Unemployment rate among the country's youth has reached around 28 per cent, according to a latest study.
Apart from this, some 90 per cent of the employed youth are now engaged in the informal sector, while most rural youth work in agriculture, small business-related services and sales, as per the initial findings of the ongoing study.
Dr Manoj Roy, a lecturer at Lancaster University, the UK, presented the findings at a discussion in the capital, titled 'Dhaka Dialogue: Youth in Entrepreneurship- Opportunities and Challenges', organised by the Center for Participatory Research and Development (CPRD) in cooperation with BRAC University.
The research work will continue for five years. The findings presented on Tuesday consist of primary data collected from January to March this year - this phase will continue till June next.
The study is based in Chapainawabganj; Sirajganj; Dacope, an upazila of Khulna district; Kishoreganj; Hatiya, an upazila of Noakhali district; and Ramgati, an upazila of Lakshmipur district.
It aims at generating a deeper understanding of the patterns and drivers of delta livelihood shifts, with a specific focus on young entrepreneurs' role in diversifying livelihoods. In this regard, the study team reached 2.0 million delta dwellers.
Citing the study findings, Dr Manoj Roy said the impediments like lack of cooperation in the government and non-government institutions, infrastructural limitations, lack of financial and technical supports, corruption, and psychological barriers were halting the progress of entrepreneurship development.
Md Shamsuddoha, chief executive of CPRD, in his welcome speech said youths had to step forward to combat climate change and ensure sustainable development in this era of climate change.
Entrepreneurial activities should march on taking into account the fact of climate change and its impacts, he said.
He stressed taking into consideration the eco-friendly technologies and geo-physical environment of the country while initiating entrepreneurial activities.
Tushar Kona Khandker, CBI Expert, the Ministry of Finance, said plenty of opportunities for entrepreneurial activities were there in the country, but those were not being utilised properly.
The merchandise items or services produced at the grassroots level are not being added properly to the market as well as the supply chain therein, she added.
Speaking on the occasion, Lakhsana Lucky, assistant director, Department of Women Affairs, pointed out that her department was providing the women entrepreneurs with financial and technical support for entrepreneurial activities.
Ensuring an entrepreneur-friendly environment and connecting the women folk and the youth community with the entrepreneurial activities are a must for sustainable development, she underscored.
Also spoke at the event were Ayub Khan, deputy director, Department of Social Services, and Md Shawkat Ali, assistant director, Department of Youth Development.