Building Entrepreneurs – Exploring the way forward

A recent forum heard about the value of giving young people entrepreneurship training

News | 16 June 2016

SIYB graduates ready to get to work
Entrepreneurs are a national asset,” said Abdul Wadud, Head of SIYB Bangladesh Trainers Forum. “We are eager to train youths to become entrepreneurs so they may start viable businesses and create quality employment for others in the process.
The Start and Improve Your Business (SIYB) model is a management-training programme for entrepreneurs that has been developed by the International Labour Organization (ILO) and is being implemented in more than one hundred countries. ILO, through its Canadian Government-funded Bangladesh Skills for Employment and Productivity (B-SEP) Project, has trained 16 SIYB trainers in the country. The trainers have formed a forum to increase outreach of training across Bangladesh. To date approximately two hundred potential entrepreneurs have been trained.

The objective of the SYB training is to help starting entrepreneurs develop a bankable business plan including information on access to market, finance, human resources and all other business inputs. Skills like critical thinking, problem solving, communication, risk bearing, working in a team and self-reliance are also developed.

Small businesses are vital to the economy. The majority of the labour force in developing countries works in enterprises with fewer than five workers. These businesses have low overhead costs and are often able to offer lower prices to consumers. These businesses can take risks, innovate and respond flexibly to challenges to meet local needs. How then do we ensure that the skills and education system of Bangladesh can deliver the right skills to the labour market for the growth of entrepreneurship?

A high level policy dialogue was held on May 15, 2016 at the Access to Information project office (A2i) in the Prime Minister’s Office to discuss this challenge. The event was jointly organized by A2i, ILO and the European Union (EU) funded INSPIRED project. The dialogue took stock of the existing initiatives on entrepreneurship development and discussed the prospect of its further expansion with the following objectives, to develop a Strategy for entrepreneurship in Bangladesh, to establish an Entrepreneurship Council in Bangladesh and to develop a strategic plan for entrepreneurship in Bangladesh.

 However, not all the students who took the course were able to launch their own businesses. Especially women trainees said they faced challenges due to various forms of family pressure. To help them survive in the competitive market, some form of incubation is necessary as well as follow up support. INSPIRED Project funded by the EU is providing logistic support to train women entrepreneurs in collaboration with B-SEP Project. Young entrepreneurs interested in attending this training are invited to contact the Bangladesh ILO office.