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Entrepreneurship development in Bangladesh

Syed Mohammod Mostofa Shams AN entrepreneur is one who always searches for change, responds to it, and exploits it as an opportunity. Can anyone be an entrepreneur? The answer is no. But with access to capital, minimum education facility and own creativity, many intelligent, energetic youth can be turned into a decent business people. In our country, the term for an entrepreneur is a 'businessman,' which carries with it a set of negative connotations. The assumption is that one goes into business if one cannot be a banker, doctor, engineer, lawyer, professor or a corporate worker. In movies, businessmen are portrayed as crude, immoral people. In day-to-day life, a businessman is only considered successful if he can achieve conspicuous display of wealth. Despite our negative views of 'business', the private sector has a crucial role to play in growing the economy and providing employment opportunities. The private sector is the engine of innovation in all sectors of the economy. Entrepreneurship in Bangladesh currently thrives in two sectors of the economy -- among the poorest of the poor (14 million households) and among the well-off (about 2.5 million households). The reason for this is that both of these sectors have access to institutional financing. The change in mindset can perhaps be attributed to the realisation that notwithstanding advances in scientific, social, political and economic systems, the gap between rich and poor is widening. With many social problems continuing to plague societies and some even worsening, concern regarding the effectiveness and sustainability of governmental and welfare-based approaches to social problems has increased. This in turn has directed greater attention to the work of entrepreneurs. Economic Development through Entrepreneurship Initiatives: No developing country can achieve sustained economic or social development without engaging effectively in the broader trade dependent economic environment. The role of such innovative entrepreneurial efforts greatly influences country's overall GDP, productivity, economic reform and social growth in the context of global economy. The long-term goal of entrepreneurial efforts aims to ensure that poor can contribute and share the benefits of growth through enhancing their purchasing power. It will in turn encourage economies to specialise in, and concentrate on, areas where these will add relative cost advantage over other economies. Eventually, this will become a strong tool for poverty alleviation. Entrepreneurship; A tool for Empowerment: "Entrepreneurship" has become a very significant factor for ensuring development in the least developed countries (LDCs). Entrepreneurship leads towards a broad range of aspects including financial and decision-making capacities of individual persons which ultimately results in "Empowerment". "An Empowered Nation" is absolutely necessary for the overall development of a country which can efficiently rid of the

curse of poverty. "Entrepreneurship" has a crucial role to play in low income economies. It has the power to foster growth and generate rapid and lasting reductions in poverty. For a Least Developed Country like Bangladesh, effective entrepreneurial efforts and initiatives can play an enormous, significant role in influencing social and economic policy reform and development outcomes. Bangladesh, with its high population density, widespread poverty, and susceptibility to natural disasters, is a challenging environment for development initiatives. Although government and other nongovernment organisations (NGOs) have initiated several developmental schemes but the progress is not that noteworthy. But this huge human resource can be turned towards a revolutionary device for effective economic growth through exploring entrepreneurial opportunities. Around eighty per cent (80%) of our population lives in regional areas and most of them are poor. If this population can effectively be promoted with entrepreneurial skill, they can actively involve themselves in, and contribute towards, the economic development process. It is a must that this collective effort will lead the country to move forward. Necessarily it indicates that to alleviate poverty, exploring the entrepreneurial opportunities is a must. To summarise, economic situation of Bangladesh can not really improve without entrepreneurship efforts. Fight against poverty: Entrepreneurship is often considered one of the most effective and flexible strategies in the fight against global poverty. Bangladesh has a population of more than 140 million with almost half of the population living below the poverty line. Sustainable entrepreneurial development programmes can be implemented on a massive scale that is necessary to respond to the urgent needs of those living on less than $1.0 a day, the World's poorest. The Progress out of Poverty Index (PPI) is an assessment tool for measuring the poverty level of a country. For Bangladesh, It estimates the likelihood that a participant has income below the $1.0/Day/ Purchasing Power Parity (PPP) international benchmark. Such poor PPI can never indicate progressive development emerging in a country. Thus, there is a great need to think out of the box to enhance economic advancement. The most important fact behind entrepreneurship is economic freedom and self dependency. Bangladesh is a lower income country which is deprived of enjoying the essence of global economic benefits and left far behind the financially viable scenario. There should be effective proposals designed to provide suggestions how to improve present socio-economic picture with strategic advising in decision-making to excel in positive economic impact. In this situation, these proposals can be a critical catalyst to strengthen entire development process that most developing countries are grappling with. What should be our approach? We must initiate to explore the potential excellence and open scopes for people of all classes across the country and exploit these for the constructive development of the society and country. The government also needs to ensure that people of small means should have access to facilities to undertake economic activities at appropriate scales throughout the country. Once the overall framework is in place, mobilisation of more resources and more effective utilisation of the available resources will be facilitated. If all these

factors work together under one umbrella, only then economic progress and development, along with poverty alleviation target, can be achieved.