Jabian Business Network (JBN), a platform of businesses of former and current students of Jahangirnagar University, has emerged as an attractive guide for hundreds of entrepreneurs since its inception in November 2017.
Murtaza Khan Lodi, one of the founders of the platform, said that they operate the platform through social media groups and pages with the involvement of more than 16,200 members. Lodi informed that so far 1,500 members of the platform have become entrepreneurs and 50 per cent of them are females.
He said they introduced it initially as a business community platform for former and current students of Jahangirnagar University to provide solutions to business problems, discuss new opportunities, enhance modern skills, and bring mutual understanding between the business communities.
“But, it has been able to attract entrepreneurs from across the country,” said Mr Lodi, who is also the owner of ‘Lodi Green Offerings’ and restaurant ‘Noyabari 16/2’.
“Safe food and grocery items, authentic beauty products, readymade garments, shopping bags, seasonal fruits, electronic goods, etc have been shipped in 25 to 30 countries including the USA, UK, EU, Russia, and Japan by using the platform,” he said.
He said reputed brands and online shops like parmeeda.com, Ambor, Shokher Dibba, Poter BiBi are closely connected with this network.
According to insiders, many investors with their tiny to medium scale funds have become successful entrepreneurs in the last five years through the non-profit social platform JBN, especially in 2020 and 2021 amid the coronavirus pandemic.
‘Leenas Achar’, an online pickle shop, has been able to raise its transaction by five times in business growth in the last few years.
Luthfun Nahar Leena, a member of the platform, started selling homemade pickles regularly through her online shop, ‘Leenas Achar’ in 2016.
She witnessed the rapid development of her business after joining Jabian.
“I started in 2016 with a tiny investment in a room alone and now I have five staff,” said Leena.
She said JBN created a large client base for her pickles business and she has turned into an entrepreneur as well as a trainer for homemade pickles.
She said her monthly turnover is now nearly 0.15 million which might grow further in the coming days.
Sagor Hasnath, owner of three reputed businesses--- ‘Ahlan’, ‘Bagging’, and ‘Zosh Gear’ have been able to raise his annual transaction to nearly Tk 5.0 million during this pandemic by engaging with JBN.
Mehedi Hasan Rony, owner of the online shop ‘Supermart,’ said the platform is a desired guide and support for business networking,
Rony’s shop has shelves of safe food items, chemical-free fruits, and clothes.
“Supermart’s sale crossed the six-figure which is a huge business success for a running student like me,” he said.
Fatema Shammi, owner of Cake Domain, an online bakery shop decided to cash in her expertise in baking pastries, cakes, and cookies.
“I first started to explore it in my own university and now I have a customer base in Dhaka and elsewhere in the country,” she said.
Suriya Ferdous, another volunteer of JBN, said they want to launch an online marketplace for the JBN community and start a weekly bazaar in their university compound to showcase products free of cost.
“JBN is the first university-centred business network in Bangladesh that is built on the trust among the investor and consumer students, remaining stick on the motto- 'build business better',” she added.