“The State of the Ecosystem for Youth Entrepreneurship in Bangladesh” to create an enabling environment for young entrepreneurs

Youth Co: Lab, an initiative co-led by the United Nations Development Program (UNDP) and the Citi Foundation, the Islamic Development Bank (IDB) and Startup Bangladesh Limited jointly launched a report titled “The State of the ecosystem for youth entrepreneurship in Bangladesh ”at a virtual event on 23 November.

Zunaid Ahmed Palak, MP and Minister of State, ICT Division, attended the event as guest of honor, alongside special guests, Sudipto Mukerjee, Resident Representative, UNDP Bangladesh, Muhammad Nassis Sulaiman, Regional Director, Islamic Development Bank Group Regional Hub Dhaka, Shekar Rajashekaran, Managing Director and Managing Director of Citi in Bangladesh, Head of the Bangladesh and Sri Lanka Sub-Group, and Hasan A. Arif, Head of Portfolio Investments , Startup Bangladesh Limited.

Zunaid Ahmed Palak, in his remarks, said: “It is important to encourage students, teachers as well as parents to adopt an entrepreneurial mindset. I want to urge UNDP to plan and launch a parent portal that raises awareness about cybersecurity, entrepreneurship in parents.

“To foster a culture of entrepreneurship, we have made the youth entrepreneurship agenda one of the main priorities of our policies and their implementation. Government’s vision Digital Bangladesh has prepared, through ICT-based learning, future generations of Bangladeshis for the 4th Revolution. The government is committed to facilitating the growth of business, trade and investment to achieve the goal of becoming a developed economy by 2041, ”added Palak.

He also announced the Prime Minister’s approval of the long-awaited digital connectivity project, which “aims to accelerate the skills development and growth of aspiring entrepreneurs and digital service providers.”

Sudipto Mukerjee recognized the need for development partners to invest in good data and urged all stakeholders to rethink education in a way that promotes entrepreneurship among young people. He remarked, “If you can get entrepreneurs to come up with innovative solutions for Bangladesh, what works for 170 million people will probably work for five billion people around the world.

Sudipto added: “It is important to encourage students, teachers as well as parents to adopt an entrepreneurial mindset. I would like to urge UNDP to plan and launch a parent portal that educates parents about cybersecurity, IT and entrepreneurship.

Muhammad Nassis Sulaiman said: “Since 1974, when Bangladesh joined the Islamic Development Bank Group, interventions worth around US $ 21 billion have been implemented in Bangladesh. Since the advent of COVID-19, the Islamic Development Bank Group has supported various in Bangladesh, including SMEs, which have been effective in the implementation phases in helping young entrepreneurs in the country particularly affected by the COVID-19 situation. Appreciating the government of Bangladesh, he hopes the report will be a valuable resource for the ecosystem to also launch more evidence-based programmatic interventions; Given the priority alignment on the overall socio-economic development of the country, the report will be one of the essential preludes when IsDB prepares a new country strategy for Bangladesh in the future.

Shekar Rajashekaran highlighted the intersection between youth entrepreneurship and national priorities and appreciated the trends which indicate a positive change in the attitudes and culture of the Bangladeshi people towards entrepreneurship. He noted: “We need consistent growth in the future which is to bring prosperity, eradicate poverty and continue the extraordinary social development which has occurred and which has enabled Bangladesh to achieve leading indicators in that part of the world “.

This one-of-a-kind study conducted and consolidated by Lightcastle Partners looks at the challenges and opportunities in the six core areas of the youth entrepreneurship ecosystem in Bangladesh and provides recommendations for developing the ecosystem over the years. future.

To amplify the impacts of the steady economic growth that Bangladesh has witnessed over the past decade, achieving the goals linked to the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) by 2030 and addressing the challenges of inclusiveness and For the sustainability of economic growth, it is necessary to support the human development and economic empowerment of the large youth population and to address the significant challenges associated with youth unemployment. Entrepreneurship can empower young people to create opportunities for themselves and encourage others to do the same.

Ellie Horrocks, Policy Specialist, Youth Employment and Entrepreneurship, Regional Youth Team, UNDP Regional Center in Bangkok, greeted the audience which was followed by the report’s main presentation, by Bijon Islam, CEO of LightCastle Partners.

The session was moderated by Mahmudul Hasan, Youth Coordinator, UNDP Bangladesh.

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