Bangladesh Sustainability Excellence Award Finalists 2023: How Grammenphone is inspiring startup entrepreneurs
Empowering people is what Grameenphone believes in and has been working to do that for the last two decades. Therefore, back in 2015, Grameenphone Accelerator has started working closely with the startups, developers and innovators with the resources they need to build, grow and exceed possibilities! As a result, Sheba xyz, CMED Health, Dhakacast, Cramstack, Doctorkoi, Airwork, iPage, Onnow, Barikoi and many impactful startups came through the GP Accelerator platform. The project is launched to bridge between academia and industry by reducing the skill gaps prevailing in the market. Free learning contents and promoting diversity are the core of this program

GP Accelerator is a structured approach to help early-stage tech startups through a curriculum-based 4.5 months long program that provides grant funding, expert mentors, top-notch training, curated access to GP assets, investor access and more. GP Accelerator, stepping into year three, has now been a credible platform and a source of inspiration for many as we have performed well against our ‘true intents’ of empowering the startups. The alumni of the program have been able to quadruple the value of their companies in just six months with two of the portfolio companies already crossing the USD 5 million valuation mark.

Grameenphone academy is primarily an online learning platform open to all and completely free of cost. Anyone from anywhere can enroll any of the course but the program is mainly designed for the youth. The academy offers online courses on Career Readiness, Freelancing, 4IR skills and Entrepreneurship. 45 Mn youth population yet there is a lack of skilled workforce. To reduce this skill gap in the market, the learning platform, Grameenphone Academy, has been launched to bridge between academia and industry with the courses relevant to get future ready.

‘Career Launchpad’ is a custom-made course where industry titans like Country Head of Unilever, BAT, Oracle & IPDC; CHRO of GP and BAT; BASIS president, Communication Experts of GP and IBA faculty shared their experience and knowledge to develop the course.

‘Entrepreneurial Mindset’ is an 8.5-hour course for startups developed by 11 Cofounders and mentors.

4IR courses are launched in partnership with Cisco Network Academy. Digital skill courses and freelancing are procured from native EdTech companies. So, the project is not only upskilling the students but also supporting the local EdTech to grow.

Apart from online courses, 22 onsite sessions are conducted engaging around 10,000 students. Tech Expert, Corporate Leaders, Policy Makers and scientist take classes and shared their experience to the graduating students. Campus townhalls were conducted in 14 universities and students from different universities visited GPhouse to join physical session and earn corporate exposure. Female focused workshop and sessions are conducted to promote female upskilling, especially focusing 4IR competencies. This leads to the enrollment Vs certification ratio of female students to 59%.

For engagement purpose, quizzes and competitions are conducted in this platform. Last year, there was quiz contest on Cybersecurity, IoT and Python. 24 laptops, 23 mobiles and 23 tabs were distributed to the winners of the contest.

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