. What tasks really require your expertise and what can be delegated? What’s keeping you from letting go? Are you giving authority to your people? Are they allowed to make mistakes and learn from them? Give yourself honest answers.

Next, define your desired role in the company. For example, you will be responsible for XYZ and delegate X number of operational tasks to other people in six months. Be sure to set a realistic timeline for this change, taking into account team training and adjustment period.

2. Fire yourself.
Now that you’ve set the goal for yourself and your business, start executing your vision. Build a competent team that will help you make that transition. Once again, let go of perfectionism and accept that some tasks are better done than perfect. The most optimal combination is having A players manage B players to get things done.

Next, start delegating tasks one by one. Prioritize them by the level of complexity and overall impact—from the easiest to the most difficult. Some tasks can be delegated much faster than others. Also, don’t expect your team to execute everything perfectly in two weeks. There will be a learning curve and you should account for it.

3. Optimize your processes.
Together with your team, map out all of your key processes and identify bottlenecks. Next, see how you can streamline them. There are countless automation tools that will help you eliminate repetitive tasks and improve workflows.

Depending on your current situation, this can mean many different things. If you’ve been running your business from Excel spreadsheets, think about implementing a CRM system and email automation. If you are more experienced with tech, consider synchronizing your apps or integrating more AI-based tools into your operations.

4. Get greedy with your time.
This is probably one of the hardest changes for business owners. To achieve your big goal, which is moving away from the operational work, you’ve got to stop letting the urgent take over the important.

Start blocking time for revenue-generating, high-value activities and let small failures happen. Some people will get upset and some tasks will not be done properly. That’s okay. Be willing to pay this price for a bigger gain.

Busy work like checking emails and responding to Slack messages will not get you anywhere. And you may be surprised to discover that half of all the seemingly urgent questions somehow resolve themselves. Trust your team to take care of everything on their own and be religious about your time blocks. Your main work must be done no matter what.

5. Fill in your personal growth gaps.
One of the reasons why many entrepreneurs keep slipping back into operational work is procrastination, which is usually a fear in disguise. Let me explain. I find that people operate in two modes: from the place of comfort or from the place of growth. The latter is always scary. It requires learning the skills you don’t have and failing, sometimes publicly. However, there’s no other way to grow.

If you want to break through that glass ceiling, you have to go back to step number one and get honest with yourself. Acknowledge that you lack the skills to achieve your goals and admit that operational work is your comfort zone. You might not enjoy it, but you are very good at it. That’s why you do it. And now the choice is yours. You can stay in a warm bath or throw yourself into the wild jungle.

These tips come from my personal experience and the experience of many entrepreneurs I’ve worked with over the years. I hope they’ll help you understand where you are and how to get to achieve your goals. Embrace honesty and trust, and you will reach your goals.


How to Balance Entrepreneurship and Family Life in 2023 and Beyond

The 21st century offers an unprecedented marriage of technology and daily living, a union that was only accelerated by the unforeseen challenges of the global pandemic. Digital platforms, which were once luxury additions, have transformed into indispensable lifelines for both personal and professional realms. For someone like me, tools like Zoom and Microsoft Teams have become as essential as morning coffee. I've found myself negotiating major business contracts and, within moments, switching to sharing the joy of my toddler's first steps, all thanks to these technological wonders.

The digital age also presents a plethora of information at our fingertips. But, as with all great advancements, there are pitfalls. The blurred lines between "work mode" and "home mode" can sometimes lead to an overwhelming sense of being perpetually "on."

It's so easy to get caught in the trap of checking one last email during a bedtime story or contemplating dinner plans in the middle of a crucial conference call. This balancing act requires more than just discipline; it demands dedicated mindfulness, ensuring that we remain present in each moment, regardless of the hat we wear.

Moreover, my personal experience as a father to a two-year-old, born amidst the unique challenges of the COVID-19 era, added a layer of complexity to this juggling act. There's a special kind of joy in witnessing first words or spontaneous dances, but it's juxtaposed with the constant underlying hum of professional responsibilities. The silver lining? If navigated with intention, this digital age can allow us to savor the best of both worlds.

Redefining the pillars of achievement

Today's global discourse on success is undeniably multifaceted. Gone are the days when accomplishments were solely measured by the growth charts of a business or the escalating numbers on a profit sheet. In today's holistic viewpoint, success encapsulates a wider range. It's no longer just about reaching the top rung of the corporate ladder but also about cherishing the sunrise views it offers.

For entrepreneurs such as myself, this revelation comes with its unique epiphanies. Yes, clinching a deal with a coveted client sends a euphoric rush, but so does watching my child experience the simple joys of life. The soft laughter echoing through my home, the shared stories over dinner, and the innocence of a child's wonderment offer a profound counterbalance to the high-octane business world. These personal moments are treasures that, in many ways, outweigh a business achievement.

This evolved definition of success underscores the undeniable importance of mental and physical well-being. Today's entrepreneur understands that the marathon of life and business isn't just about speed but endurance. Digital wellness platforms like Calm and Peloton have ceased to be indulgences. Instead, they are vital lifelines, equipping us with the resilience and tranquility essential for the intricate dance between business analytics and bedtime stories. After all, a sound mind and body amplify productivity and enhance the quality of every moment, whether in a boardroom or a living room.

The art of time and nurturing bonds in a digital age

In the age where time feels perpetually fleeting, mastering its flow becomes an art form for the modern man. With every tick of the clock, there's a delicate balance to strike between meeting a deadline and cherishing a family moment.

Each minute becomes precious, a treasure to be optimally utilized. Time management tools have transformed from mere business utilities to essential life organizers. They help carve out those treasured moments, whether for an innovative business brainstorm or witnessing the contagious enthusiasm of a toddler's laughter.

The digital age has also heralded an era of boundless connectivity. My odyssey through entrepreneurship emphasized the priceless worth of forging strong networks. Engaging on platforms like LinkedIn or diving deep into insightful articles from Entrepreneur brings forth knowledge and a tapestry of shared experiences and perspectives.

Navigating 2023 as an entrepreneur, a devoted father, and a loving husband is a multi-faceted journey that often feels like venturing through a beautifully intricate maze. Each corridor unveils unique adventures, trials and moments of epiphany. With every twist and turn, layers of understanding unfold about oneself, the ever-evolving world, and the delicate waltz of contemporary life. This vibrant journey, abundant in its highs and lows, is a story of existence colored by undying passion, unwavering commitment, and boundless affection.

Appreciating moments amidst the uncertainty

Reflecting on these musings, memories from the past two years often emerge. My daughter's birth during the tumultuous COVID-19 pandemic was a whirlwind of emotions — a mix of unparalleled happiness, anxiety, hope and challenges. Each day presented its uncertainties but also moments of pure wonder — her first laughs, tentative steps and the curious exploration of a world anew.

This unparalleled phase reshaped my understanding of entrepreneurship, relationships and the essence of life itself. My daughter's arrival amidst such global unrest was a profound reminder of the delicate balance of life but also its unwavering strength and resilience. It highlighted that while professional accomplishments are indeed important, it's the intimate, fleeting moments that truly enrich our lives.

As I journey through the vibrant landscapes of 2023, I cherish the lessons from these foundational years, blending the zeal of entrepreneurship with the nurturing cadence of fatherhood. The world today offers its set of challenges, but the joys — especially those reflected in the gleaming eyes of my two-year-old daughter — are immeasurable.


Gerald Dewes: A Journey of Entrepreneurship and Global Success

Gerald Dewes, a name synonymous with entrepreneurship and global success, was born in Albany, New York, and currently resides in Long Island, New York. His life journey has been marked by dedication, innovation, and a commitment to fostering win-win relationships in the business world. In this press release, we will delve into the life and career of Gerald Dewes, exploring his early years, career path, and the key principles that have guided his remarkable journey.

Early Life and Education

Gerald Dewes' story begins in Albany, New York, where he was born and raised. From an early age, he showed a keen interest in technology and computers. This passion eventually led him to pursue a formal education in computer science, earning a Bachelor of Science degree. His educational background laid a solid foundation for his future endeavors in the tech and business worlds.

Career Path

Gerald Dewes' career path is a testament to his versatility and adaptability. He has had a long-term presence in the retail financial services sector, where he honed his skills and gained valuable experience. Additionally, his tech career in computer science provided him with insights into the rapidly evolving digital landscape.


Today, Gerald Dewes is known as an entrepreneur, and this blog stands as a testament to his commitment to sharing knowledge and insights with the world. The blog covers a wide range of topics, including health, travel, and lifestyle, offering readers valuable information and tips to enhance their lives.

Global Development and Integration

One of Gerald Dewes' primary roles revolves around global development and integration. He plays a pivotal role in the seamless integration of sales, manufacturing, distribution, logistics, and e-commerce functions on a global scale. His expertise in this area has contributed significantly to the success of various businesses.

Personal Interests

Beyond the corporate world, Gerald Dewes is an individual with diverse interests. He enjoys participating in Alpine ski racing, a passion that keeps him physically fit and healthy. This commitment to physical well-being mirrors his approach to business – one of dedication and continuous improvement.

Gerald Dewes' Approach

Gerald Dewes firmly believes in "connecting the dots." He operates on the principle that true success is achieved through collaborative efforts and mutually beneficial relationships. He chooses to work with those who share this philosophy and understand that empathy and understanding are essential in any partnership.

Commercial Relationships

Gerald Dewes' international presence extends to Latin America, Europe, Asia, and the Middle East. His commercially linked relationships in these regions allow him to navigate complex global markets and integrate the needs of various stakeholders, ultimately leading to commercial success.


In conclusion, Gerald Dewes is a multifaceted individual whose journey from Albany, New York, to the global business arena is nothing short of inspiring. His dedication, adaptability, and commitment to fostering win-win relationships have been instrumental in his success. To explore more of Gerald Dewes' insights and expertise, visit his blog, where you'll find a treasure trove of valuable articles.

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Start-up founder inspiring students in new entrepreneurship course

There’s learning by doing. And then there’s teaching by doing.

Darren Burke and 46 students are doing both in a new entrepreneurship course offered by the department of Kinesiology.

Burke, who’s the department’s first industry professor, is teaching the course while launching his third company. Students are following Burke’s lead and turning their interests and ideas into mock companies.

Burke holds nothing back and shares everything with the students, including his work-in-progress pitch to investors. 

“It takes a lot of guts to be a start-up founder,” says Burke. “Most people don’t realize the amount of time and effort that’s involved. It’s not like a job with defined roles and responsibilities. It’s everything that comes before there are jobs with defined roles and then all of the things that follow once you scale your business.”

Burke doesn’t come from a family of entrepreneurs, although his father was a mechanic who worked all day in a garage and then spent his evenings fixing neighbours’ cars to bring in extra money so his son could play sports. “My dad’s work ethic definitely got passed along,” says Burke. “I couldn’t have founded companies without it.”

Entrepreneurship wasn’t something Burke considered as a student or early in this tenure as a professor at St. Francis Xavier University where he taught sports nutrition, exercise physiology and metabolism. “I loved being a professor. The academic freedom was amazing. I had the time to be creative, explore ideas and hone important skills.”

But then Burke started thinking about how to commercialize his research. He turned his life’s work into a line of sports nutrition products for professional and Olympic athletes. “It didn’t take long before I was all consumed with growing my first company. I made the decision to leave the university six months after starting my business. I felt it wasn’t fair to my colleagues or students to have my time and focus divided.”

A professor and large group of students

Burke grew his company into an industry leader with revenues of more than $20 million. Burke sold the company in 2013 and became a full-time dad and husband for five years before co-founding a sustainable agricultural technology company. Burke’s now developing a business that uses microbial fermentation to turn cosmetically rejected farm produce into probiotic rich and high protein food. 

Along with launching his third company and teaching the course, Burke is the entrepreneur in residence at Saint Mary’s University. He’s part of the university’s entrepreneurship centre that offers training, consulting, events, student projects and skill development programs.

Gianni Parise is looking to create something similar within the Kinesiology department. “We’re seeing growing interest in innovation and entrepreneurship among our students,” says Parise, who was chair of the department before his appointment as the University’s Acting Associate Vice-President, Research.

How interested are students? Enrolment in Burke’s entrepreneurship course doubled after the first class and pushed past the cap of 40 students. 

Along with adding an industry professor, the Kinesiology department has plans to open a collaborative makerspace where students can use technology and equipment to make, learn and explore. “These kinds of spaces are typically found in Engineering departments to promote innovation and the commercialization of ideas. We believe that Kinesiology can do the same and give our undergraduate and graduate students amazing opportunities to foster their entrepreneurial spirit.” Burke will play a key role in getting that space up and running next year, says Parise.

Parise first met Burke while completing their PhDs. “We had similar interests and collaborated on a research project. We’ve been friends ever since. It was amazing to watch Darren make the move from academia to business. We’re thrilled to have Darren return to university and show students what’s possible.”

Burke is already earning high marks from students. 

“I think there’s immense value in learning from someone who’s successfully created and run a business,” says fourth-year kinesiology student Cara Pekos whose parents, like Burke, are successful entrepreneurs. “I don’t have any immediate plans to launch a company but through this course I’ve been generating business ideas around my interests in research and rehab science. We’ve already had opportunities to bounce our ideas off Dr. Burke during class which has been incredibly helpful. It’s a very discussion-based course which I love.”

There’s one lesson Burke hopes Pekos and the other 45 students take from his course and life journey. “I hope the students realize that they too can be entrepreneurs and have the confidence and courage to start their own business or join an early stage company. It’s far from easy but the opportunities are endless and the rewards are incredible.”


Top 10 Fintech Startup Investments Powering Southeast Asia in 2023

The Southeast Asian fintech startup has been a dynamic landscape, with countries like China, India, Singapore, and Indonesia emerging as fintech hubs, each with unique strengths and focus areas. Besides, governments across Asia actively work on fintech regulations to balance innovation and consumer protection. In 2023, the industry attracted substantial investments, with strong financial inclusion and blockchain technology gaining acceptance in some countries.

We delve into fintech developments with the top 10 investment stories that have empowered startups across Southeast Asia to pave the way for a more inclusive and technologically advanced financial future.

Singapore’s Bunker Raised US$5 M to Expand Financial Analytics Platform in the Region

In July this year, Bunker, a Singapore-based financial analytics platform, secured over US$5 million in pre-seed and seed funding. This investment came from a consortium of regional investors, including Northstar Group, Alpine Ventures, Patamar Capital, and January Capital. GFC, Money Forward, Alpine Ventures, Patamar Capital, and nine angel investors also contributed to the funding round.

Bunker’s is designed to offer executives comprehensive financial visibility, effectively transforming overlooked entries within general ledgers into actionable insights. With the new investment, Bunker will invest capital in its innovation and expand regional operations.

Orderfaz Secured Pre-Seed Funding for Indonesian Social Commerce Fintech

In another July deal, Indonesian fintech startup Orderfaz concluded an undisclosed pre-seed funding round. This funding round was led by the Singapore-based venture capital firm 1982 Ventures, the sole investor.

Established as a recently launched fintech startup, Orderfaz has been catering to the requirements of social commerce sellers within Indonesia. Since its soft launch in March 2023, the company has rapidly gained ground in the Indonesian market.

Orderfaz’s platform offers a seamless browsing experience through a convenient browser plug-in, streamlining the purchasing process for sellers with its one-click checkout feature. Additionally, it equips sellers with a robust fraud mitigation strategy by meticulously tracking the purchase history of authenticated buyers.

Sunrate Secured Series D-1 Funding for Global Payment Expansion

In June, Singapore-based digital payment platform Sunrate revealed the successful closure of its Series D-1 funding round. The funding round was led by Prosperity7 Ventures, a growth fund affiliated with Aramco Ventures, and saw additional investments from SoftBank Ventures Asia.

Sunrate has established itself as a smart global payment and treasury management platform provider, offering businesses a means to streamline their B2B payments and financial operations efficiently.

The company’s extensive network and robust APIs help companies navigate and expand their operations seamlessly, locally and globally, across more than 150 countries.

Singapore’s Utu Expands Reach with CardsPal Acquisition in Tax-Free Shopping Sector

Singapore-based travel tech company Utu raised 33 million in a Series B funding round, with SC Ventures leading the investment efforts in June this year. Utu recently acquired CardsPal, a Singapore-based fintech firm renowned for its specialization in localized deals and promotions.

The travel sector has seen limited venture funding in recent years, primarily centered around short-term rent and cardinal hospitality. Utu’s mission is to reimagine the tax-free shopping experience, offering tourists a streamlined process for reclaiming Value Added Tax (VAT) on their purchases while enhancing their shopping journey.

With the introduction of Utu’s Tax-Free Card, customers are presented with two compelling choices: they can opt for frequent flyer miles or hotel points as an alternative to traditional VAT refunds, or they can select an immediate store voucher equivalent to 120% of the VAT, or GST paid while shopping abroad.

Finfra Investment Fueled Indonesian Embedded Finance Expansion

Indonesian startup Finfra secured $1 million in new funding in late June. The funding round attracted participation from investors, including DSX Ventures, Seedstars International Ventures, Cento Ventures, Fintech Nation, FirstPick, BADideas Fund, and Hustle Fund.

The company invests the infused capital into product development and enhancing Finfra’s engineering, data, and finance teams.

Finfra, stemming from its roots as Danabijak, a successful consumer financial services provider, will continue to operate as a subsidiary. Finfra aims to deliver the essential technological infrastructure that empowers online businesses to offer embedded finance products. The newly acquired funds are expected to fuel the company’s ongoing efforts in product development and talent acquisition, allowing it to serve the dynamic demands of the market better.

Pepper Group Expands into Indian Fintech Landscape with $150 Million investment

On June 12, 2023, Pepper Group, a global consumer finance company, unveiled its ambitious plan to venture into the Indian market with the launch of a fintech startup operating under the banner of Pepper Money. Pepper Group pledged an investment of $150 million over the next four years, focusing on the largely untapped potential of smaller cities in India.

Pepper Money aspires to redefine the landscape of consumer finance, with a strategic emphasis on Tier 2 and 3 cities. Leveraging India’s remarkable economic growth and a tech-savvy, youthful population, the company envisions a transformative impact on the country’s financial landscape.

VentureTECH SBI and VentureTECH Invest $2.4 Million in Bayo Pay to Fuel Fintech Growth in Malaysia

June saw many notable fintech investments. VentureTECH SBI and VentureTECH joined forces collectively, investing $2.4 million into Bayo Pay, a licensed Mastercard Non-Bank E-Money Issuer. This funding initiative, spearheaded by VentureTECH SBI, was designed to accelerate the expansion of Bayo Pay’s core operations while fortifying its B2B2X label Digital Payment-as-a-Service solutions.

Bayo Pay has positioned itself as a provider of comprehensive digital payment solutions catering to SMEs and corporate entities. Its innovative B2B2X model empowers clients by granting access to its proprietary technology, enabling them to create scalable private-label payment solutions.

SkorLife Secured Seed Funding to Promote Financial Literacy in Indonesia

Indonesian fintech startup SkorLife raised $4 million in a Seed funding round in May. This financing round was anchored by the global tech investor Hummingbird Ventures, with participation from QED Investors. Existing investors AC Ventures and Saison Capital also joined forces to support the startup’s vision.

SkorLife has emerged as a pioneering credit builder in Indonesia, co-founded by Ongki Kurniawan and Karan Khetan. The company introduces an innovative approach that allows individuals to access their credit scores from the nation’s credit bureaus and gain valuable insights and tips to enhance their creditworthiness, ultimately enabling them to access better credit opportunities.

Advance Secured Pre-Series A Funding to Enhance Financial Access in the Philippines and Vietnam

On March 29, 2023, Filipino fintech company Advance raised US$16 million in a pre-Series A funding round. Prominent investors spearheaded this funding endeavor Do Ventures and Lendable, with the active participation of new investors Phoenix Holdings, Kaya Founders, Foxmont Capital, Oyster Ventures, and Crossocean Ventures. Additionally, existing investors supported the startup’s vision, including Wavemaker Partners, Next Billion Ventures, Integra Partners, and Accion Venture Lab.

Advance is dedicated to facilitating easier access to essential financial services while expanding its outreach to underserved regions. Since its inception in 2018, the startup has been instrumental in offering salary advances and other financial services to underserved employees in the Philippines, a country where almost half of the population remains unbanked.

With this latest funding infusion, Advance plans to introduce a range of innovative financial products and extend its services to additional partners in both the Philippines and Vietnam.

Alchemy Pay Gets Investment to Fuel Cryptocurrency-Fiat Integration in Korea

On April 4, 2023, Singapore-based payment gateway Alchemy Pay secured $10 million in funding from DWF Labs, a prominent multi-stage web3 investment firm. This strategic investment aimed to strengthen Alchemy Pay’s payment business expansion efforts in Korea, capitalizing on the region’s growing cryptocurrency acceptance and supporting Korean enterprises in their pursuit of internationalization.

During the funding phase, Alchemy Pay garnered an estimated valuation of $400 million, reflecting its growing influence in the cryptocurrency-fiat integration sphere.

Alchemy Pay has an extensive partnership roster that includes industry giants like Visa, Mastercard, Discover, and Diners Club, as well as mobile payment platforms such as Google Pay and Apple Pay, alongside regional mobile wallets and domestic transfer options.

The company extends beyond traditional credit cards, encompassing over 300 local alternative payment channels. Alchemy Pay has also introduced the innovative NFT Checkout service, which streamlines the acquisition of NFTs using fiat payment options, aligning it with standard online payment processes.

In conclusion, 2023 has been pivotal for fintech startups across Southeast Asia, marking a phase of rapid growth and innovation. With this, the future of the fintech startup scene in Asia holds significant promise, characterized by continued growth, a focus on financial inclusion, and innovations in payments, lending, and credit services.


Gen Z entrepreneurs lack this basic business skill

Though many show interest in entrepreneurship, Gen Zers still need to master some of the basics of running a business.

These young adults — born between 1997 and 2012, according to Pew Research Data — have a lot to learn about invoicing, according to a study released exclusively to Yahoo Finance by Skynova. The survey found that 93% of Gen Zers have asked their parents for help writing invoices in the past, while 53% of Gen Zers didn’t know what to include in their invoices.

Invoicing is an integral skill to learn as Zoomers wade into entrepreneurship and freelancing, experts say. Errors can cost money and jeopardize success.

“Because of common mistakes, many invoices are paid late or not at all. Missed payments are especially hard on brand new businesses,” said Jen Graham, software developer for Skynova. “But long term, these mistakes are worse. They can affect how your clients see you, how they rate you, and whether they will work with you again.”

Overall, Zoomers aren’t the only ones struggling with billing clients. The Skynova report surveyed 1003 workers who had significant experience completing invoices. Over half reported struggling the most with knowing what to include on their invoices.

Professional businesswoman working with her computer, she is sending an e-invoice online
But due to their limited working experience, Gen Z especially has little familiarity with invoicing. The study found 95% consider themselves “new to the invoice world,” while nearly half only learned what an invoice was in the past one to two years.

“Most people don't start a business thinking ‘Oh I want to become an expert at invoicing,” Graham said. “Yet for many, it's one of the first things they need to learn.”

Invoicing mistakes can have steep consequences for both Gen Zers and their companies. On average, Gen Zers have lost $346 to invoicing mistakes. The Skynova survey also found that 92% of invoicing professionals said they would be less likely to continue working with a company that error ridden invoices. Invoicing professionals also characterized those who send error-filled invoices as unprofessional (60%), incompetent (59%), and inexperienced (50%), according to Skynova.


Japanese FDI and Development Vision of Bangladesh: Lessons from Thailand


Bangladesh aspires to become a developed country under the ‘Vision 2041’, however, materialization of this development vision requires a huge amount of funds. Regrettably, the country’s dependency on foreign aid is still more than 35%. Internal borrowing is also increasing considerably, and Foreign Direct Investment (FDI) can make a significant contribution to the financial basket. The government has set a target to increase the contribution of FDI to 3% of the GDP in the 8th Five Year Plan (FYP) which was 1% in 7th FYP. Japan has continued its support towards Bangladesh since independence. The country’s tendency is to shift FDI to a country after improving the infrastructure through Official Development Assistance (ODA). The same trend can also be seen in Bangladesh. Bangladesh has become the number one recipient of Japanese ODA in 2020. To successfully accomplish development goals, countries with limited resources like Bangladesh can be hugely benefitted by the Japanese FDI. The ASEAN nation Thailand, with more than 6000 Japanese companies, is one of the economies that has been significantly benefitted by the Japanese FDI. This qualitative research investigates the case of Thailand based on key stakeholders’ interviews and analysis of documents. The major findings of this paper bring forth challenges Bangladesh is facing to attract Japanese FDI which include national image crisis, lack of infrastructure, skilled human resources, local procurement of raw materials, frequent change in law and policies, uncongenial regulations regarding VAT, tax and customs and port clearance.

Keywords: Bangladesh, Development Vision, FDI, Challenges, Thailand

1. Introduction

Bangladesh has emerged as one of the fastest growing economies in the world. The economic development achieved especially in the last two decades has made the political leadership set a number of development goals. The country is now thriving and will graduate from Least Developed Countries (LDC) status in 2026, achieve Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) by 2030 and become an upper middle-income country by 2031. It has most importantly set forth ‘Vision 2041’ to become a developed country by implementing the 8th Five-Year Plan (8th FYP) and 9th to 11th FYPs. Being a country with a small delta, a huge population and limited resources, it has been highly dependent on foreign aid since independence. With the advent of time, the global order has made aid availability difficult and conditionality along with aid, in many occasions, contradicts national interests.

The international aid basket is also becoming slimmer due to Covid-19 and the Ukraine-Russia war. Thus, recent development thinkers prioritize Foreign Direct Investment (FDI) before aid for developing economies. Despite the controversy of effectiveness of FDI in host countries, the crucial role of FDI in achieving small, medium- and long-term development goals has been revealed in the literature. Regrettably, Bangladesh’s effort to attract FDI and reduce aid dependency is yet to be commendable due to the conducive business environment. A huge opportunity has emerged for Bangladesh due to recent policy of the Japanese government which encourages Japanese companies to invest in South Asian countries, especially, India and Bangladesh instead of China or Association of Southeast Asian Nations (ASEAN) countries.

Two important factors have contributed to this policy decision: the growing market in these countries and low production cost. The dividend of this policy, if properly attributed, can immensely supplement Bangladesh’s strategy to achieve the targets of 8th Five Year Plan, SDGs and ultimately ‘Vision 2041’. FDI has been instrumental for the development of growing economies and ensuring sustainable stipulated growth in economies of the Southeast Asian nations. Welcoming FDIs with a suitable environment for the investors of other nationals and MNCs help them secure steady economic progress. Thailand is one of the glaring examples of easy consumption of FDIs (through nearly 6,000 Japanese companies) that contribute to the sturdy growth of GDPs of the country. It surpasses Vietnam and Indonesia in this regard, since they are yet to gain the momentum Thailand has, according to the survey report of Japan External Trade Organization (JETRO). The responses by its government, cultural proximity with Japan and the business environment have played a pivotal role in ensuring huge Japanese FDI flow to Thailand. It is thus a

successful case that can be assessed to understand how to attract Japanese FDIs and utilize them in an optimum manner. On the contrary, and in comparison, to Thailand, Bangladesh is still at the phase of identifying the prospects and engulfed in confusion whether to open up for Japanese FDI considering readiness of indigenous markets and industries. In addition, Thailand (in the 1970s and 1980s when it had begun opening up to FDI) and current Bangladesh have a similar politico-economic conducive environment for the consumption of Japanese FDI. The similarities in demographic dividend, development visions, Japan being the 3rd development partner for Thailand and 1st for Bangladesh, per capita income of the then Thailand and present-day Bangladesh are the major rationales for choosing Thailand as a successful case and exemplary model for Bangladesh. The aim of the paper is to answer the research questions: What are the challenges Japanese FDI is encountering in Bangladesh and what lessons can Bangladesh learn from Thailand? The following part of the paper outlines the literature review, with a detailed discussion on academic debates regarding FDI; the third part of the paper deals with the methodology of the research work while the fourth part concentrates on findings. The last section consists of concluding remarks.

2. Literature Review
2.1 Academic Debates regarding FDI
Net investment inflows into a country’s economy are referred to as FDI. It is the total of equity capital, earnings reinvested, long-term capital, and short- term capital. Participation in management, joint ventures, and similar activities are typically included (Abbas, Akbar, Nasir & Ullah, 2011). International economic integration depends heavily on FDI. It forges immediate, dependable, and enduring ties between nations’ economies. It encourages knowledge and technology transfer between nations and enables the host economy to market its goods more extensively abroad (Tülüce & Doğan, 2014).

Due to the involvement of financial, management, material, technological, as well as technical and managerial know-how, FDI is perhaps the most complicated set of economic activities. It, therefore, has a very diverse impact on host economies. The main contribution is financial, which is particularly significant for developing nations since domestic investment rates are declining and state aid has largely decreased relative to the total financial flows perceived. In addition, foreign investors are the only bidders when huge state-owned industries are being privatized because local businesses 12 Perspectives in Social Science Vol.17, July 2021 lack the financial means to support such deals (Al-Faruque, 2015). By creating spillover effects, FDI helps local businesses grow by increasing demand in upstream industries and supplying goods and services to industries downstream. FDI thereby stimulates domestic investment. Furthermore, FDI makes significant contributions to the growth of human capital, technological transfer, restructuring, international trade, and the competitiveness of the industries of the host nation. There are, however, instances in which FDI has adverse effects. Foreign affiliates occasionally forego local suppliers in favor of importation of particular commodities as they are often dissatisfied with the quality of local products (Panait & Voica, 2017).

The effects of FDI have been a debated subject among academics. The majority of academics contend that FDI has a favorable influence. It has the potential to significantly alter the economy of the host nation. It is perceived that FDI has positive correlation with GDP, exports, and private investment in the host country (Al-Faruque, 2015). It is a powerful tool for economic development, particularly for underdeveloped nations. It makes it possible for countries with low levels of capital to increase their physical capital, produce more chances for employment, increase their productive capacity, improve the management and technical capabilities of their labor forces, and help integrate their own economies with the global structure (Jayakumar, Kannan & Anbalagan, 2014). Researchers find that not all countries can benefit from FDI. In order for emerging nations to catch up to developed nations and build their economies, FDI has become increasingly significant. In addition to providing the receiving nations with foreign cash, higher revenues, and investment capital, it also offers them advanced management, expertise, and technology. A potential development element for developing countries with a development vision, FDI works in conjunction with low-cost trained labor to help multinational firms compete and survive (Heshmati, 2007).

In high-income countries, FDI has a positive and considerable impact on the product, whereas in upper-middle-income countries, the impact is unequal and insignificant. With the exception of high-income countries, FDI is not a sufficient vehicle to boost economic growth in Latin America (Alvarado, Iniguez & Ponce, 2017). Though a number of academics contend that FDI has a negative influence on the host nation, a good number opine differently. Some opine FDI currently has an average negative impact on economic growth in developing nations (Herzer, 2010). While FDI and the inflation rate have a high positive link, FDI and the trade balance have a strong negative correlation (Marimuthu, Varutharaj & Periyasamy, 2017).

However, it is assessed that, over the long term, a Granger Japanese FDI and Development Vision 13 causal relationship exists between CO2 emissions, GDP, GDP squared, and energy consumption (Seker, Ertugrul & Cetin, 2015; Zheng & Sheng (2017). Ultimately, growth matters; it has direct positive correlation in ensuring standard living, better medical care, high quality education and a prosperous social life. It has also been revealed that the pollution haven theory is true in a few Asian emerging nations when it comes to the connection between FDI and environmental degradation. To guarantee a proper balance between the environment and growth, the threshold-based estimation of the peak level of the influx FDI is necessary (To, Ha, Nyugen & Vo, 2019). The correlation between FDI and carbon emission in some SAARC countries including Bangladesh, India, Pakistan and Sri Lanka has been evident (Waqih, Bhutto, Ghumro, Kumar & Salam, 2019).

 On the other hand, some academics argue that in the long run, the relationship among CO2 emission, economic growth, FDI, and energy usage gets balanced to a positive direction (Koçak & Şarkgüneşi, 2018). It has been suggested in a study that FDI’s effects on economic development and pollution reduction ultimately aid China’s efforts to reduce industrial pollution and improve the country’s environmental circumstances (Ayamba, Haibo, Ibn Musah, Ruth & Osei-Agyemang 2019). Academics are also of the opinion that the effect of FDI on economic growth depends on the recipient country’s absorptive capacities, with elements including institutional change, trade policy, technology, and political environment (Makki & Somwaru, 2004; Rahman, 2015). Thailand, an ASEAN nation shows a very positive correlation in terms of reaching development visions utilizing Japanese FDI with a conducive environment enriched with the said features. However, FDI accelerates capital flight to the host country, makes local businesses face big challenges and thus increases competitiveness, ensures skill and technology transfer to the host country which ultimately generates skilled human resources (Shamim, Azeem & Naqvi, 2014).

2.2 Bangladesh’s Development Vision

The Bangladesh government has taken up actionable agenda to reach its development goals by formulating a Perspective Plans and different Five- Year Plans. The First Five Year Plan was developed in July 1973 to lift the economy out of poverty. In 2021, the 8th Five Year Plan (FYP) (2021-2025) was formulated with the major goal of increasing the GDP growth to 8.51% and reducing the poverty rate to 15.6% (UNB News, 2021). To compensate for the lackluster private sector investment result in the 7th FYP, the 8th FYP will devote its full effort to enhancing the investment environment for domestic and global private investment (General Economic Division, 2018). 14 Perspectives in Social Science Vol.17, July 2021 By 2031, Bangladesh aims to eradicate extreme poverty and achieve Upper Middle-Income Country (UMIC) status, and by 2041, it aims to achieve High- Income Country (HIC) status, with poverty nearly eradicated (Making Vision 2041 a Reality Perspective Plan of Bangladesh 2021-2041, 2020).

The 8th FYP is the start of the first phase. As a result, the primary goal of the 8th FYP is to begin implementing PP 2041 in such a way that Bangladesh achieves UMIC status, meets key SDG targets, and eliminates extreme poverty by FY2031 (GED, 2021/20). 2.3 Japanese FDI in Bangladesh The first direct investment from Japan into Bangladesh was made in 1977, and as the country implemented economic policies that were more accommodating to market forces in the early 1990s, the rate at which Japanese capital entered Bangladesh’s economy increased dramatically. According to the 2019 World Investment Report published by the United Nations Conference on Trade and Development (UNCTAD), the amount of FDI in Bangladesh in 2018 was $3.61 billion.

Figure 1:
Japanese FDI in Bangladesh Source:
Bangladesh Bank, 2021
Since 2014, Japanese FDI has crinkled in Bangladesh giving priority to some sectors including textile and engineering, service, shrimp hatchery, knit fabric, leather goods, automobile and its parts, electronic accessories, etc. In 2014, the inflow of FDI from Japan was $96 million. But due to the Holey Artisan Japanese FDI and Development Vision 15 terrorist attack in 2016, Japan started to view Bangladesh as a security risk that caused the lowest FDI in the following year, only $31 million in 2017. However, the zero-tolerance policy of the Bangladesh government against terrorism was able to inspire some Japanese investors in the next couple of years, resulting in $72 million of FDI in 2019. Figure 2: Number of Japanese Companies in Bangladesh Source: The Daily Star, 2020 and The Financial Express, 2021 At present, about 320 Japanese companies are operating in Bangladesh and according to JETRO, every year about 50 new Japanese companies come Bangladesh with proposals of their investment. A survey by the JETRO in 2019 found that most of the Japanese companies based in Bangladesh are keen to expand their business for the next two years.

Table 1: Share of Japanese FDI in Total Investment Inflows in Bangladesh (2000-2021)

Year Percentage of Japanese FDI in Comparison with

Total FDI Inflows in Bangladesh [CY 2020 – 2021]

2000 ------------  4.94%
2001 ------------   1.93%
2002  ------------  5.24%
2003  ------------  8.32%
2004 ------------   6.52%
2005 ------------   5.49%
2006 ------------   2.88%
2007 ------------   5.49%
2008  ------------  5.26%
2009 ------------   2.50%
2010  ------------  2.39%
2011  ------------  4.10%
2012  ------------  2.33%
2013  ------------  5.90%
2014 ------------   6.21%
2015 ------------   2.03%
2016 ------------   2.07%
2017  ------------  1.44%
2018 ------------   1.62%
2019 ------------   2.52%
2020  ------------  1.37%
2021  ------------  3.14%

Source: Authors’ calculation (Data: Bangladesh Bank, 2021)

Many Japanese multinational corporations view Bangladesh as an attractive market for business expansion and investment. Their attention is now being directed toward diversity, especially in Bangladesh and the other countries of South Asia.

Figure 3: Japanese FDI in Bangladesh: By Sector Source: Authors’ calculation (Data: Bangladesh Bank, 2021) Japanese FDI and Development Vision 17 Japan ranks 11th in terms of FDI to Bangladesh (Bangladesh Bank, 2021). Employment prospects are expanding along with the number of Japanese businesses. About 50 new Japanese businesses arrive in Bangladesh each year with investment ideas, according to JETRO, providing excellent employment opportunities for Bangladeshis as well (Morsalin & Akon, 2021). The Bangladesh government along with Japan International Cooperation Agency (JICA) is creating a Japanese Economic Zone in the Araihazar upazila in the Narayanganj District of Bangladesh (JICA). About 100,000 jobs are anticipated to be created as a result of the Japanese investments for fostering the development of Bangladesh’s. The Japanese Economic Zone is considered as the ‘Game Changer’ of Japanese FDI in Bangladesh. The tobacco division of the local Akij Group was purchased by Japan Tobacco International for $1.5 billion and Honda opened its sole manufacturing facility in Munshiganj in November 2018 (Japanese investments to foster Bangladesh’s economic development, 2022). Since achieving development visions is highly capital intensive and one target in the 8th FYP is increasing FDI to 3% of the total GDP of Bangladesh, a planned systematic inflow of Japanese FDI can alleviate the gap between target and reality.

3. Methodology As this area of study is not yet academically well-explored, it required the experience of the Interviewees to give meaning to the phenomena and help researchers understand the issues with deep insights. Moreover, a holistic and comprehensive approach was required to learn the challenges of Japanese investment in Bangladesh, reasons behind massive Japanese investment in an ASEAN country Thailand and to make recommendations. This study, thus, adopted a qualitative research method and chose an inductive research approach. The most commonly used data collection techniques in qualitative research, namely interviews and documents analysis techniques have been chosen to collect data.

The study reviewed academic publications as well as documents of JETRO, Bangladesh and Thailand. It covered interviews of officials of the Japan Embassy, JETRO representatives, government officials of Bangladesh and Thailand, Japanese investors, stakeholders of joint ventures, investment specialists and economists. A semi-structured questionnaire was used to interview the interviewees. The study adopted the purposive sampling method to interview 23 interviewees from both Bangladesh and Thailand. Most of the interviews in Bangladesh were conducted physically, while overseas interviews were conducted using online tools. This research used multiple data sources which helped ensure the validity and reliability of the research. Serious attention was given to the ethical issues to whole process of the research.

4. Findings and Discussion
4.1 Challenges of Japanese investment in Bangladesh

A number of challenges faced by Japanese investors in Bangladesh were identified from the data. The most significant findings in this regard are as follows;

4.1.1 National Image Crisis

Interviewee 4 (2021) categorically pointed out that the crisis of national image has been one of the most significant challenges for further increment of FDI in Bangladesh. The crisis due to lack of goodwill hampers inflow of FDI to the host country. On the contrary, Interviewee 3 and Interviewee 9 (2022) are of the opinion that the government is trying to offer some business packages for the Japanese investors which includes One Stop Service (OSS), Special Economic Zones (SEZ) among others. Interviewee 13 (2021) added that BIDA had been also working hard for branding Bangladesh, especially to three countries to increase FDI—Japan, China and Korea.

4.1.2 Poor Infrastructure

For enterprises in all industries, the overall standard and dependability of infrastructure is a crucial consideration. A number of Interviewees (Interviewee 1, 2022 and Interviewee 10, 2021) are of the opinion that both ICT and transport— which includes, road (Interviewee 2, 2022, and Interviewee 4, 2021), air, rail (Interviewee 7, 2021 and Interviewee 9, 2022) and waterways (Interviewee 11, 2021) are the biggest challenges. Moreover, inadequate port facility largely hinders the usual flow of import and export and thus discourages foreign investors (Interviewee 5: 2022 and Interviewee 13, 2021). In addition, port facilities in Bangladesh are miserably poor (Interviewee 7, 2021 and Interviewee 14, 2021). Interviewee 9 (2022) and Interviewee 19 (2022) are of the opinion that due to poor infrastructure the transportation time and cost is exceedingly high in Bangladesh. Some significant barriers, a JETRO survey report (2019) pointed out, include power shortage and inadequate logistic infrastructure (JETRO, 2019).

4.1.3 Crises Related to Labor and Regulations

 Interviewees to a large extent are of the opinion that there is a huge crisis of skilled human resources in Bangladesh. It poses a big challenge for Bangladesh (Interviewee 7, 2021, Interviewee 8, 2022, and Interviewee 14, 2021) to be integrated in the supply-chain of the global market. A JETRO survey (2019) also reveals the crisis of employee performance and shortage of skilled human resources, wage hikes, poor quality control procedure, increased procurement costs, frequent change of rules and regulations (JETRO, 2019).

4.1.4 Inefficient and Uncongenial Customs, VAT, Tax System

The systematic difficulties can be found from the quote of the country representative of Japan External Trade Organization (JETRO). Many of them have similar opinions in this regard;
Foreign exchange policy presents the first difficulty. When conducting business here, we have difficulties. Letters of credit (LC) settlement is restricted to certain types of trade, although the terms and restrictions are rather onerous in contrast to other nations. Banks ask businesses to provide particular documents that are not required in other nations. It should be easier to open LC. (Interviewee 16, 2021).

The major hurdles pointed out by a Japan External Trade Organization (JETRO) survey report (2019), exposed unfavorable tax system, purchase of raw materials, time consuming custom procedure, frequent change of rules and regulations (JETRO, 2019).

Interviewee 3 (2021) has mentioned that BEPZA, though, has taken initiatives to minimize the gap, i.e. it has already established a Central One Stop Service Centre in its Executive Office as well as 8 Regional One Stop Service Centre in 8 zones. Interviewee 13 (2021) has stated that BIDA is providing 17 services through their exclusive OSS. Interviewees 7 (2021), 8 (2022), and 11 (2021) are all of the opinion that there is a lack of transparency in the tax system and the tax law of Bangladesh. Moreover, Interviewees 16 (2021) and 22 (2021) have found the tax office, especially the tax officers, non-cooperative.

Interviewee 16 (2021) after an extensive study (JETRO Survey Report, 2021) came up categorically with some challenges Japanese companies are facing while expanding or making new investment in Bangladesh. These include time- consuming customs clearance, decreased orders from clients, and wage hikes.

4.1.5 Bureaucratic Indifference and Inefficiency

 The biggest allegation regarding the challenges of the FDI flow towards Bangladesh actually points to the bureaucracy of Bangladesh. Almost all interviewees opined with regret that in most of the cases they do not receive responses on time. Interviewee 1 (2022) mentioned that ‘the major problem is communication; if the investors reach someone in the bureaucracy, they don’t respond’. Sometimes, they can reach someone responsible, but ultimately that particular person also confines him/herself within the flowery ‘lip service’ leaving no concrete solution to a particular issue (Interviewees 16, 2021 and 22, 2022). However, the bureaucratic red-tapism is hoped to be addressed by the adoption of particular policies and services, i.e., OSS and time-bound response 20 Perspectives in Social Science Vol.17, July 2021 from respective authorities, added by Interviewee 13 (2021). Additionally, BEZA provides 17 types of services through OSS (Interviewee 4, 2021).

The knowledge and abilities of government employees are lacking—opined by Interviewee 7 (2021), Interviewee 17 (2021), and Interviewee 18 (2021). Companies discover that the government employee is unable to provide clear answers to their questions. The lack of institutional internal communication, for instance, between ministries, banks, and other associated institutions, was brought up by another Interviewee (Interviewee 21, 2022).

In addition, usage of Letter of Credit (LC) instead of a swift transfer system like the one in Thailand, telegraphic transfer (TT) has been adversely affecting Japanese FDI flow to Bangladesh (JETRO, 2021).

4.1.6 Corruption as an Epidemic

A significant number of Interviewees mentioned that the processes involved in opening businesses in Bangladesh is highly plagued with corruption (Interviewees 13, 2021 and Interviewee 23, 2021). It is so pervasive that hardly anything can be done without ‘speed money’. There are companies who have strict prohibition of involvement with any such activities. But the scenario in Bangladesh is so—either you provide speed money or your file goes to the cold storage. Both bureaucratic and political corruption came up in the interviews. However, bureaucratic corruption tops the list of challenges, Japanese investors have found, while starting or doing business in Bangladesh. A JETRO survey also revealed bureaucratic corruption as one of the main barriers to Japanese FDI in Bangladesh (JETRO, 2020).

4.2 Thailand’s Competitiveness Thailand has been offering quite a congenial atmosphere for the Japanese investors for a long time. For instance, telegraphic transfer (TT) is the norm for import-related transactions there. Due to foreign exchange regulations, trade transactions in Bangladesh are typically restricted to the settlement of letters of credit (LC). In comparison to other comparable nations, the rules and conditions to open LCs are relatively complex. Lifting the TT ban will encourage more Japanese investment. Large FDI can be attracted with a consistent tax policy, transparent tax administration, and offering the correct incentives to manufacturers.

Geographically, Thailand has more proximity to Japan, compared to Bangladesh. But when it comes to countering Beijing, Bangladesh becomes an x-factor in South Asia in the reality of the Japan-India-China triangular relationship. Interviewee 2 (2022) is of the opinion that geographical Japanese FDI and Development Vision 21 proximity has pushed Thailand well ahead of Bangladesh while considering FDI from Japan. Interviewee 13 (2021) in this case speaks, ‘There is no direct flight from Japan to Bangladesh. So, the first flight they land on while coming to Bangladesh is Bangkok which makes Thailand more comfortable than Bangladesh to expand business— and bringing FDI from Japan’.

Moreover, the opening up of Thailand after it joined the Regional Comprehensive Economic Partnership (RCEP) has pushed it way ahead in the global supply-chain management system (Interviewee 21, 2022 and Interviewee 22, 2022). In terms of the indicators for expanding business by the Japanese investor, Interviewee 9 (2022) has some sturdy comments regarding the high competitiveness of Thailand even while comparing it with Europe or any other region. Interviewee 9 (2022) has stated that market size potentials, accumulation of business partners, political social stability, well-designed legislation, tax procedure, tax incentive, low language barrier, and living conditions for expats are all very high in Thailand. However, Interviewee 3 (2021), Interviewee 4 (2021), Interviewee 10 (2021) and Interviewee 13 (2021) are of the strong opinion that abundance of workers, competitive labor cost, less production cost, low utility cost, minimum rent for plots and factory building, readily available plots and Standard Factory Building, different fiscal and non-fiscal incentives etc. are the major competitive benefits that are offered by Bangladesh for potential investors from Japan and other countries.

4.2.1 Initiatives taken by Thailand to attract Japanese FDI

Interviewee 9 (2022) is of the opinion that the Eastern Economic Corridor (EEC), with its extensive infrastructure, established supply chains, investment privileges and incentives, and access to a trained and reasonably priced labor population, is also a significant competitive advantage for investors in Thailand. In order to increase chances to draw foreign investment, the EEC Policy Committee is also updating its target industries and tactics. So, Thailand has long been quite successful at luring foreign direct investment (FDI). Since 2000, inbound FDI has been a significant contributor to economic expansion. By 2017, FDI stocks as a percentage of GDP climbed to 50%, which is much greater than the ASEAN average (excluding Singapore). Thailand comes in third place in terms of FDI in ASEAN, just behind Indonesia. Thailand’s FDI share in ASEAN climbed from 9% to 11% over the previous ten years whereas Bangladesh’s share of GDP from FDI is yet 1%, Interviewee 12 (2022) sighs. The majority of inbound FDI stocks originate from Japan, the United States, and Singapore, while other nations’ FDI inflows, like those from China, have grown in significance.

 Social life in Thailand has been a big incentive for the Japanese investor in Thailand. Hardly do they find any restriction in Thailand while maintaining their Japanese lifestyle there. Availability of Japanese restaurants all in Thailand and the cultural proximity also ease the Japanese FDI flow towards Thailand.

The Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) are being implemented in Thailand to a large extent by FDI. While the importance of the direct contribution of foreign firms to the Thai economy is confirmed by these performance premiers for foreign firms, they may also highlight ongoing weaknesses in the appropriate skills of domestic firms, which are a necessary condition for favorable FDI spillovers (Ministry of Commerce of Thailand, 2022).

On September 6, 2019, Thailand’s economic ministers approved a set of policies known as “Thailand Plus” that aimed to increase foreign investment, particularly to hasten investments from businesses looking to relocate due to the continuing trade war. In this connection, Interviewees 9 (2022) and 16 (2021) stated that Thailand releases a fresh promotion plan to entice investment. The new package includes extensive measures that will increase Thailand’s appeal as a location for investment, such as investment acceleration incentives, fiscal measures supporting STEM (Science, Technology, Engineering, and Mathematics) manpower development, deregulation, and enhanced pre- and post-investment services. Interviewee 9 (2021) has categorically mentioned that Thailand’s government has been working closely with the Japanese investors for establishing more vocational institutions to minimize the gap of required skilled labor force in robotics and hi-tech industries (OECD-UNIDO, 2019).

4.3 Lessons for Bangladesh

 With consideration of the initiatives taken by Thailand as well as the socio- economic reality of Bangladesh among many, the following lessons can be learned from Thailand to attract more FDI from Japan:

 The corporate tax rate in Bangladesh should be brought down to 20% from the current 30% on all the sectors excluding tobacco products; in Thailand it is only 20%.

 Automation in NBR (taxation system) for tax filing and other formalities and simplification of those procedures by making them online based will have a positive impact on the business in general.

 Avoid frequent change of rules and regulations; and encourage discussion with investors before introduction of policies and rules.

 Enhancement of the capacity of ports and reduction of clearance time in import and export goods are pivotal for connectivity with the global supply chain. Japanese FDI and Development Vision 23

 Export products should be diversified. Bangladesh needs to give importance to production of value-adding and high-tech products like Semiconductor, Robotics, Auto-mobiles, high-tech medical equipment keeping special focus on our preparedness for the changes to be brought by 4th IR.

 Efficiency of One-stop Services (OSS) by the BIDA needs to be increased.

 Bangladesh should consider signing Free Trade Agreements (FTAs) to avoid complicities after the LDC graduation.

 The Regional Comprehensive Economic Partnership (RCEP) should be joined provided the country is ready to compete and the local market is also prepared.

 Usage of faster system like telegraphic transfer (TT) instead of Letter of Credit (LC) for the transection of capital.

 Ensuring skilled labor with vocational training along with due Japanese language skill.

 Ensuring social life, like Thailand has been doing for its Japanese investors to ensure the regular lifestyle like Japan, can be instrumental.

5. Conclusion

With the discussion above, it is apparent that Bangladesh must move forward faster to respond to global demands and act swiftly with caution to place itself in the global supply chain and ensure the long-esteemed achievement of growth. Thailand had different realities and advantages which may be different to Bangladesh but Bangladesh has its own potential to be a business hub in South Asia and ultimately a significant stakeholder in the global market.

The target of becoming a Middle-Income country has almost been achieved and the vision to become a developed country does not seem far if Bangladesh can make the best use of its opportunity to attract FDI and respond to the demand of the global supply chain. In this connection, establishment of Economic Zones, like the one at Araihazar of Narayanganj can play a crucial role to ensure all factors that include infrastructure, uninterrupted power supply, skilled human resources, convenient social life and last but not the least congenial regulations for FDI. Thailand’s experience in this regard is very significant in terms of Japanese FDI. Had not Bangladesh overcome the existing challenges, it might have lost the opportunity to reach development visions set forth. In relation to Japanese FDI, previous research has suggested that if the existing bottlenecks are not addressed, Bangladesh will lose the opportunity and in the course of time Japanese FDI will move elsewhere in the region (Mamun, 2018).

The authors express their gratitude to the University of Dhaka for providing the research grant under the Centennial Research Grant of the University.

Shiblee Noman
Md. Saifullah Akon


ভার্চ্যুয়াল সহকারীর মতো ব্যবহার করা যাবে চ্যাটজিপিটি

যুক্তরাষ্ট্রের প্রযুক্তি প্রতিষ্ঠান ওপেনএআইয়ের তৈরি কৃত্রিম বুদ্ধিমত্তাচালিত (এআই) চ্যাটবট ‘চ্যাটজিপিটি’ যেকোনো প্রশ্নের উত্তর দ্রুত ও নির্ভুলভাবে লিখে জানাতে পারে। ব্যবহারকারীর নির্দেশমতো নিজ থেকে বার্তা, নিবন্ধ বা কবিতাও লিখে থাকে চ্যাটবটটি। ভবিষ্যতে লিখিত বার্তার পাশাপাশি প্রশ্ন শুনে মানুষের কণ্ঠে উত্তর দেবে চ্যাটজিপিটি। এর ফলে ভার্চ্যুয়াল সহকারীর মতো চ্যাটজিপিটির কাছ থেকে প্রশ্নের উত্তর জানার পাশাপাশি বিভিন্ন বিষয়ে আলোচনা করা যাবে।

এক ব্লগ বার্তায় ওপেনএআই জানিয়েছে, টেক্সট টু স্পিচ মডেল যুক্ত করা হয়েছে চ্যাটজিপিটিতে। নতুন এ সুবিধা চালু হলে ব্যবহারকারীর মুখের কথা শনাক্তের পাশাপাশি মানুষের কণ্ঠে প্রশ্নের উত্তর দেবে চ্যাটজিপিটি। চ্যাটবটে মানুষের কণ্ঠস্বর ব্যবহারের জন্য এরই মধ্যে পেশাদার কণ্ঠশিল্পীদের সঙ্গে কাজও শুরু করেছে ওপেনএআই। প্রাথমিকভাবে চ্যাটজিপিটিতে পাঁচ ধরনের কণ্ঠস্বর নির্বাচনের সুযোগ পাওয়া যাবে। মুখের কথা অনুযায়ী কাজ করার পাশাপাশি ছবির বিষয়বস্তুও শনাক্ত করতে পারবে চ্যাটজিপিটি। এর ফলে ছবিতে থাকা তথ্য দ্রুত পর্যালোচনা করে বিভিন্ন কাজ করতে পারবে চ্যাটবটটি।

ওপেনএআইয়ের তথ্যমতে, মুখের কথায় চ্যাটজিপিটিকে প্রশ্ন করার পাশাপাশি বিভিন্ন বিষয় নিয়ে আলোচনাও করা যাবে। এর ফলে প্রয়োজনীয় তথ্য জানা ছাড়াও চ্যাটজিপিটির সঙ্গে চাইলে গল্পও করা যাবে। অর্থাৎ ঘুমানোর আগে গল্প শোনাতে বললে পছন্দের গল্পগুলো শব্দ করে পড়ে শোনাবে চ্যাটজিপিটি।

নতুন এ সুবিধা প্রাথমিকভাবে চ্যাটজিপিটি প্লাস এবং এন্টারপ্রাইজ ব্যবহারকারীদের জন্য উন্মুক্ত করা হবে। এর ফলে শুধু অর্থের বিনিময়ে চ্যাটজিপিটি ব্যবহারকারীরা এ সুবিধা পরখ করতে পারবেন। উল্লেখ্য, চ্যাটজিপিটি প্লাস ব্যবহারের জন্য প্রতি মাসে ২০ ডলার খরচ করতে হয়।


স্মার্টফোনে অনাকাঙ্ক্ষিত বিজ্ঞাপন ব্লক করবেন যেভাবে

বিভিন্ন ওয়েবসাইটে প্রবেশ করলেই নানা ধরনের বিজ্ঞাপন দেখা যায়। এসব বিজ্ঞাপনের কারণে মাঝেমধ্যে বিব্রতকর সমস্যার মুখোমুখি হন অনেকে। শুধু তা–ই নয়, ভিডিও–নির্ভর বিজ্ঞাপন স্বয়ংক্রিয়ভাবে চালু হওয়ার ফলে ইন্টারনেট ডেটা বেশি খরচ হয়, স্মার্টফোনের চার্জও দ্রুত কমে যায়। তবে চাইলেই ক্রোম ব্রাউজারের পপআপ এবং অ্যাড ব্লকার সুবিধা ব্যবহার করে স্মার্টফোনে অনাকাঙ্ক্ষিত বিজ্ঞাপনগুলো ব্লক করা সম্ভব।

অনাকাঙ্ক্ষিত বিজ্ঞাপন ব্লক করার জন্য প্রথমে ফোনে ক্রোম ব্রাউজার চালু করে ওপরের ডান দিকে থাকা তিনটি ডট মেনুতে ট্যাপ করতে হবে। এরপর সেটিংস অপশন নির্বাচনের পর নিচে স্ক্রল করে সাইট সেটিংসে ক্লিক করতে হবে। এবার কনটেন্ট অপশনের নিচে থাকা ‘পপআপস অ্যান্ড রিডাইরেক্টস’ টগল চালু করতে হবে। এরপর আবার সাইট সেটিংস অপশনে প্রবেশ করে ‘ইনট্রুসিভ অ্যাডস’ টগল চালু করলেই বিভিন্ন ওয়েবসাইটে থাকা অনাকাঙ্ক্ষিত বিজ্ঞাপনগুলো ব্লক হয়ে যাবে।

ক্রোম ব্রাউজারে চাইলে বিভিন্ন ওয়েবসাইটের নোটিফিকেশন পাঠানোও ব্লক করা যায়। এ জন্য প্রথমে ক্রোম ব্রাউজারের আইকন কিছুক্ষণ চেপে নোটিফিকেশনস অপশন চালু করতে হবে। অল সাইটস নোটিফিকেশনস অপশনের নিচে নোটিফিকেশন পাঠানো বিভিন্ন ওয়েবসাইটের নাম দেখা যাবে। এবার অনাকাঙ্ক্ষিত ওয়েবসাইটের নামের পাশে থাকা টগলটি চালু করলেই ওয়েবসাইটটি থেকে অনাকাঙ্ক্ষিত নোটিফিকেশন আসা বন্ধ হয়ে যাবে।


New Scaleup Report Released at GEC 2023 Reveals DNA Of Successful Startups,  Melbourne, Australia — September 20, 2023 —

The Scaleup Report by Startup Genome and the Global Entrepreneurship Network launched today at the Global Entrepreneurship Congress in Melbourne, presented by JF Gauthier, Founder and CEO of Startup Genome. The Report provides insights into the characteristics that separate startups that successfully scaled from those that failed and highlights actionable insights for entrepreneurs, enterprise support organizations, and policymakers seeking to increase the proportion of startups scaling to $50 million+ valuation.

Powered by the most comprehensive dataset on startup ecosystems, it draws from a decade of longitudinal scaleup research examining hundreds of objective metrics available on tens of thousands of startups that have taken Startup Genome’s founder survey. Contributions from
expert thought leaders including the Global Entrepreneurship Network and Dealroom further enrich the report’s extensive, evidence-based findings, which are the product of over a decade of Startup Genome’s independent research, assessment and policy strategy work.

The Scaleup Report key findings:

Founders looking to improve their chances of scaling should ensure that they offer stock options for all employees, have more than five global connections to top ecosystems, and have at least three advisors for their startup.
Startups with a Local Connectedness Index score of 6 or above achieve a scaleup of 5.1% compared to 3.8% for those with a score of 2 to 4, a 34% boost. (The Local Connectedness Index measures the size, density, and quality of a startup’s local network).Early-stage startups with a higher Local Connectedness Index see their revenue grow twice as fast as those with the lower Local Connectedness Index.

Scaleup success rate clearly increases with Global Connectedness, and startups that develop a high level of Global Connectedness have a 3.25x higher chance of scaling than those with a low level. Ecosystems that are more connected to top global ecosystems (such as Silicon Valley, New York City, and London) see their startups go global at a much higher rate on average (66% correlations between those very distinct variables).
The U.S., China, and the U.K. are the top countries by number of total scaleups, with 7.1K based in the U.S.— 4.8x more scaleups than in China and 11.5x more than in the U.K. India, Canada, Germany, Israel, France, South Korea, and Singapore (in order), round out the top 10 countries globally for number of scaleups.

Top countries for VC investment into scaleups are the U.S., China, India, the U.K., and Germany. North America makes up 55% of all global VC investment raised in scaleups, with the U.S. alone contributing 53%. Since 2020, the U.S. has received more VC investment than the rest of the world combined.
Early-stage startups that go global (more than 50% of foreign customers) are on a revenue growth curve that is 2x faster than those that do not (less than 50% of foreign customers).

For non-U.S. startups that target the global market first, the scaleup rate doubles.
B2B and mixed startups (those focused on both B2B and B2C) that target the global market first have higher scaleup rates than B2C startups.. B2B startups that target the global market from day one of operations have higher scaleup rates (6.8%) than B2B scaleups that do not target global markets from the onset (2.8%).
Out of all current scaleups, a third of all scaleups were founded by serial founders, and founders who have previous hypergrowth experience have an 85% higher scaleup rate compared to founders without this experience.

Founders’ motivation to get rich is the strongest corollary to scaleup success, followed by a desire to change the world and a drive to make a great product.
Founders who could rely on friends for funds were more likely to produce a scaleup than those with their own or family resources.
Scaleup success is most common among founders in the 26–40 age bracket, in terms of scaleup rate and absolute number of scaleups.
“The quintessential billion-dollar question has always been what characteristics, behaviors, and decisions of early-stage startups significantly increase your chance of success at scaling.” shares JF Gauthier, Founder & CEO of Startup Genome.

“Startup Genome's groundbreaking Scaleup Report, a culmination of 11 years of primary research with close to 100,000 startup founders globally, provides unparalleled data-driven answers to this critical question.”

“The Global Entrepreneurship Network is proud to partner with Startup Genome on groundbreaking new research in The Scaleup Report to equip policymakers, investors, and support organizations with a timely, independently-verifiable way of identifying scaleups,” comments Jonathan Ortmans, Founder and President of the Global Entrepreneurship Network.

“The report goes a long way towards identifying the critical success factors that set apart successful scaleups.”

"The data shows definitively that startups can scale anywhere in the world,” says Yoram Wijngaarde, Founder & CEO of Dealroom. “In the last two years alone, 75 countries have produced a company that passed $50 million in funding. Entrepreneurship and venture investing is an international business, and the pace of distribution is accelerating. Scaleup success breeds success. A single local trailblazing scaleup can provide the talent, capital, path, and belief to make startup ecosystem development snowball. The next chapter of innovation is global."


Here are top 10 Singapore start-ups to work for, according to LinkedIn —

Venture funding has taken a hit since 2022, as investors pull back on capital amid economic headwinds.

According to a report from research firm Tracxn, total funding into Southeast Asian startups fell by 71% to $2.3 billion in the first half of 2023 — compared to the same period one year ago.

Singapore startups attracted at least half of the funding and was the most-funded Southeast Asian city in the region, said the report.

LinkedIn added that the startups that made the list “have trailblazed their way through recent economic and workplace challenges — and managed to stand out to investors and top talent along the way.”

2023 may be a 'decent' year for Singapore venture capital: Government-owned tech organization
2023 will probably be a ‘decent’ year for Singapore venture capital: SGInnovate
Much like 2022, fintech start-ups made up more than half of the companies on the “LinkedIn Top Start-ups 2023″ list for Singapore.

“This reflects the current needs of Singaporean consumers, who are keen to manage their finances and manage their wealth,” Adrian Tay, the senior editor in Asia for LinkedIn News told CNBC last year.

In compiling the list, LinkedIn drew on in-house data, measuring start-ups based on four aspects — employment growth, jobseeker interest, engagement, and ability to attract talent from LinkedIn’s top companies.

To be eligible, companies had to be headquartered in Singapore, have 50 or more employees. LinkedIn said it also lowered its age criteria from seven years or younger, to five years and below to “feature more companies in their earlier, venture stages of growth.”

Here’s the full list of Singapore’s Top Start-ups 2022.

10. Thunes — Financial services

9. Syfe — Financial services

8. ADDX — Financial services

7. Endowus — Financial services

6. Sleek — Accounting

5. Advance Intelligence Group

Industry: Software development

Full-time headcount: >1400

Most common skills: Business management, digital literacy, project management

Founded in 2016, Advance Intelligence Group is an AI tech startup with a portfolio of products, including buy-now-pay-later platform Atome, e-commerce intelligence platform Ginee, and risk-management platform ADVANCE.AI. According to the company, it has more than 30 million users across its products.

How BNPL firm Atome plans to use its $500 million investment from Standard Chartered
How Singapore-based BNPL firm Atome plans to use its $500m StanChart investment

4. GetGo Carsharing

Industry: Software development

Full-time headcount: 167

Most common skills: Digital literacy, data science, project management

New to the list is GetGo Carsharing, a car-sharing service that operates on a pay-per-use model. The company aims to alleviate expenses associated with car ownership, and claims to have accumulated more than 1.8 million bookings thus far.

3. Doctor Anywhere

Industry: Health care

Full-time headcount: >580

Most common skills: Digital literacy, business management, leadership

Doctor Anywhere is a telehealth provider that aims to make health care more accessible. Its mobile app allows patients to consult a doctor quickly from wherever they are. Doctor Anywhere’s services are currently available in 6 countries across Southeast Asia.

Singapore's Doctor Anywhere acquires Thailand-based telemedicine platform Doctor Raksa
Singapore’s Doctor Anywhere acquires Thailand-based telemedicine platform Doctor Raksa

2. YouTrip

Industry: Financial services

Full-time headcount: 140

Most common skills: Digital literacy, development tools, project management

YouTrip, another debutant this year, is a fintech startup that aims to reduce foreign transaction and cross-border fees with its multi-currency mobile wallet. Its platform offers users over 150 currencies, enabling convenient currency exchange while on the move.

1. Aspire

Industry: Financial services

Full-time headcount: 437

Most common skills: Digital literacy, business management, leadership, communication

Aspire retains its top spot as the most attractive start-up in Singapore. Founded in 2018, the company offers a range of financial tools for small businesses, including invoicing and money transfers, through an all-in-one platform catered toward entrepreneurs in Southeast Asia. In June, Aspire said it had achieved profitability — three months after closing its $100 million series C funding round.


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