‘More vibrant, prosperous society can be ensured thru empowering youth’

Published : 12 Mar 2023 08:03 PM

Iqbal Bahar Zahid is a well known person in the field of entrepreneurship and youth development. He is recognized for his remarkable efforts to reduce frustration and encourage entrepreneurship among young unemployed people.

Zahid is the founder of the Youth Entrepreneurship Development Foundation (YEDF), a non-profit organization based in Bangladesh. The YEDF is dedicated to providing training and support to young entrepreneurs, particularly those from marginalized communities.

Zahid's vision is to create a more vibrant and prosperous society by empowering young people to create their own businesses and become financially independent. He believes that entrepreneurship is a powerful tool for social and economic development, and that young people have the potential to drive this change.

In 2018, he founded the entrepreneur training platform 'Nijer bolar moto ekta golpo' with the vow of 'I will not take a job, I will give a job'. Make the young generation want to do something to effectively minimize unemployment.  In recent time, he has spoke with Bangladesh Post. Rest are as below.

Bangladesh Post: How is your online entrepreneurship training program progressing?

Iqbal Bahar: Yes thanks, so far so good Alhamdulillah. We have trained over seven lakh students online so far.

Bangladesh Post: Why are you doing such thing?

Iqbal Bahar: see, it is very simple to create an entrepreneur, but I focus on developing their business and taking it to the next level. So that no entrepreneur falls out. In that sense, it can be called craftsman. Moreover, I don't just show dreams, I also teach how to make dreams come true.

Bangladesh Post:  Why did you establish this foundation?

Iqbal Bahar: I think that every human being needs to have a story to tell. Having a house, having a car, owning huge prestige, and growing up alone, can't really be a story. Your story will be worth telling when you've helped ten, twenty, or a hundred people move forward as well.

Bangladesh Post: What inspired you to establish this foundation?

Iqbal Bahar: Personally, I believe that every human being should have a story to tell. Having a house, a car, enormous fame, and growing up alone cannot be a story. When you've helped ten, twenty, or a hundred people move forward, your story will be worth telling. Based on this thought, I have developed NBMEGF.

Bangladesh Post: How did the Foundation start?

Iqbal Bahar: I used to do voluntary work since my student life. From there, an urge created in me that wants to work for the country. But what to do? How to do?  Meanwhile, it seems that when I speak, people listen attentively. I thought then I would teach them like a story. I left my job and became an entrepreneur, I was thinking about how to eliminate the unemployment problem in Bangladesh. For that purpose we established NBMEGF. As if entrepreneurship is created from here.

Bangladesh Post: Is the foundation approved by the government?

Iqbal Bahar: Yes, of course. Our Foundation got approval under Society Act 2020. We have already worked with several government institutions, including the Ministry of Information Technology and Child and Family Welfare.

Bangladesh Post: How many batches have been completed and how many batches are in progress?

Iqbal Bahar: At the beginning, I thought it would last for seven days, and maybe it would end after one batch. But the interest of the students was so intense that I could not stop it. So far we have completed 20 batches where about seven lakh children have been trained. Already about one lakh new entrepreneurs have been created.

Bangladesh Post: How many countries around the world is NBMEGF carrying out its activities?

Iqbal Bahar: Our foundation's operations are carried out now in 64 districts across Bangladesh. Similarly, entrepreneurs manage the NBMEGF in over 50 countries, including Saudi Arabia, Dubai, Italy, Germany, Malaysia, and Singapore.

Bangladesh Post: Are you taking any initiative to expand the activities of the foundation?

Iqbal Bahar: Yeah, of course, Agreements have been reached with some banks to provide loans to our entrepreneurs on easy terms. Aside from that, we are collaborating with various government agencies to train them further.

Bangladesh Post:  Would you like to say something to those who want to become entrepreneurs?

Iqbal Bahar: I always say to those who come to me to learn, it is important to be a good person before you become an entrepreneur. The place of human values should be kept right. I give more importance to that. I want to tell everyone, you don't grow up alone, grow up with some people. Help others grow too. As a result, for the first time in Bangladesh, our platform's entrepreneurs promote each other's for free.