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Accelerating Youth-led Businesses in the Digital Era

YBI's regional programme supporting young people in rural India and Bangladesh to build and sustain thriving businesses and boost their economies.

Accelerating Youth-led Businesses in the Digital Era

Youth Business International (YBI) and the IKEA Foundation are implementing a regional programme to equip young people in rural India and Bangladesh with the entrepreneurship skills they need to build and sustain thriving businesses, create jobs and boost local economies.

Programme overview

Millions of young people in India and Bangladesh are unemployed or trapped in low-wage, low-skilled or unsafe jobs. Many lack the skills and capacities to succeed in today’s rapidly changing world of work, particularly regarding the adoption of digital technologies. Without access to a decent and stable income, young people struggle to provide a better future for themselves or their families.

Youth Business International and IKEA Foundation’s joint initiative recognises the potential of youth enterprises to become engines for job creation and provide opportunities for more young people to get out of poverty cycle. It aims to equip 3,200 young entrepreneurs in India and Bangladesh with the knowledge and skills they need to start and grow a business, creating over 6,200 quality jobs.

The programme will be implemented by YBI members Bharatiya Yuva Shakti Trust (BYST) in India and Youth Enterprise Advice and Helpcentre (B’YEAH) in Bangladesh. The regional focus will facilitate collaboration and sharing of learning, which can be scaled across the YBI network to serve young entrepreneurs around the world.

Programme Structure

The programme has three key components:

  • Design and implementation of country-level projects: young entrepreneurs will be provided with training, mentoring, access to low interest loans and other business development support to start and grow their business;
  • Digital accelerator:  YBI’s innovative approach (developed with our flagship partner Accenture) will enable members to explore, identify and understand their digital context, adapt their training to address digital skills gaps in young entrepreneurs and improve their own digital capacities; 
  • Understanding decent work: through research into decent work, YBI will develop a framework that supports members to implement training that helps young entrepreneurs understand their business and employer regulations and create positive business standards and decent work concepts. 

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Success stories

Akhti Akher Milli

Bangladesh

“Times are changing for women. We now have more opportunities than ever. Don’t stay at home, go do what you want and learn from others!”

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Da Ching Ching

Bangladesh

“I am proud to present myself as a young female entrepreneur and not just be known as someone’s daughter. Every young woman should be able to have their own identity and run their own business.”

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Kaniz Fatema

Bangladesh

“Everyone can be an entrepreneur! Take initiative and you will be successful.”

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In Partnership with

Those who make it possible

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Hogan Lovells

Hogan Lovells

Worshipful Company of Management Consultants

Worshipful Company of Management Consultants

Citi Foundation

Citi Foundation

IKEA Foundation

IKEA Foundation

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