Content Tagged with Entrepreneurs
Ismaili entrepreneurs and investors from nine countries gathered in California’s Silicon Valley last month to pitch ideas, share knowledge and to network with one another as part of IPN LaunchPad. The event was a chance for budding companies to access new sources of capital and connect with mentors and experts.
At a recent event held at the Ismaili Jamatkhana and Centre in Dhaka, non-resident Bangladeshis and other entrepreneurs were invited to join in their country’s development by investing in public-private partnerships. The event took place ahead of an international conference to be held at the United Nations Headquarters in New York.
When three Ismaili entrepreneurs saw the potential for their business model to improve education and address poverty in Kenya, they partnered with a Nairobi primary school and a local charity to test the idea. Student attendance, grades and enrollment at the school have since soared.
A weekend-long Opportunity Africa conference held at the Ismaili Centre, London hinted at what is already spreading across the continent. With a growing middle class, an impending housing market boom, an infrastructure deficit waiting to be filled, and a common East African financial market on the horizon, Africa is a focal point for new expansion and entrepreneurship.
The Jamat in Dubai includes a disproportionate number of bachelors and young families, who, with all the pressures of work and modern life, find it difficult to prepare traditional home cooked meals. Meanwhile, many older women in the Jamat possess exceptional cooking skills and an enterprising spirit. The opportunity to come together was obvious, and led to the creation of a Golden Alliance.
The notion that enterprise should be conscious of its impact on society rather than focusing exclusively on the pursuit of profit, has long been part of the Muslim ethic. It is also an increasingly visible trend in business that is finding new vitality in the era of social media.
Decades ago, Bangladesh was home to a thriving Jamat. Ismailis were active in key industries including jute, textiles, steel, aluminum, leather, construction, and food processing, as well as trading, banking, insurance and hotels. Today, the country is re-emerging as an area of economic interest to both the Jamat and the wider international community.