The world is just at the door steps of mostly anticipated fourth Industrial Revolution. The broaden application of Latest technologies is going to reshape almost every sector by the end of this youth led revolution. The world is hosting a record time high population of about 7.2 Billion where youth population is around 2.4 Billion.
Most of the governments around the world is struggling to provide ready jobs to this huge population of youth specially the Asian countries as the population is maximum in this region. Employment around the world is facing disruption regularly as evolving technology is changing the scenario of ready jobs through seeking out the blue oceans and creating new markets with undefined opportunities.
Digital Bangladesh is surely one of the boldest dreams by Bangladesh of all time. Powered by the Awami League Government, The aim is to transform Bangladesh into a technologically advanced nation by 2021 and the country is marching unstoppably towards that. Driven by widespread digitization in the public and private sectors, the country has seen exponential growth in its internet connectivity, mobile phone usage, IT export earnings and use of ICT in education and accessibility of public services. ICT training by the Government has opened a new horizon in youth employment through outsourcing. When the Digital Bangladesh efforts got underway seven years ago only 20 million of Bangladeshis were accessing mobile phone. Today that number has grown to more than 150 million and is still climbing. Internet is the thought to be the base of fourth industrial revolution and currently Bangladesh is positioned as 2nd in south Asia and 5th in whole Asia in terms of internet usage. But the main reason the youth hasn’t been able to respond to the disruption in job market is lack of innovation. The brainchild of Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina and her ICT Affairs Adviser Sajeeb Wazed, to utilize the usage of ICT (Information and Communication technology) as a tool for development and sustainability, country’s biggest Innovation Platform ‘Innovation Design & Entrepreneurship Academy(iDEA)’ project bearing the flagship of ‘Startup Bangladesh’ was introduced in 2016 under ICT Division. In 2018, this project joined hands with the country’s largest youth network ‘Young Bangla’ under intense supervision of Center for Research & Information (CRI). The target from the beginning was set to start building the national ecosystem of Bangladesh. Student to Startup program is just one of the initiatives taken to ensure the major components of the ecosystem.
One of the main aspects of Digital Bangladesh was to connect the academia with the corporates & industry professionals. The effective Estuary of these three major parts is the main key behind every successful startup ecosystem that has been built throughout the world. As the government already planned to replicate iDEA project’s systems & opportunities in all the High-Tech parks that are being established throughout the country, this project is destined to be the main framework of the National Ecosystem. The first thing this ecosystem will require is a supply chain of entrepreneurs which’ll mark the collaboration of Academics with the framework where the industry will be included through building the innovation culture. Young Bangla already has a network functioning in more than 100 Universities throughout the country. So the basic target is to connect these 100 dots with the framework of national startup ecosystem and thus build an entrepreneurial supply chain to provide more innovation based self-employment opportunities to the youth. With a previous experience of three years through operating Microsoft- Young Bangla Internship Program successfully, this platform already knew how to give an experience of innovation culture to the youth of Bangladesh which was reflected in the first ever National Startup Camp-2019.
Usually in our country most of the student’s life consume about 16-20 years of study. After such a long period of academic learning students often falls short of practical learning and gets stuck in a 9 to 5 job with a decent 20 to 30 thousand salary per month. Then one day suddenly they realizes that they’re bored and has no excitement for doing new things any more. They questions themselves about their dreams, their passion as they already had a long time habit of learning more and more. Just in four years of Undergraduate education, a general university student has to prepare & submit around 4-5 projects and none of those have any effect on their career even though these projects could be their dream projects which will enable them to create & provide employment opportunities instead of looking for jobs.
With a motto “My Innovation, My Dream”, Student to Startup Initiative kicked off its first chapter through targeting 40 Universities (functioned as 40 venues) throughout 8 divisions of the country. Connecting students through the Campus Ambassadors of Young Bangla, the first chapter was inaugurated on March 8, 2019 following up with the central coordination meeting. The whole Chapter consists of two major parts. These are,
Differences that it made
In spite of being a quick time initiative, the youth grabbed the first chapter enthusiastically. By the end of the campus phase, so far the changes it made are,
The first chapter opened up the path of the Entrepreneurial Supply chain of the country and the academics has responded equally. The plan is set to host a couple of chapters of this Student to Startup initiative per year to ensure proper equity in providing opportunities to every batch of students. This will also include the more promotion of Innovation Culture through more Startup Camps as well. As we already have the framework working and the largest youth network of the country connected, A National Startup Ecosystem for Bangladesh is just a matter of time with the help from just a little push of knowledge based awareness throughout the country.
To know more visit: https://www.facebook.com/student2startupBD/