Anda di halaman 1dari 37

National Consultation,

Dhaka

© Commonwealth Youth Programme, Asia Centre, 2011


Chandigarh – 160012, India

Tel: + 91 172 2744463/82


Fax: + 91 172 2745426
Email: admin@cypasia.net

All rights reserved.


Websites: www.thecommonwealth.org/cypasia

1
National Consultation,
Dhaka

TABLE OF CONTENTS

1. BACKGROUND 4

2. EXECUTIVE SUMMARY 6
- Inauguration ceremony 9

3. SUMMARY OF DISCUSSIONS
- Youth unemployment: Global scenario 10
- The Bangladesh policy context 11
- Role of NGOs, corporate sector and other agencies 15
- Role of Financial and other public sector institutions 16
- Role of Entrepreneurship Education 17
i. Emphasis on skill development 18
ii. Sectoral opportunities in Bangladesh 20
- Recommendations 21
- Conclusions 24

4. ANNEXES
- List of participants 25
- Concept / Background note 28
- Programme Agenda 31

2
National Consultation,
Dhaka

Abbreviations

BDS Business Development Services


BRAC Bangladesh Rural Advancement Committee
CHOGM Commonwealth Heads of Government Meeting
CYCI Commonwealth Youth Credit Initiative
CYP Commonwealth Youth Programme
DYD Department of Youth Development
FCA Financial Corporate Accountant
GDP Gross Domestic Product
HRD Human Resource Development
ICT Information and communication technology
ILO International Labour Organization
ISC Industrial Skills Council
M&E Monitoring and Evaluation
MFI Microfinance Institution
MOYS Ministry of Youth & Sports
NAP National Action Plan
NGO Non-Governmental Organization
NYP National Youth Policy
PKSF Palli Karma Sahayak Foundation
PRSP Poverty Reduction Strategy Paper
RB-NRB Resident and Non Resident Bangladeshi
R&D Research and Development
SME Small and Medium Enterprise
SMEF Small and Medium Enterprise Foundation
UNESCO United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization
UNIDO United Nations Industrial Development Organization
VET Vocational Education and Training
YEN Youth Employment Network
YED Youth Enterprise Development
YTC Youth Skill Training Centre

3
National Consultation,
Dhaka

Background

The Commonwealth Heads of Government Meeting (CHOGM) at Port of Spain, Trinidad and
Tobago in November, 2009 through a historic statement entitled Declaration on Young People:
“Investing in Young People” affirmed as follows:
We note with concern that unemployment affects young people more than any other
social group.
We seek to enhance the Commonwealth Youth Credit Initiative (CYCI), by turning it into
an integrated and holistic enterprise development programme built around
comprehensive and mutually reinforcing skills development, funding, and mentorship
for youth in partnership with civil society and business.
We pledge to engage a considerably wider range of funders and partners, including our
own Ministries of Youth, international finance institutions, regional organisations,
banks, and businesses to devise projects to promote youth enterprise.

It further recognised the importance of access to finance and called for the development of
domestic financial markets with specific emphasis on micro-finance and micro-credit in support
of poverty alleviation and economic democratisation programmes, particularly for marginalised
groups including youth and women. It also emphasised the need for comprehensive skills
development in promoting the environment for investment. Of the 49 countries that attended
the Meeting, 34 were represented by their Heads of State or the Government.

In response to the above declaration, the Commonwealth Youth Programme (CYP) organized
four Regional Conferences which fed into the Pan Commonwealth Conference hosted by the
Commonwealth Secretariat, London. With a cross section of stakeholders that included ILO,
World Bank, UNESCO, UNIDO, other international agencies, financial Institutions, policy makers
from various ministries, chambers of commerce and the corporate sector, Regional Youth
Caucus members, youth organizations and youth networks, experts and academics, members
from civil society organisations and NGOs, these conferences aimed at discussing global and
regional trends and issues in youth entrepreneurship/enterprise development, sharing good
practices, identifying challenges and providing strategic directions on broader youth
employment related policies and programmes.

One of the outcomes of the regional conferences was the proposal for organizing national
level consultations to discuss and devise strategies to address youth unemployment with a
focus on youth enterprise in an integrated way through interventions (at the national level).
Key objectives were reviewing existing policies and programmes, advocating the creation of a

4
National Consultation,
Dhaka

national level platform and forging partnerships for implementing effective and innovative
youth entrepreneurship strategies and programmes.

In pursuance of the above, a national level consultation on investing in youth employment with
a focus on youth enterprise and entrepreneurship development was organized in Dhaka,
Bangladesh by the CYP Asia Centre in partnership with the Ministry of Youth & Sports,
Government of Bangladesh, the SME Foundation, Dhaka and sponsored by the AB Bank,
Bangladesh from June 7 to June 9, 2011. The consultation had a clear focus of bringing out
workable recommendations with an emphasis on a strong strategic coalition to accelerate
youth enterprise and entrepreneurship in the country.

Further, financial regulations / guidelines with a youth friendly focus and collateral free loans
for marginalized young people, under the ambit of a national financial inclusion policy, and the
critical role of financial institutions and banks were advocated as a key strategy together with
the understanding that under the National Youth Policy (NYP), a National Action Plan (NAP)
should be formulated comprising a well laid out monitoring and evaluation framework.

While the National Youth Policy of Bangladesh contains provisions, which lay emphasis on self-
employment by means of technical education in order to prevent the exodus of rural youth to
urban areas of the country, the Government’s policy of offering skill development and self
employment training programmes, however, has time and again faced criticism for being
neither ‘need based,’ nor ‘updated’ on a regular basis. As a result, there has not been much
success in enabling or generating a high rate of self-employment in Bangladesh.

Given this scenario, the consultation succeeded in giving a call for action with regard to
accelerating youth enterprise and self employment promotion, for stimulating a policy debate
on this urgent matter in light of the dismal youth unemployment rate in the country, and for
measures to remove the obstacles that stand in the way.

Based on the discussion at the consultation, this report is an attempt to present the key
deliberations and major recommendations and strategies discussed to accelerate youth
enterprise and entrepreneurship in Bangladesh.

5
National Consultation,
Dhaka

Executive Summary

Bangladesh has been successful in achieving significant poverty reduction since the 1990’s and
is presently considered to be one of the fastest emerging economies in the world. In keeping
with its progress in reducing income poverty, Bangladesh has also seen rapid gains in a number
of key education and health outcomes. Future gains in reducing poverty will require
productivity growth in agriculture and job creation in the industrial and services sectors.*
(World Bank 2008)

Youth population in Bangladesh is presently 50 million -an estimated 32.7% of the total
population of which 80% live in rural areas. Only 15 million are currently employed, 23 million
are partially or under-employed and the rest 12 million are fully unemployed. In 2020 the youth
population is expected to reach upwards of 60 million. Creating gainful employment for the
youth in Bangladesh is therefore high on the nation building agenda.

Recognizing the fact that a disciplined, organized, trained and educated youth community can
make significant contribution to the development process, the government has taken up
various measures for reducing unemployment and to shape its socio-economic uplift. One of
the key national targets under Bangladesh’s Vision 2021 is to reduce youth unemployment
rate by 15%. Growth of SMEs is considered as a driving force to achieve this. In the light of this,
self-employment and enterprise development is being considered as an important strategy in
national youth development efforts, and Bangladesh is increasingly seeking to orient youth to
explore the enterprise option.

In this context, a three day national consultation on investing in youth was held to encourage
technical discussions with a view to reviewing existing policies and devise strategies/guidelines
to promote youth enterprise in an integrated manner. In addition, the consultation also
highlighted CYP’s efforts at improving employment generation in Bangladesh through
promoting entrepreneurial skill development, an enabling culture and accelerating self
employment among young people.

In essence, it summed up the Bangladesh government’s focus that states, ‘Youth employment
generation with a focus on youth enterprise is a must to make the country a middle income
one by 2021’.

6
National Consultation,
Dhaka

Against this backdrop, the participants in the national consultation unanimously underscored
the following action areas:

Bridging the policy gaps:

National Youth Policy (NYP) needs to be demand driven along with a well crafted
strategy and time bound action plan with adequate resource allocation.
NYP to be more clearly connected to broader national policy frame work including Five
Year Plan, PRSP, National education policy, industrial policy, SME policy etc.
NYP to be reviewed and revised from time to time
Policy review of all relevant ministries to ensure convergence
Regular Policy audit/monitoring of implementations
Mainstreaming youth issues in all policies of public and private sector initiatives

Strengthening Institutional mechanism:

MOYS & DYD’s role needs to be more clearly defined – more active and effective role
envisaged
MOYS & DYD to play a pivotal role in creating a national level platform with all relevant
stakeholders
Private sector should be actively involved in the government’s effort to address the
problem of youth unemployment in the country.
Creation of a National Youth Council to ensure youth participation in policy dialogue,
and monitoring and evaluation of youth development programmes
SME Foundation to play an effective role in SME Youth entrepreneurs and enterprises
development

Actionable strategies:

MOYS – should undertake policy review, revision, monitoring and coordination; review
of existing training programmes: content, methodology etc.
National strategy and action plan on promoting youth entrepreneurship and enterprise
development under the broader National Entrepreneurship and Enterprise
Development Program.
Other relevant government ministries/depts. - policy audit and alignment with NYP.

7
National Consultation,
Dhaka

Banking institutions - Bangladesh Bank to craft youth friendly financial inclusion policy,
youth credit initiatives while commercial banks to recognize youth as a bankable client
segment and undertake youth credit initiatives.
NGO's- to raise youth voice in policy debate and capacity building of youth
entrepreneurs.
SMEF -to facilitate and bring together the public and private sector stakeholders on
youth issues; provide business development and incubation services as well as capacity
building; encourage youth entrepreneurs through activities like business plan
competition etc

Target youth with focus on vulnerability:

Skill training based on skill demand of local industries and overseas job market
Life skills and entrepreneurship education in the educational curriculum at the primary
level
One -stop service centre at the sub district level for youth entrepreneurs

Critical role in steering forward:

MOYS and DYD with regard to the public sector


Bangladesh Bank and financial institutions
Employers' association, Chambers in private sector
Academic and training institutions
SME Foundation
Youth organizations, and
BRAC, PKSF and other national level NGO's and CSOs

8
National Consultation,
Dhaka

Inauguration ceremony

Honourable Minister, Ministry of Industries, Mr. Dilip Barua was the chief guest at the inaugural
ceremony of the three-day National Consultation in Bangladesh. Mr. Md. Ahad Ali Sarkar, MP,
State Minister, Ministry of Youth & Sports, Mr. Aftab ul Islam, FCA, Chairperson, SME
Foundation and Mr. Rajkumar Bidla from the Pan Commonwealth Office of CYP, London attended
as special guests while Mr. Mahbub Ahmed, Secretary, Ministry of Youth & Sports presided
over the inaugural session. Joint Secretary, Mr. Gazi Mizanur Rahman of MOYS, Mr. Aminul
Islam Khan, CYP Asia Centre and Dr.Nurul Quadir of SME Foundation also attended the
programme among others.

The ceremony was attended by representatives from various ministries & departments
including Ministry of Youth & Sports, Education, Labour & Employment, Social Welfare,
Industries, Micro Credit Regulatory Authority (under the Ministry of Finance) as well as the SME
Foundation of Bangladesh, public and private sector banks, chambers of commerce, corporate
sector, training institutions, international organizations including the ILO, and the UN. Leading
NGOs, youth organizations, the media as well as young women entrepreneurs including the
three who were honoured with the National SME Women Entrepreneurship Award for 2010,
were also present at the inaugural ceremony.

Opening remarks

Mr. Dilip Barua underscored the need for creating skilled young entrepreneurs and
government’s priority to create an entrepreneurship friendly culture in Bangladesh. He urged
the affluent sections of the society and the corporate sector to create and cultivate role model
entrepreneurs and to come forward to supplement the government’s efforts in this regard. He
further suggested that the government’s financial inclusion policy would focus on youth
entrepreneurs, and collateral-free loans to be increased from its present limit of 2.5 million ($
35,000) to a higher slab in the future. The Minister assured that he would provide all kinds of
support for promoting youth enterprise in Bangladesh.

Mr. Md. Ahad Ali Sarkar, State Minister of Youth and Sports reiterated his commitment to work
whole heartedly for youth development in general, and youth enterprise in particular, in
Bangladesh. He assured that he would certainly look into the suggestions and outcomes of the
consultation.

In highlighting the need to attract young people towards entrepreneurship, Mr. Aftab ul Islam,
FCA, Chairperson, SME Foundation agreed upon setting up a dedicated help line desk for

9
National Consultation,
Dhaka

young entrepreneurs and also directed the SME Foundation to include an enterprise
programme for young entrepreneurs in the next year’s work plan. He also spoke about the
necessity of reducing interest rates on bank loans for increasing the number of entrepreneurs
in the industrial sectors. He emphasised on the need to review the existing policies and
strategies and called for developing an integrated and comprehensive approach.

With regard to tackling youth unemployment, Mr. Mahbub Ahmed suggested optimum
utilization of the large number of disguised labourers, presently engaged in agriculture and
industrial sectors and also in the informal sector. He also emphasised on the need for designing
local and overseas demand driven training curriculum for the youth. He agreed that an effective
and integrated coordination mechanism between the private and public sector is needed to
address youth unemployment in the country.

Highlighting CYP’s conviction that youth enterprise is one of the most viable options for both
employment creations as well as for the stimulation of economic growth in the Commonwealth,
Mr. Rajkumar Bidla spoke about CYP’s role in building the capacity of member governments to
address youth entrepreneurship development. While felicitating the outstanding work
pioneered in Bangladesh to support disadvantaged men, women and young people in the area
of micro and small businesses, he underscored the government’s role in making coordinated
efforts to scale it up and sustain the work. He also emphasized that youth employment is a
multi-sectional area, and in this regard clarified CYP’s critical role in starting dialogues with
policymakers and other stakeholders.

Youth unemployment: Global scenario

In the next 5 years, over a billion young men and women will enter the labour force worldwide.
These 1.3 billion young people (to be precise) will compete for only 300 million jobs. Today, out
of the current 88 million youth, one out of three is either seeking but unable to find work, has
given up the job search entirely or is working but living on less than US $2 a day. Ironically,
young people actively seeking to participate in the world of work are two to three times more
likely than older generations to find work. Almost 90 percent of the unemployed youth are
living in the developing countries globally and the Asia region itself accounts for 55 percent of
this population. Of this, South Asia accounts for 26 percent of the youth population and the
number is likely to increase by 12.1 million by the year 2015.

10
National Consultation,
Dhaka

While the total number of young women and men unemployed throughout the world accounts
for 41 per cent of all the unemployed people globally, these figures do not take into
consideration the underemployed youth worldwide. Many more young people are working long
hours for low pay, struggling to eke out a living in the informal economy. A dangerously large
population of the youth is engaged in hazardous forms of work.

Given this situation, reducing youth unemployment and underemployment is one of the major
challenges facing most governments in the world today. The problem, sadly, is only getting
worse. There was an estimated 81 million unemployed youth in the age group of 15-24 at the
end of 2009, which means 7.8 million more unemployed youth since 2007. Global economic
recession further exacerbated the situation and youth unemployment rate rose from 11.9 to
13.1 percent in a short span of less than 5 years.

While the need for employment creation efforts focusing on youth is undeniable, given the
existing scenario, self employment represents a significant way to tackle unemployment and lift
people out of poverty. Worldwide there is a growing conviction that youth enterprise is one of
the most viable options for both employment creations as well as for the stimulation of
economic growth. Nurturing and supporting young entrepreneurs is therefore fast emerging as
a necessary constituent of the overall national development agendas.

The Bangladesh context

In the context of Bangladesh*, the youth population is presently 50 million -an estimated 32.7%
of the total population. Youth thus constitute one third of the total population of Bangladesh.
80% of them live in rural areas. Only 15 million are currently employed, 23 million are partially
or under-employed and the rest 12 million are fully unemployed. By 2020 the youth population
is expected to reach upwards of 60 million.

Creating gainful employment for the youth in Bangladesh is therefore high on the nation
building agenda. Recognizing that a disciplined, organized, trained and educated youth
community can make significant contribution to the development process, the government in
Bangladesh has taken up various measures for reducing unemployment and to shape its socio-
economic uplift.

*As per the national youth policy, the population in the age group of 18-35 years is considered to be youth in
Bangladesh.

11
National Consultation,
Dhaka

One of the key national targets under Bangladesh’s Vision 2021 is to reduce youth
unemployment rate by 15% - Growth of SMEs is considered as a driving force to achieve this.
In line with this, the government provides a broad and comprehensive policy mandate for
promoting self-employment and enterprise in the country.

Policy context

In order to delve further into the policy context of youth enterprise support system in
Bangladesh, the consultation discussed the key policies and programmes available in the area.
These are briefly described below.

1. National policy for youth development (NYP) - Formulated by the Ministry of Youth in
2003, the national policy contains provisions which put much emphasis on self-
employment, through practical education and skill development training, utilization of
local resources and by providing micro credit at low rate of interest
2. Youth programmes of DYD – Offer skill development training programmes, self-
employment programmes for trained youth, and credit programmes (group and
individual)
3. Proposed National Education Policy 2010 - Under the Ministry of Education –
emphasizes on self-employment based education.
4. National SME Policy – Was formulated by the Ministry of Industries in 2005 to provide
special emphasis on developing Small and Medium Enterprises (SMEs) as a thrust sector
of the country.
5. The SME Foundation - Organizes skill development trainings to cover a range of sectors
and fields. It also channelizes funds to the SME entrepreneurs through designated bank
and non bank financial institutions.
6. SME loan policies formulated by the Bangladesh Bank - Provides relatively cheaper
funds to the commercial banks and financial institutions which might encourage them
for financing the small and medium enterprise sector.
a. Women entrepreneurs’ get special preference under this policy; they are
allowed to get certain amount of loan without collateral.
b. It has instructed banks to announce their targets for a particular year and
allocate at least 40% of total targeted amount for small entrepreneurs.
c. In this policy, manufacturing and service sectors are given preference over the
trading sector to yield greater productivity and to generate more employment in
the economy

12
National Consultation,
Dhaka

7. The National Service Programme - Launched by Youth Development Directorate, it


provides temporary employment to the unemployed youth with educational
qualifications ranging from SSC to above. Presently, it is running as a pilot programme in
three poverty stricken districts.
8. The Ministry of Labour & Employment - Offers formal vocational & technical education
and training (VET) programmes after class VIII.
9. The Ministry of Women Affairs, Fisheries and others - Organize self-employment
programmes for youth including micro-credit programmes in tie-up with national level
NGO's.

Besides these, the role of other ministries that have responsibility towards youth development
including, rural development and cooperative-microcredit and social welfare - for
disadvantageous youth, were also discussed.

How Bangladesh is moving forward?

Despite the above mentioned policies and programmes that are in place under the different
ministries, agencies and departments, Bangladesh has yet to witness significant progress
towards youth enterprise and entrepreneurship development and its promotion in the country.
In this context, the national consultation sought to understand the missing links and the gaps
and how these can be bridged effectively.

One of the critical issues in Bangladesh, the participants noted, was that the National Youth
Policy does not address how to increase youth employability; neither does it give any concrete
direction on youth enterprise, which it acknowledges, is one of the most effective ways to
reduce the unemployment rate in Bangladesh. Experts further reported that one of the main
obstacles faced in this area is the lack of knowledge and commitment toward youth enterprise
in the government. In this regard, the consultation substantially mulled over the overall
political/ national priority to youth employment and specifically the youth ministry’s role and
influence on the overall policy-making process, which needs to be considerably strengthened in
order to ensure that youth enterprise related issues do not remain marginalized within the
government.

In addition, other major disadvantages and shortcomings in the policy formulation areas that
were identified included:
Inadequate policy framework – NYP not clearly connected to broader national policy frame
work
No guideline for implementation – NYP not translated into time bound Action Plan

13
National Consultation,
Dhaka

Lack of understanding, resources and inadequate capacity of the line ministries


The participation of the youth is absent in policy formulation
Clear direction in terms of engagement among the various departments/ ministries and
NGOs, private sectors and international agencies is absent.
The policy steering body is not prompt to cope up with the demand of the real world in
youth enterprise
Moreover, the review or the lack of it, of the existing policy framework, strategies, approaches
and programmes on youth enterprise, being addressed through different interventions in the
country, and a monitoring and evaluation framework, was another critical area, which the
consultation noted, required attention.

In terms of funding priority, it was observed that budget allocation for youth enterprise in ADP
is rather poor. The consultation noted that the total allocation by ministries related to
enterprise development, youth employment and youth development per se has seen a serious
deceleration in Bangladesh. This is further supported by the declining budget allocation for
promoting youth employment across most of the industries during the last three years, as well
as, by an equally scanty allocation for social welfare, women affairs and the youth sector, which
has on the whole seen a sharp decline in FY2010-11. With budget allocation for one-third of the
country’s population staying at 0.10% of the total budget in 2010-11, youth skill development
training and self-employment programmes, the consultation noted, have naturally been
affected adversely.

In view of these, participants unreservedly noted that in order to address the above challenges
and concerns –a policy makeover is not enough. In this context, CYP shared international best
practices, including the Kenya Youth Enterprise Development Fund, Indonesia Youth
Employment Network, and Commonwealth Youth Credit Initiative (CYCI) in order to highlight
successful approaches around comprehensive and strategic programmes on youth
entrepreneurship, as well as, effective coordination and implementation of such programmes,
all of which needs to be intensified in Bangladesh.

Additionally, the roles and responsibilities of other stakeholders – NGO’s, the corporate
sector, chambers of commerce and industry, financial institutions, banks and other agencies
were deemed equally critical to innovative youth enterprise related skill development
programmes and support services in Bangladesh. The following section of this Report goes into
these areas.

14
National Consultation,
Dhaka

Role of NGOs, corporate sector and other agencies

The consultation noted that despite the increasingly important role of NGO’s in youth
enterprise development, there is a dearth of NGO’s working in the area of youth
entrepreneurship in Bangladesh, and the few that are there, lack the direction and capacity to
act as catalysts for mainstreaming youth issues.

Emphasizing the role of leading NGO’s in the area, participants were familiarized with BRAC’s
activities in the area of microfinance, in terms of providing loans to both male and female
entrepreneurs to start new enterprises and, support and expand existing ones that are too
small to qualify for credit from commercial banks. Participants were also taken through BRAC’s
adolescent programmes providing livelihood training in different trades and financial education
linked with its microcredit programme to help young people start their own business, targeting
the age group of 14 to 25.

Given this backdrop, participants gained further insight into the roles and responsibilities of
NGOs, which, as the consultation observed, cannot be underestimated. From undertaking
research, which is a missing link in youth enterprise, to the dissemination of research findings
within and outside their vast networks, to providing the much needed marketing and
mentoring platform for hard to reach and disadvantaged youth, to advocacy -playing the
important role of creating awareness around enterprise and entrepreneurship development, to
engaging with the government and policy makers in projecting the collective voice and
concerns on youth enterprise, NGOs were probably in the best place to act as the much needed
pressure groups to make the government more aware and accountable.

In addition, experts agreed that a strong and clearly guided collaboration with the civil society is
essential for the public sector and the private sector in creating a strong base for youth
entrepreneurship mainstreaming. In order to streamline linkages and communication between
the government and these groups, experts discussed the advantage of forming a national level
platform on youth enterprise and related concerns, which would co-ordinate input to
government.

The consultation also underscored the critical role of the corporate sector and industry
chambers, drawing attention to their bargaining power and the power to convene, their
networks and infrastructural access, along with their financial ability to provide platforms and
forums for showcasing entrepreneurs thereby increasing their bankability and visibility. Further
underpinning the corporate sector’s role as a catalyst in advancing youth enterprise,
participants spoke about the sector’s access to industries in aiding the growth in youth led

15
National Consultation,
Dhaka

enterprise options, and instituting awards and recognition programmes to showcase role
models.

The private sector, as the participants observed, needs to be encouraged and motivated to
contribute to youth enterprise training, and promote active participation of role model
entrepreneurs at the national and international level, as part of their social responsibility.

Role of Financial and other public sector institutions

Commonwealth Secretary-General Kamalesh Sharma, while on his recent visit in the Caribbean,
encouraged banks to play their part in addressing youth unemployment. He emphasized that
national governments by working with other partners to provide financing, mentorship and
training for young people could ensure business success and good returns on the investment
for all. Senior bankers present at the meeting agreed that a coordinated and focused effort was
needed to support youth employment and enterprise.

While the above brings to light the enormously critical role banks, financial institutions and
non-banking financial institutions have in supporting and advancing youth entrepreneurship in
Bangladesh, finance, as the participants of the national consultation noted, is ironically one of
the biggest constraints in youth enterprise and self-employment with not many financial
institutions coming forward to serve the youth due to a preconceived notion that youth are
high-risk and high-cost clients without any collateral assets.

To refute this notion, best practices programmes such as the Commonwealth Youth Credit
Initiative (CYCI) and the Youth Access to Microfinance in Indonesia were showcased in the
consultation. These programmes, as the participants learnt, have disproved the
abovementioned notions of youth being non-bankable. On the contrary, youth borrowers
actually have equal to or slightly higher repayment rates than the total clientele, as proved in
the majority of Indonesian microfinance institutions (MFIs) and average around 22% of the
clientele.

Additionally, the session drew attention to the Commonwealth’s youth financing initiative with
national bankers– to harness, through a series of capacity building and innovative financing
mechanisms, a range of skills and encourage young entrepreneurs as well as those seeking
employment in up-coming enterprises. Financial institutions in India, Kenya and Mozambique
are already involved in the initiative.

16
National Consultation,
Dhaka

Added to the issue of demand for funds always surpassing supply, the consultation discussed
the need to make financial interventions and resolutions more youth friendly - most funds have
caps -which prevents young entrepreneurs from obtaining the required and expected amount
of working capital (in the form of loans). Participants also discussed the advantages of skilled
labour force being organized into groups and be provided easy access to finance by banks.

Participants further observed that the role of loan providing could be tackled purely by public
and private sector and other banks, and a coherent strategy on how to better rationalize and
coordinate this issue through better linkages between public sector banks and the public sector
institutions should be worked out.

In the above context, the deliberation insisted that an inclusive financial policy is a must as is
the case for the Reserve Bank of India, which has issued a guideline for a comprehensive
financial inclusion of the marginalized section of the country. Two public sector Banks in India,
namely, the Central Bank of India and Corporation Bank have already piloted youth enterprise
financing projects in a number of districts of India in collaboration with the Commonwealth
Secretariat.

Role of Entrepreneurship Education

The focus of this session was around three key issues / challenges –
The inability of the educational system to provide the appropriate labour force needed by
the market,
The mismatch between the demand for young workers and the supply that seems to be at
the root of their weak integration into the labour market, and
The incapacity to reach the youth in spite of a reasonably large base of educational and skill
/ vocational training system in Bangladesh with an overwhelming majority of young people
available and accessible,

To counter this, experts at the national consultation in Dhaka agreed that on the supply side, a
well linked educational and training system through a closer cooperation between government
and the private sector would facilitate a smoother transition from school to work and/or to self-
employment.

Furthermore, the discussions noted that education and vocational trainings need to be
designed around the informal economy, where most young working people are found in
Bangladesh, as in other developing countries. In addition, vocational training needs to be

17
National Consultation,
Dhaka

complemented by remedial education for the many young workers in the informal economy
who may have been dropped out of the educational system at an early stage. Another critical
concern included involving family in non formal educational programmes to trigger mindset
changes and aid youngsters in managing risks and the fear and experience of failure.
Participants also underscored the need to reform the education system in order to integrate
entrepreneurship education into mainstream education and in this regard, the necessity for a
curriculum overhaul was discussed.

Emphasis on Skill Development

In this session, participants revisited the youth population in relation to the employment- rate
statistics in Bangladesh, which convey that while 12 million youth are unemployed, 23 million
are under-employed. The present unemployment rate for this age group is 15% higher than
that that of 1990’s and uncomfortably higher than both India and Vietnam. It is estimated that
by 2020 the number of unemployed youth in Bangladesh would reach 60 million.

The ‘Bangladesh Vision 2021’ focuses on meeting the skill training needs of the youth and the
skilled labour force requirement of the country by-
Increasing skill development rate by 10-15% per annum;
Partnership with development agencies to reduce poverty with sustainable
development by 15-20 % per year;
Reforming the skill development system to empower all individuals and ensure
Bangladesh's competitiveness in the global market to be recognized globally by 2025;
Minimizing skills mismatch (Quality and Quantity) across industries --targeting 25% by
2015 and 50% by 2020;
Ensuring a digital Bangladesh as committed to in the 2011-2012 national budget by
2021.

Given this reality and the abovementioned goals, the consultation noted the following:
1. It is imperative to bring back the alienated and marginalized youth into the economic
mainstream by helping them address issues that arise from joblessness. With regard to
this, the following suggestions were made:
Expand capacity of existing educational and training facilities
Implement non-formal education to develop capacity building
Launch programmes to upgrade the educational attainment of young drop-outs and
low achievers from the formal education system

18
National Consultation,
Dhaka

Marketing training programme at the grassroot level to support rural enterprises

2. The consultation noted that the concept of skills and vocational training through non-
formal channels, in relation to youth enterprise and entrepreneurship, requires an
image makeover in Bangladesh. The key issues that were raised included:
People giving additional weight to formal education because of the certificates and
awards associated, based on a traditional mindset
The country’s social system shuns employment outside of the traditional white-
collar job circuit
The university /higher education system –occupying a place of overwhelming
importance in the educational system, should be more directly linked to the solution
of unemployment problem and play a more active role in encouraging young men
and women to seek self-employment

3. The educated youth need to be provided opportunities to choose and build their
profession according to their interest and aptitude.

4. The current admission age (18 years) for youth skill training centres (YTC) under DYD
may be reduced to accommodate youngsters who drop out of school early and are more
prone to becoming vulnerable to frustration, drug addiction, anti-social activities, eve
teasing and family disrespect.

5. Additionally, the present skill gap in the labour force needs to be addressed – middle to
senior management jobs across various sectors in Bangladesh have attracted a huge
number of Indian workers (60,000 technicians/professionals are presently working in
different sectors of the country). The leather sector alone requires a skilled labour force
of 30,000 in the current year. Similarly, the world’s biggest footwear factory is being set
up at Chittagong in Bangladesh and is targeting a skilled force of 30,000 to 40,000
workers. Moreover, FDI is expected to come in the leather sector, particularly from
Taiwan and China with availability of skilled people increasing further. Likewise with
regard to the current focus on high quality light engineering industry in Bangladesh.
With all these opportunities, the critical question that was raised was-Where is the
skilled labour coming from?

Given the above challenges and opportunities, the consultation mulled over the need for an
Industrial Skills Council (ISC) to act as the apex industry body on skills development and
engaging with a host of stakeholders to serve as a one point service center on any issue on the
crucial subject.

19
National Consultation,
Dhaka

Industrial sectors and related opportunities in Bangladesh

In Bangladesh, about 78 percent of the labor force is engaged in informal sector activities
(agriculture and informal services). Agriculture alone employs 48 percent of the labor force,
while its GDP share is less than 20 percent. However, as the deliberations pointed out, the
growing labor force can no longer be fully absorbed by an agriculture based Bangladesh
economy. In this context, the deliberations emphasized on the need to encourage SMEs and
self-employment based non-farm activities covering both rural and urban areas as crucial for
employment generation.

In addition, other alternative options becoming popular amongst the youth were discussed as
under:
IT Out sourcing (RB-NRB Linkage)
E-Commerce and Web Based project
Graphic designs, Softwares and other related products
Mobile Technology
Media-Print, Electronic and Internet
Tourism
Fashion Designing and Dress Making
Health and Health care
Activation Companies
Music, Dance, Choreography and other innovative sectors
Different service sectors

All of this, the deliberations pointed out, would require strong policy support, including a clear
policy on skill development which embodies strategic interventions for improving the education
system and its integration with entrepreneurship education.

20
National Consultation,
Dhaka

Recommendations

In view of the above, noting that the existing facilities with regard to youth enterprise need to
be made more adequate and relevant, what emerged from the deliberations was a
comprehensive set of strategies and recommendations that are presented below:

What needs to be addressed Recommended Actions


(issues /gaps / challenges (Policy and programme related areas)
POLICY AREA
1) NYP not upgraded nor translated into time 1) Inter-ministerial coordination needed to
bound Action Plan & Implementation establish a broad-based understanding of YED
strategy at policy-level
2) DYD's role not adequately defined  Anchored by DYD/Ministry of Youth and
3) Mismatch and overlaps between different Sports as focal point organisation
ministries  Mismatch and overlaps between different
 ministries/national level policies need to
4) YED issues and concerns unclear and be identified and rectified
neglected  Existing policies realignment: other
ministries need Policy audit and alignment
with NYP
2) NYP to be upgraded
 Align NYP with Broader National Policy
Framework
 Visioning for transforming the
disorganized unproductive youth into
productive workforce
 Lobby with financial institutions
 Consult representation of young people /
role model entrepreneurs
 DYD's role to be adequately defined and
made pivotal in youth development
3) Time bound action plan and implementation
strategy
 Make policies binding
 Reassess and review existing policies
 Establish regular policy audit and M&E
mechanism
 Redesign existing programmes to meet the
required demand
4) R&D initiatives to assist Government in
formulating policies and strategies

21
National Consultation,
Dhaka

What needs to be addressed Recommended Actions


(issues /gaps / challenges (Policy and programme related areas)
SKILL DEVELOPMENT & TRAINING
1) Skill training is not need based 1) Clear policy on skill development including
2) Programmes are stereotyped vocational, ICT based on training needs
3) Training needs analysis not addressed assessment
4) Supply – demand ratio is very poor
 Proper infiltration at the grassroots level
and targeting youth with focus on
vulnerability
 Skill training based on skill demand in local
industry, especially manufacturing and
services as well as on international labor
markets.
 Life skills and entrepreneurship education
integrated into mainstream education
 One stop skill service centre at sub district
level

2) Public and private sector players to step in to


offer advanced skill development

3) Improve co-ordination among


GO/NGO's/Private Sector

4) Make available critical data on real numbers of


employed youths

5) Remove education curriculum mismatch with


field requirement

6) Educational institutions to be better equipped


to generate professional labour force as per
requirement

7) Undertake advocacy for youth


entrepreneurship (as an equal stream, if not
higher, to MBA, finance, HRD, accounting,
marketing education etc.)

22
National Consultation,
Dhaka

What needs to be addressed Recommended Actions


(issues /gaps / challenges (Policy and programme related areas)
BANKS / FINANCIAL INSTITUTIONS
1) Financial policies/guidelines are not youth 1) Government should roll out an inclusive
friendly financial policy
 Interest rates on loans are as high as 15% 2) Financial resolutions / guidelines to be made
and sometimes even more – this youth friendly
discourages entrepreneurial growth, 3) Need for a coherent strategy to improve
especially amongst marginalized youth coordination between public sector banks and
public sector institutions
2) Lack of funds 4) Special allocation for youth enterprise with
 Most funds have caps, which prevent differential rate of interest
entrepreneurs from obtaining required 5) SMEs should be recognized as a thrust sector
working capital (in the form of loans or as 6) Banking institutions – public/private
such)  Need to recognize youth are bankable
 Demand for funds almost always surpasses  Undertake youth credit initiatives
the supply
NGOs, PVT. SECTOR, OTHER AGENCIES
1) Youth have less space in policy dialogue 1) Government to take a proactive role -
2) Youth have limited ‘united’ voice on YED  Bring in the private sector working on
3) Youth yet to emerge as an independent youth issues and concerns to create a
‘pressure group’ voice for the youth and youth enterprise
4) No engagement / Lack of co-ordination  Harness the potential of various self help
between NGOs and public sectors for youth youth groups by offering them meaningful
enterprise and SME development incentives
 Lead awareness /advocacy effort around
YED
 Involve national level NGOs to
nurture/support youth enterprise and
entrepreneurs.

2) Chambers, employers’ and trade associations


to be brought into the loop
 Launch a national level youth forum

3) SME Foundation to help facilitate and bring


public and private sector stakeholders
together in youth issues

23
National Consultation,
Dhaka

What needs to be addressed Recommended Actions


(issues /gaps / challenges (Policy and programme related areas)
OTHER BARRIERS / CONSTRAINTS
1) Lack of transparency, difficult legal 1) Government needs to proactively generate
requirements and bureaucratic procedures factors of production
 Budding entrepreneurs still need to pay
bribes for trade license, TIN certificate  Create special advantages for SME
 High lag-time for obtaining license and entrepreneurs
BSTI approval  Improve infrastructure facility
 Gender bias – women still require  Clearly defined roles of different
husbands to be guarantor for signing loans government institutions with respect to
 Lack of social and societal support youth enterprise development
 Self-employment often seen as a means to
escape poverty 2) Proactive measure need to be taken at the
policy level to simplify bureaucratic regulatory
 Lack of information and registration procedures for young aspiring
 Entrepreneurs have limited knowledge on entrepreneurs.
trade regulations
 Lack of access / information on market 3) Undertake baseline survey on youth
linkages and BDS entrepreneurship / SME and related data
collection / research study for information
access, needs analysis, programme
development and advocacy

Conclusions

In conclusion, and in view of the commitment of the Ministry of Youth to review and upgrade
the National Youth Policy with a focus on prioritizing youth employment and enterprise, the
consultation resolved to share the key recommendations on youth enterprise and
entrepreneurship development in Bangladesh (presented above) with the Ministry of Youth and
other key partners, with the aim to bring out a National Strategy and Action Plan under the
Ministry of Youth and well integrated into the national youth policy development framework.

The Commonwealth Youth Programme, in particular, underscored the need for Government to
initiate dialogues with national level banking and financial services sector with a view to
formulate youth friendly financial guidelines to support youth enterprise initiatives. The CYP
also offered to provide technical assistance on youth enterprise programmes and projects
through the Commonwealth Technical Cooperation Fund whereby it has placed expert

24
National Consultation,
Dhaka

consultants in a number of member countries like Botswana, Cameroon, Lesotho,


Mozambique, Namibia, Solomon Islands, Swaziland, Sierra Leon and Tanzania, to name a few.

As a way forward, CYP will now help undertake the accomplishment of the commitments made
by various stakeholders to promote and accelerate youth enterprise development in
Bangladesh, including the Arab Bangladesh Bank’s interest to support a Youth Financing Project
in partnership with the Ministry of Youth, the Mutual Trust Bank’s interest to support and pilot
a youth enterprise related project in partnership with the SME Foundation, the Bangladesh
Bank’s commitment to craft youth friendly financial inclusion policy / guidelines and the SME
Foundation’s concurrence to set up a dedicated help line desk for young entrepreneurs.

ANNEXES
National Consultation in Youth Employment with a Focus on Youth Enterprise , Dhaka

1) Participants’ list

Mst. Hazera Khatun Md. Nozrul Islam


Deputy Secretary (Section 8) Deputy Director (Implementation)
Ministry of Labour and Employment Department of Youth Development
Bangladesh Secretariet Jubo Bhaban, Dhaka
Dhaka. Mobile: 01705 015017
Telephone: 7173313

M.M. Shamsul Alam Ashit Kumar Sutradhar


Deputy Director (Planning) Deputy Director (National Service)
Department of Youth Development Department of Youth Development
Jubo Bhaban, Dhaka Jubo Bhaban, Dhaka
Mobile: 01711703059 Mobile: 01915 875816

SK. Mojibul Huq Dipen Kumar Saha


Manager (Advocacy) Manager (Operation)
BRAC Centre Palli Karma Sahayak Foundation (PKSF)
75 Mohakhali, Dhaka PKSF - Dhaka
Phone: 9881265, Ext. 2046 Mobile: 01714 072041
E-mail: dipen@pksf-bd.org

Dulal Biswas Mohd. Rezaul Karim


Secretary General President
National Federation Of Youth Organizations In National Youth Council of Bangladesh (NYCB)
Bangladesh (NFYOB), Dhaka Dhaka
Tel: 9111660 Tel: 9358651, Fax: 88 02 9358651 110
Mobile: 01711 037002 E-mail: hope87bd@gmail.com
Email:bangladesh115@yahoo.com

25
National Consultation,
Dhaka

Habibur Rahaman Md. Masudur Rahman


Director, UNYSA Bangladesh Program Officer (Women Entrepreneurship
UNYSA Bangladesh, Dhaka Development)
Cell Number:+8801671086829 SME Foundation, Dhaka
E-mail: habib29nayan@live.com Cell: 01715 783408
habib29nayan@yahoo.com E-mail: mrb_dhaka@yahoo.com,
masud@smef.org.bd

Shahreen Srabon Tilottoma Md. Raqibul Islam


Regional Youth Caucus, Youth Forum for Poverty Alleviation and
(Representing Bangladesh) Development (YFPAD)
Commonwealth Youth Programme, Asia Center. BRAC Centre, Dhaka
Tel: 01720 022222 Cell: 01912 627961
E-mail: tilottoma21@gmail.com E-mail: raqib.bu@gmail.com

Md. Ashraful Alam Perwez Anzam Moonir


Joint Director (SME & SPD) Deputy Director
Bangladesh Bank, Dhaka Bangladesh Bank, Dhaka
Mobile: 01714 110792 Mobile: 01819 281181
E-mail: ashraf_bb@yahoo.com

Md. Dilwar Hossain Bhuiyan Md. Abul Khair


General Manager Senior Faculty Member
Karmasangsthan Bank Small & Cottage Industries Training Institute (SCITI)
Dhaka Dhaka
Mobile: 01732 428289 Mobile: 01552 308294
E-mail: dilwar_bm@yahoo.com

Mohammed Ezadus Salam Md. Nure Alom Mahadi


Research Assistant Deputy Director
Bangladesh Enterprise Institute (BEI), Dhaka Microcredit Regulatory Authority (MRA), Dhaka
Mobile: 01717 110554 Mobile: 01556 316974, Phone: 9559672
E-mail: ezad@bei-bd.org E-mail: mahadiddmra@gmail.com

Muhammed Amzad Hussain M. Abu Horaira


Co-Chairman Dhaka Chamber of Commerce & Industry (DCCI)
Young Entrepreneurship Development Standing Dhaka
Committee
The Federation of Bangladesh Chambers of
Commerce and Industry (FBCCI), Dhaka
Mobile: 01713 454444

Shaquib Quoreshi Afroja Parvin


Metropolitan Chamber of Commerce and Industry Executive Director
(MCCI), Dhaka NARI UNNAYAN SHAKTI (NUS), Dhaka
Cell: 01713 039784 Tel: 88 02 8270253, 88 02 8270254
E-mail: squoreshi@gmail.com Mobile: 88 01711541529
Fax: 88 02 7215005
E-mail: nusbdwomen@yahoo.com

Salma Sonia Abu Monjoor Sayeef

26
National Consultation,
Dhaka

Cell phone number : 01716 264416 Program Manager (Policy Advocacy & Research)
E-mail : salmasonia@yahoo.com SME Foundation, Dhaka
Mobile: 01714 133003
E-mail: amsayeef@smef.org.bd

Sonya Hossain Firoz Nandita Baishnab


Program Manager (Business Support Service) Young Power in Social Action (YPSA)
SME Foundation, Dhaka Dhaka-
Mobile: 01715456866 Mobile: 01710111505
E-mail: shossain@smef.org.bd E-mail: nanditabaishnab@yahoo.com

Pervin Banu Zakir Ahmed


Deputy Secretary Deputy Secretary
Ministry of Youth and Sports Ministry of Youth and Sports
Govt. of the People’s Republic of Bangladesh Govt. of the People’s Republic of Bangladesh
Bangladesh Secretariat, Dhaka Bangladesh Secretariat, Dhaka
Mobile: Mobile: 01738 273365
E-mail: parvinbanu45@yahoo.com E-mail: zakirp@hotmail.com

Md. Mohsin Ali Khandaker Nazmul Haque Khan


Deputy Chief Deputy Secretary (Scholarship)
Ministry of Youth and Sports Ministry of Education
Govt. of the People’s Republic of Bangladesh Bangladesh Secretariat, Dhaka.
Bangladesh Secretariat, Dhaka Mobile: 01716 941029
Mobile: 01712 000857
E-mail: makhandaker@yahoo.com

Nirmal Kanti Chakma Obaidur Rahman


Sr. Assistant Secretary Technical Adviser
Ministry of Youth and Sports Save the Children Denmark, Dhaka
Govt. of the People’s Republic of Bangladesh Mobile: 01713 240330
Bangladesh Secretariat, Dhaka E-mail: obaidur@scsd-bd.org
Mobile: 01716 813137

Marzia Naznin Md. Saidul Islam


Research Officer Programme Officer
Department of Women Affairs, Dhaka ILO Country Office for Bangladesh, Dhaka
Mobile: 01712 709977 Phone: +88-02-9112836/9112876
Cell: +88-01715 821040
e-mail: islams@ilo.org

Naiyer Fatema Khanom Hasnain Mehdi


Officer & Credit Analyst, SME Banking Division Senior Principal Officer
Mutual Trust Bank Limited, Dhaka SME Division
Mobile: 01713 041023 AB Bank Limited
E-mail: naiyer.fatema@mutualtrustbank.com Mobile: 01715 118624
E-mail: mehdi@abbank.com.bd

Nazma Parvin Laizu


Nokshi Agro Food & Beverage Limited, Dhaka
Mobile: 01711 488785,
E-mail: nokshimela@gmail.com

27
National Consultation,
Dhaka

2) Concept Note

Background

Young people in the developing world as well as in Bangladesh have either limited or no job skills
training and self-employment opportunities. Moreover, developing countries’ labour markets are not
fully equipped to put youth to work. There are not enough jobs in the public and private sectors to
absorb the millions of youth in the labour market. In relation to youth led entrepreneurship/enterprise
development, it is pertinent to mention that setting up a new venture has never been easy for a young
person.

Education and training

A nation’s ability to participate in the global economy is largely determined by its citizen’s access to
quality education and training, decent employment opportunities, and an infrastructure that promotes
and supports entrepreneurship. It is, in this context that our education system has an essential role to
play in enabling young entrepreneurs to acquire the knowledge and skills they need to succeed.
Governments should thus encourage entrepreneurial education in our schools, colleges and universities
and promote the same through non traditional, community-based means that value real life
experiences.

Access to finance

In relation to youth led entrepreneurship/enterprise development, it is pertinent to mention that setting


up a new venture has never been easy for young people. They need to find money in the first place; to
sustain the venture until it obtains an income from selling goods or services; to support it in difficult
times and expand it in good times. In summary, they essentially need access to resources – financial and
managerial which they can bank on. In many countries they have to work in an environment where legal
and financial regulations are not youth-friendly and public services unreliable. In some cases, they have
to overcome deep-seated cultural barriers to success. Besides, the current global economic downturn
has increased the need for developing a robust youth entrepreneurship/enterprise development
programme. Unfortunately, very few institutions actually serve young people in a practical way as they
are perceived as high-risk groups with insignificant or no assets to use as collateral. In all regions where
research took place see self-employment and entrepreneurship as their best employment option and
strategy against formal employment in the private and public sectors.

Coordinated efforts

Young entrepreneurs receive some assistance from a range of non-governmental organisations, private-
sector initiatives, educational institutions and government agencies, but in many countries this web of
support is inefficient and inconsistent. Hence, there is a felt need to make concerted efforts to build a

28
National Consultation,
Dhaka

strategic coalition on youth enterprise wherein all relevant stakeholders bring in their expertise,
experience and resources with a view to promoting youth enterprise. Government should encourage
strategic collaboration and cooperation among organisations across the public, private and non-profit
sectors, both within countries and across the Asia region.

Growing interest in the self employment/enterprise development

This economic crisis is forcing national governments to reassess their policies and programmes,
especially those related to employment and business creation. Limited formal jobs as a result of the
economic crisis may have served to induce some youth (more likely the more educated and privileged)
to establish their own businesses that hired others. In this context self employment promotion has
become an integral part of national strategies that aim at creating sustainable employment for the
youth as an alternative career option. This should be regarded as a positive development considering
the paucity of jobs in the formal sectors.

Review of National Youth, Employment, and Education policies along with national development
framework to promote youth employment

National Youth and Education Policies do invariably touch upon the issue of youth employment.
However, since the concerned Ministries are not the nodal Ministries for employment, policy documents
brought out by them merely highlight the problem without offering a solution in the form of an action
plan. Therefore, the need for a National Action Plan on Youth Employment well integrated into the
national policy development framework is an absolute imperative. The National Youth Policy being the
critical policy instrument for youth may support the National Action Plan on Youth Employment besides
the two other policies, namely, National Employment Policy and National Education Policy and must not
be seen as a standalone policy instrument. An organic linkage between these policies which mainstream
youth employment strategies into the national development strategies and establishment of an
effective institutional mechanism with adequate resource allocation may be regarded as lying at the
heart of the issues relating to youth employment.

Addressing youth unemployment: UN, ILO, World Bank and YEN

The Youth Employment Network (YEN), comprising the United Nations, ILO, and the World Bank as core
partners, was established following the Millennium Summit to give priorities to youth employment on
the development agenda and to disseminate policies and programmes to improve employment
opportunities for young people. As a result, youth employment issue has gained momentum at the
national level. It has also formulated a set of guidelines for preparation of National Action Plans on
Youth Employment and stands committed to provide technical assistance to the lead country.

29
National Consultation,
Dhaka

CYP’s Mandate for Youth Employment with emphasis on Youth Enterprise

The CYP’s Strategic Plan (2008-2012) focuses largely on the need for addressing youth enterprise as a
viable means to tackling the larger issue of youth unemployment. This is sought to be achieved through
advocacy and partnership with various stakeholders in the formulation of an integrated action plan and
sharing of good practices in the member countries including its own i.e. the Commonwealth Youth
Credit Initiative (CYCI). Realising the importance of youth enterprise/entrepreneurship development, the
Commonwealth Youth Programme (CYP) piloted Commonwealth Youth Credit Initiatives (CYCI) in
different regions of the Commonwealth with a view to supporting young people to set up their
businesses.

The results from the CYCI experiment proved that young people are bankable to credit and as a result,
some member governments have launched their own Youth Credit Programme or set up a Youth
Enterprise fund to support youth enterprise in their countries. CYP seeks to strengthen the CYCI, by
turning it into an integrated and holistic enterprise development programme, which is built around
comprehensive and mutually reinforcing skills development, funding, and mentorship. Moreover, CYP
has a high level of commitment for youth enterprise which has been well articulated in the
Commonwealth Heads of Government Meeting in 2009 in Trinidad and Tobago. It is relevant to mention
here that Heads of Government in their meeting in 2009 committed to support a new initiative which
should engage a considerably wider range of funders and partners, including Ministries of Youth, Labour
and Employment, Banking; international finance institutions, regional organisations, banks, and
businesses.

Regional Conference on investing in Youth Employment (22-24 February 2100, Colombo)

The CYP Asia Centre in partnership with Ministry of Youth and Skills Development, Sri Lanka has
organised a conference from 22-24 February 2011 on Investing in Youth Employment with a view to
bring relevant stakeholders together to discuss regional trends and challenges in youth
entrepreneurship/enterprise development and also to provide strategic directions to the participants on
broader youth employment related challenges and trends. Bangladesh participated in this conference
with 6 member delegations comprising of senior officials from Ministries of Youth and Labour, BRAC,
PKSF, SME Foundation and Bangladesh Bank.

National Consultation and capacity building of the partners

In line with the Regional Conference held in Colombo, the Commonwealth Youth Programme in
partnership with its nodal Ministry of Youth & Sports, Government of Bangladesh, SME Foundation and
other stakeholders are proposing to organize a national consultation to devise strategies to address
youth unemployment in an integrated way.

30
National Consultation,
Dhaka

3) Agenda

National Consultation on Investing in Youth Employment with a Focus on


Youth Enterprise and Employment
07-09 June, 2011, Pan Pacific Sonargaon Hotel, Dhaka, Bangladesh

Day One: 07-06-2011, Tuesday


OPENING CEREMONY
09:30 AM Registration
10:05 AM Welcome address by: Mr. Gazi Mizanur Rahman
Joint Secretary, Ministry of Youth and Sports
10:10 AM Introductory address by: Mr. Rajkumar Bidla
Pan Commonwealth Office of CYP, London
10:20 AM Address by Special Guest: Mr. Aftab ul Islam, FCA
Chairperson, SME Foundation
10:30 AM Address by Special Guest: Mr. Md. Ahad Ali Sarkar, MP
State Minister, Ministry of Youth and Sports
10:40 AM Address by the Chief Guest: Mr. Dilip Barua
Minister, Ministry of Industries
10:50 AM Address by the Chair: Mr. Mahbub Ahmed
Secretary, Ministry of Youth & Sports
11:00 AM Presentation of memento

11:10 AM Vote of thanks by: Dr. Nurul Quadir


Deputy General Manager, SME Foundation
11:15 AM Refreshment
Day One: 07-06-2011, Tuesday
12:00 Introduction & objectives
Discussion By : Aminul Islam Khan
CYP Asia Center
Chandigarh, India
12:30 to 13:30 Addressing youth unemployment: Global & Regional perspectives
Millennium Development Goals
UN, ILO Resolutions/mandates
CHOGM/CYMM mandates
Chair : Gagan Raj Bhandari
Deputy Director
ILO Country Office for Bangladesh
Presentation By : Aminul Islam Khan
CYP Asia Center
Chandigarh, India

31
National Consultation,
Dhaka

Presentation By : Rajkumar Bidla


Pan Commonwealth Office of CYP
London
Followed by Q.A
13:30 to 14:30 Lunch
14:30 to 15:30 Policy commitment on youth employment/Enterprise – process mechanism ,
opportunities and challenges associated with its implementation

Chair : A.B.M. Khorshed Alam


Additional Secretary
Ministry of Industries
Govt. of the People’s Republic of Bangladesh
Presentation by : Dr. Khondaker Golam Moazzem
Senior Research Fellow
Centre for Policy Dialogue (CPD)
Presentation by : Aminul Islam Khan
CYP Asia Center
Chandigarh, India
Presentation by : Zaki Uz Zaman
Head of Operations, UNIDO
Bangladesh office
Followed by Q.A
15:30 to 16:00 Tea
16:00 to 17:00 Role of NGOs, Corporate sector and other agencies to promote youth
enterprise
Chair : Md. Nurun Nabi Talukder
Director General
NGO Affairs Bureau
Presentation by : Ferdous Ara Begum
Additional Secretary
Dhaka Chamber of Commerce and Industry (DCCI)
Presentation by: Rashida Parveen
Programme Manager
BRAC Education Program
Presentation By : Rajkumar Bidla
Pan Commonwealth Office of CYP
London, Followed by Q.A
Day Two: 08-06-2011, Wednesday
10:00 to 10:30 Recap
10:30 to 11:30 Youth Unemployment in Bangladesh- Context, trends, nature – Challenges
and opportunities:

32
National Consultation,
Dhaka

Chair : Rajkumar Bidla


Pan Commonwealth Office of CYP
London
Presentation by : Dr. Rowshan Ara
Professor, Department of Philosophy
University of Dhaka
Presentation by : Shahab Enam Khan
Project Director
Bangladesh Enterprise Institute (BEI)
Presentation by : Majedur Rahman
Additional Managing Director
AB Bank Limited
Followed by Q.A
11:30 to 12:00 Tea break
12:00 to 13:00 Review of policies and programmes for promoting youth
employment/enterprise development in Bangladesh with a focus on skill &
entrepreneurship training, access to finance and support etc.
Chair : Dr. Shamsul Alam
Member, GED
Planning Commission
Govt. of Bangladesh
Presentation by : Lila Rashid
Deputy General Manager
Bangladesh Bank, Sylhet Branch
Presentation by : Md. Abdul Wadud
Principal
Small & Cottage Industries Training Institute (SCITI)
Presentation by : Gazi Mizanur Rahman
Joint Secretary
Ministry of Youth and Sports
Govt. of the People’s Republic of Bangladesh
Followed by Q.A

13:00 to 14:00 Lunch


14:00 to 15:30 Role of Financial and other public sector institutions to promote youth
employment:
Chair : Murshed Kuli Khan
Deputy Governor-3
Bangladesh Bank
Presentation by : Dr. Toufic Ahmad Choudhury
Director General

33
National Consultation,
Dhaka

Bangladesh Institute of Bank Management


Presentation by : Dr. Md. Nurul Huda Chowdhury
Managing Director
Karmasangsthan Bank
Followed by Q.A
15:30 to 16:00 Tea break

16:00 to 17:00 Investing in youth employment with a focus on youth enterprise- Why and
How?
Chair : Dr. Mahabub Hossain
Executive Director
BRAC
Presentation by : Professor Dr. Kamal Uddin
Director
Institute of Appropriate Technology, BUET
Presentation by : Francis Dilip De Silva
ILO Country Office for Bangladesh
Presentation by : Ejaj Ahmad
President
Bangladesh Youth Leadership Centre (BYLC)
Followed by Q.A
10:00 to 11:30 Day Three: 09-06-2011, Thursday
11:30– 12:00 Tea break
12:00-13:30 Sharing good practices:
-CYCI
-Kenya Youth Enterprise Fund
-YEFI (Central Bank of India, Corporation Bank-Commonwealth secretariat
Initiative)
-IYEN (Indonesian Youth Employment Network)

Chair : Ms. Selima Ahmad


President, BWCCI
Coordination : Aminul Islam Khan & Rajkumar Bidla
13:30-14:30 Lunch

14:30-15:30 Sharing good practices:


a. One case from DYD : Akhtaruzzaman
Nolchiti, Jhalokathi
b. One from SME Foundation : Architect Mir Alamin
Noorjahan Agro food products Ltd.
Bagerhat
Coordination : Dr.Nurul Quadir, SME Foundation & Mr. Aminul Islam Khan

34
National Consultation,
Dhaka

15:30-17:00 Group work to discuss and to suggest : Workable strategies to promote youth
enterprise programmes
Strategic directions for building Commonwealth coalition on youth
employment
Strategic partnerships and resource mobilisation for youth enterprise
programmes
Methodology
Participants will be divided into three working groups to brainstorm on
the issues discussed above and prepare their group presentations

Facilitators: Aminul Islam Khan


Rajkumar Bidla
17:00-17:30 Group presentations and discussions
17:30-18:30 Closing Ceremony
18:30 Tea

35