Kick start more young entrepreneurs

The value added by start-ups extends across the entire economy

It is encouraging to see this month’s Startup Weekend, Dhaka conclude by awarding prizes to three new entrepreneurs, giving them access to workspace, seed funding and a tailored mentorship programme.

The economy needs many more start up events of this type.

Crucially, they attract investors and provide invaluable networking opportunities for young businesses to learn off each other. They offer a platform for entrepreneurs to pitch ideas and put themselves on a path to securing funding.

The value added by start-ups extends across the entire economy, by generating new income streams and improving productivity. This can be seen by some of the ideas highlighted by this weekend’s event, including in online retail, software for the RMG sector and apps for on-demand ride-sharing services.

Improvements in internet and mobile infrastructure have clearly been vital to progress. The success of NewsCred, a content syndication service started by entrepreneurs from Bangladesh which has to date raised $45 million in venture funding, provides an inspiring example for others to follow.

Further improvements are needed for Bangladesh to maximise the demographic dividend offered by over half of its population being less than 25 years old. This extends beyond merely providing better advice and funding for young entrepreneurs.

All types and sizes of businesses can benefit from improvements to the regulatory environment to make it easier to set up businesses. Policymakers must take heed of these needs and also keep improving the country’s physical infrastructure and communications, so it can encourage and benefit from more start-ups.

Source: Dhaka Tribune


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