State of the Ecosystem for Youth Entrepreneurship in Bangladesh

LightCastle Analytics Wing
November 29, 2021
State of the Ecosystem for Youth Entrepreneurship in Bangladesh

Bangladesh has shown tremendous economic growth in the past decade and is expected to become an upper-middle-income country by 2031. At the same time, the country faces a magnitude of challenges related to the inclusivity and sustainability of this growth. The COVID-19 pandemic has further exacerbated these challenges, hitting the most vulnerable – including women, minorities, and young people – hardest.

As of 2020, out of the 165 million Bangladeshi people, approximately 63.7 percent were under the age of 35. However, Bangladesh will become an aging society in 2029. Therefore, this window of opportunity to capitalize on Bangladesh’s demographic dividend should not be wasted.

Why Is Youth Entrepreneurship Necessary?

It is undoubtedly necessary to support the human development and economic empowerment of the large youth population to:

  • Amplify the impacts of steady economic growth
  • Achieve targets related to the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) by the year 2030
  • Address the challenges related to the inclusivity and sustainability of economic growth

Unemployment is unquestionably one of the key challenges facing Bangladesh’s young people. Youth entrepreneurship is a potential solution to address this challenge and achieve positive impacts at scale. Entrepreneurship does not only provide young people with opportunities to achieve financial independence. It also enables them to create employment and support their peers and communities.

United Nations Development Programme (UNDP) – under the Youth Co:Lab initiative co-led by UNDP and Citi Foundation – the Islamic Development Bank (IsDB) and Startup Bangladesh Limited have commissioned this first-of-its-kind study to strengthen the understanding of the current state of the ecosystem for youth entrepreneurship in Bangladesh and provide data-driven recommendations to develop the ecosystem over the coming years.

This study has estimated that there are 3.8 million young entrepreneurs in Bangladesh. Understanding the challenges and opportunities within the entrepreneurship ecosystem is vital for amplifying the potential of youth entrepreneurship and supporting these youth-led enterprises in growing and developing their businesses. The study produced a comprehensive assessment of challenges and opportunities within the six central domains of the youth entrepreneurship ecosystem by incorporating youth and inclusion lenses in the analysis throughout.

To learn more about the State of the Ecosystem for Youth Entrepreneurship in Bangladesh
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WRITTEN BY: LightCastle Analytics Wing

At LightCastle, we take a data-driven approach to create opportunities for growth and impact. We consult and collaborate with development partners, the public sector, and private organizations to promote inclusive economic growth that positively changes the lives of people at scale. Being a data-driven and transparent organization, we believe in democratizing knowledge and information among the stakeholders of the economy to drive inclusive growth.

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