Rural youth entrepreneurship in Bangladesh

Another interesting article “Dropout Youth and Small Entrepreneurship: an approach to improve livelihoods of rural people in Bangladesh” by Wakilur Rahman.

1. About150 million people live in Bangladesh among them 44 million (15-29 years) youths and 80 percent of them live in rural areas. Roughly half of them belong to less landed rural families and hardly have any employment opportunity to develop skill and access to educational facilities. They could not complete their education though there is a lot of initiatives (money for education, “Food for
education”, “Mid-day meal” etc.) have taken by the government, development partners and NGOs.

2. While people are now much more conscious of the necessity of education resulting in an decreasing drop out rate, whoever which is still not at a satisfactory level. (19.62% of students of secondary schools)

3. He observed that NGOs, government and development agencies have yet not taken any initiative to address the rural youth as a potential client group.

4. The youth employment crisis and the challenges surrounding youth livelihoods have become increasingly complex in Bangladesh and employment generation for the vast segment of young
people have hardly been a success.

5. 22% of drop outs (2001-03) and 12% of drop outs (2004-06) enageged in agricultural entrepreneurship; for example setting up small poultry business)

6. By establishing different enterprises rural dropout youth can earn and raise their income level to be economically empowered. The highest income-earning sector was livestock and poultry enterprise. Average yearly income from enterprise was Tk. 34,475.

7. The change in income was determined by computing percentage of difference of income of
the respondents’ family between ‘Before’ and ‘After’ involvement with small enterprises and ranged from 52% raise through entrepreneurship in Horticulture to 123% raise through lifestock raising.

Economic and social benefits of being engaged into rural entrepreneurship:

a) While 77% households used water from neighbors tube-well before; now only 7% do so. There has been great increase in the numbers of own tube-well (93.33%) after involvement with enterprises.

b) There has been a sharp change in sanitation condition after involvement. While 70% used kacha latrine before, after involvement, 87% households used sanitary latrines.

c) In the study area all youth spent their income on life sustaining articles such as food, clothes, health care and education. Contribution on education and health care had increased significantly and total contribution to family expenditure increased by 259.49%.

Conclusion:

In most cases, scarcity of resources like capital, land, labour etc. are the limiting factors to
make drop-out youth nonproductive. These constraints could be removed by establishment of various
agriculture based industries and provision of credit and the youth could then be made
productive.