Inclusive Bangladesh Development

Preventing Violent Extremism through Youth Entrepreneurs

Lead Organization

Inclusive Bangladesh Development

Dhaka, Dhaka Division, Bangladesh

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Project Summary

Stress, anxiety, frustration and depression are creeping up among youths due to lack of social inclusion, economic empowerment and engagement, resulting risk of getting involved in violent extremism. Bangladesh is among the ten lowest countries when it comes to creation of work opportunities for youth. More than 60% of the population here is aged between 16-35 years. Youth unemployment rate among university graduates is around 16% including 23% women. Evidence reveals, these issues pushes vulnerable youths towards the path of violent extremism in Bangladesh. The proposed solution merged social inclusion, economic empowerment and community engagement to deliver preventive measures among youth through supporting and rewarding their untapped entrepreneurial skills with scalability.Our previous works with more than 100,000 youth over 20 years and solution over last nine months reveals, by end of our similar project, participants distant themselves from violent extremism and became champions for preventing violent extremism through entrepreneurship.

Problem Statement

Primarily, university students aged between 18 to 29 years have the highest risk to become part of the problem. Secondly the negative impact of this problem will put every citizen of this country at risk and gradually may escalate to affect global community. Bangladesh, a country with the highest density dividend and 65% of the population under the age of 35, the root causes of this problem are mainly due to uncertainty, stress, anxiety, frustration and depression among youth. Our primary works and secondary research reveals, the absence of appropriate, accessible and acceptable solutions targeting the youth is another key reason for the existence of such problem. Recent tragic incidents in New Zealand and Sri Lanka reconfirmed the need for preventive measures across the globe to address growth of violent extremism. However, Bangladesh maintained reasonably stable situation until the Holly Artisan attack. Robert Stoleman, UNDP representative to address violent extremism in Bangladesh reconfirmed that the threat of violent extremism is real here and our model is very easy to scale up to reach a much wider target.On 29 July 2019, Prof Anisuzzaman, National Professor of Bangladesh, highly appreciated our solution for preventing violent extremism through entrepreneurship. He also reconfirmed the process used to reach out youth by using different modes of communication as very appropriate and contemporary. The solution will ensure, youth are nurtured and trained as leaders through appropriate entrepreneurial skills. Though it is a small step but could be a giant leap for preventing violent extremism.

Solution Overview

It is evident from our similar project, the target group has highly valued the initiatives’ power to prevent the problem. The huge participation from local youths demonstrated their willingness and aspirations for such project. The decentralisation outreach strategy to deliver the solution at the local level was effective. By engaging the local communities resulted a sense of ownership to the solution made the delivery efficient and acceptable. Out of few thousands of prospective young entrepreneurs, we now have more than 100 local champions including 12 young leaders who are campaigning this solution among other youths outside their jurisdictions. In addition, the website launched for young entrepreneurs ( as market place for information, start-up entrepreneurs and prospective investors has been growing exponentially in terms of usage by youths across Bangladesh.Our experience over last 20 years including last nine months demonstrates, the solution played instrumental role to attack such problem. Over next five years, this solution will be offered by proven champions in every union (smallest administrative area) in Bangladesh. In addition, the flexibility and universality of the solution, will allow it to be implemented overseas as an appropriate measure to address similar problem.This is a ‘people centric’ solution, hence the total population of Bangladesh will benefit from this solution with scope to scale it up for global communities. In addition, private sector being the major contributor to the GDP of Bangladesh, such solution will ensure a consistent flow of the supply chain for private sector through young entrepreneurs.

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Project Funders

  • Manusher Jonno Foundation (MJF)

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