It is the bold, innovative thinking of our young and enterprising population that can give Bangladesh a competitive edge in business on the global stage.
The entrepreneurial instincts needed to help Bangladesh develop, so that it can serve the nation’s growing population, are there already. They just need to be allowed to flourish.
It is, then, a matter of great regret that Bangladesh has ranked so abysmally low in the new Global Entrepreneurship Index, coming in at 133rd place among 137 countries.
Only Mauritania, Sierra Leone, Burundi, and Chad are worse places than Bangladesh in which to start a new business.
While the methodology used in the ranking is not beyond reproach, the results should still be a cause for embarrassment, and a bit of sober reflection, for Bangladesh.
Why is it so hard to start a business in Bangladesh? And why are we failing to nurture our young entrepreneurs?
The sad reality is that entrepreneurs come up against too many barriers when trying to do business here.
Not only do regulatory barriers frustrate and thwart many promising start-ups, the lack of a business-friendly infrastructure, inefficiency, and corruption in governance serve as hindrances to entrepreneurship.
We can and must take down these institutional barriers holding us back. For Bangladesh to succeed, it is imperative we create an atmosphere more conducive to business and enterprise.
The Bangladesh economy has shown tremendous resilience in the face of domestic problems, and has maintained an admirable growth rate. This is testament to the creativity and hard work of our entrepreneurs, who have ploughed on in spite of many obstacles.
Let us do right by our entrepreneurs, and let them take the country forward.
The future of the Bangladeshi economy lies in their hands.