Founded in 2021, Bloomberg New Economy established the Catalyst program to find people whose innovations, efforts and objectives genuinely aim to change the world for the better.
Bloomberg’s editorial team selects the catalysts from founders, activists, entrepreneurs, policymakers, scientists, visionaries, and even elected representatives whose work across business, philanthropy and government – especially in emerging markets- demands recognition.
Each year, Catalysts are recognised for their work in 5 breakthrough areas that represent Bloomberg New Economy’s take on the most talked about topics, emerging trends, and breakthrough innovations on the global agenda.
The third annual Bloomberg New Economy Catalysts cohort has 20 leaders that hail from 12 different countries and territories, accelerating key breakthroughs across Africa, Asia-Pacific, and the Americas.
Shahir Chowdhury, the first and only Bangladeshi on the list, was chosen as part of the 2023 Class of Catalysts for his work as the Founder and CEO of Shikho, a leading education technology company dedicated to democratising high-quality education in Bangladesh.
Shahir grew up in Dhaka before going to the UK for his undergraduate studies. He subsequently became a certified Chartered Financial Analyst. He spent eleven years working in UK financial services in London, first at Barclays and then at HSBC, where his last role was as a Director at their UK Private Bank.
“I am incredibly proud that the hard work and dedication of our team is being recognised internationally. Personally, I am grateful to have the opportunity to build for Bangladesh and represent the new Bangladeshi economy to a global audience. Bangladesh remains one of the last digital frontiers and we believe Shikho will continue to play a defining role in its future,” said Shahir Chowdhury.
The Bloomberg Catalyst program is one of the most expertly curated and impactful communities for founders and executives, with members from every stage of their journey – from promising start-ups to unicorns, as well as policymakers and thought leaders driving the global conversation. It provides a platform to scale and accelerate Catalyst’s ideas by providing networking opportunities.
Most notably, the 2023 Catalyst class will join Bloomberg’s annual New Economy Forum convening in Singapore in November.
In its sixth year, the Forum brings together the world’s most influential leaders. This year, delegates include Michael Bloomberg, the Founder of Bloomberg; Henry Kissinger, the former US Secretary of State; Hsien Loong Lee, the Prime Minister of Singapore, Nandan Nilekani, Chairman and Co-Founder of Infosys; amongst many others.