Experts here today observed that to achieve the developed country status, Bangladesh would require to make the best use of the ICT sector to create new entrepreneurs as well as to ensure jobs for all unemployed. They said, “Most of the country’s people are young and they are adapting with different technologies. Hence, the government should turn them into skilled workforces and new entrepreneurs to build a developed nation.”
They came up with these observations while addressing the inauguration program of the second phase of "Student to Startup" at ICT Tower in the city. Speaking on the occasion, State Minister for Information and Communication Technology (ICT) Zunaid Ahmed Palak said, “Bangladesh is now enjoying demographic dividend. And about 70 percent of the country's total population is below 35 years.”
On the other hand, almost 4.5 crore students are studying in different educational institutions and about 2 million youths enter the job market every year. “We need to create more jobs for them”, he added. “Now our goal is how we can utilize the innate power of youths for the prosperity of Bangladesh. But if so many people remain just employed, it will not be possible to provide employment through government or private enterprises,” Palak said.
He said, "We do not want to feed our young people for one day.” The government wants to create employment opportunities for young people so that they can provide jobs instead of looking for jobs, he added. However, with the slogan ‘My innovation, My Dream’, the second chapter of the national competition 'Student to Start-Up’ was kicked off on Sunday.
Innovation Design and Entrepreneurship Academy (iDEA) project of Bangladesh Computer Council under the Information and Communication Technology Division (ICTD) in association with the leading youth platform ‘Young Bangla’ under 'Centre for Research and Information (CRI) are organising this initiative.
The objective of the program is to find out young entrepreneurs having innovative ideas as they can contribute to the country’s progress and development. Students across the country may register through online registration process of this contest. Besides, there will be registration booths in more than 100 academic institutes of the country.
The registration of the 2nd chapter started from September 15, 2019 and the award giving ceremony will be held in October 2019. A total of 75 startups will be selected from the university campaign preliminarily.The winner of the 2nd chapter will also be awarded a grant of BDT 10 lakh each to the top 10 winning startups and 20 more startups as runners-up will also be selected for grooming to make them matured.
After completion of grooming, if the startup meets the targeted improvement then the matured startups will also be funded.About 25 places have been selected as venues for ‘Student to Startup: Chapter- 2’ across the country. The First Chapter of the “Students to Startup” program successfully ended in May 2019 where top 30 teams were selected through primary pitching among them to face the official ‘Selection Committee’ of iDEA project. Finally, top 10 startups were selected for pre-seed grant of amount BDT 10 lakh each while other 20 teams were sent to grooming session.