Entrepreneurs Exchange Program (from Bangladesh, India, Myanmar) [Completed]
Center for Entrepreneurship Development (CED) of BRAC University, partnering with the Gaylord College of Journalism and Mass Communication at the University of Oklahoma, U.S. Department of State, is going to host a 5-week entrepreneurs exchange program in the United States that includes a professional fellowship placement at an American small business organization. The program with the theme titled “Economic Empowerment” has already held in May 2015, another is scheduled for October 2015.
Through the program to be organized in Bangladesh by CED, funded by the U.S. State Department Bureau of Educational and Cultural Affairs & Professional Fellows program, will inject Bangladeshi mid-level emerging leaders in small or start-up business ventures, business administration, government, NGOs, business education, incubation hubs, community training programs or social entrepreneurship into working small businesses in Oklahoma and associate them with one of America’s leading universities.
The program aims to provide professional experience and training that will nurture participants’ talent and prepare them for more responsible leadership positions in their businesses, communities and society in general as they return to Bangladesh. In addition, the program will provide U.S.-based small business stakeholders an opportunity to collaborate with their Bangladeshi counterparts as they participate in a two-week outbound exchange to the respective countries in June 2015 and January 2016.
The participants of the program from Bangladesh, India, and Myanmar will be placed in professional fellowship placements with Oklahoman small businesses. The first round of placements will be in May/June 2015 and participants will spend 4 weeks with these businesses. The first week of the program will be spent at both the professional placements and on the University of Oklahoma campus where participants will participate in lectures, discussions and practical sessions focused on the role of entrepreneurship, economic empowerment and small business in society, the importance of budgeting, business plans, strategic communication, leadership and management principles, social media developments, the business/government interface and business ethics.
The final week of the program will be spent in Washington, D.C. where participants will visit their respective embassies and tour some of the cultural activities the city has to offer. Participants will also, before leaving for their home countries, participate in a three-day professional fellows conference with participants in professional exchanges programs from around the world.
Through this program, participants did specifically:
– Be exposed to the day-to-day workings of the U.S. business workplace through quality professional experiences of four weeks;
– Gain exposure to a variety of American business organizations and networks in Oklahoma and Washington, D.C.;
– Get a conceptual and practical background for integrating themselves into the American business environment through conceptual lectures, discussions and exercises to expose them to concepts related to budgeting, business plans, strategic communication, leadership and management principles, social media developments, the business/government interface, intellectual property, contracts and business ethics;
– Enhance their leadership skills to facilitate positive change in their workplaces and communities as they develop personally and professionally;
– Participate in weekly face-to-face feedback sessions with University of Oklahoma faculty to reflect on their professional experiences for that week;
– Be exposed to a variety of business networks in Oklahoma designed to support start-up companies and to governmental/media institutions that can influence business;
– Be exposed to rich cultural experiences that represent Oklahoma’s unique environment especially the Native American experience, and exposure to American family life in a variety of settings;
– Become acquainted with the Bangladeshi-American communities in the Oklahoma City metro area;
– Be exposed to networking opportunities with U.S. placement hosts and partner organizations in an ongoing discussion and exchange of ideas, support and resources;
– Get connected to a network of alumni from previous professional exchanges programs, professional placement providers and university faculty to facilitate ongoing discussion and exchange through social networking; and
– Had the opportunity to reconnect with Oklahoma stakeholders who will make reciprocal visits to Bangladesh.