Employment & Entrepreneurship

Helping young entrepreneurs create start-up successes

Swapnil Kudale Starts Pressed Steel Radiator Business entrepreneur
Business is booming for young entrepreneur

If you had an idea for a business, would you know how to get started? Which pitfalls to avoid? How to get funds and then make sure they’re used wisely?

Millions of young people in India and Bangladesh are unemployed or in low-wage, low-skilled or unsafe jobs. Even if they have a great idea for their own business, they often lack access to the skills and guidance to get it off the ground and keep it going.

But if young people had the support and training to start and grow their own businesses, they could solve their own employment challenges and even create jobs for others, too.

It takes more than a good idea to succeed as an entrepreneur

Take Swapnil Kudale, a 28-year-old entrepreneur from the Pune district in India, for example. With the help of mentorship and training provided by Bharatiya Yuva Shakti Trust, a member of Youth Business International (YBI), he went from welding in a factory to running his own pressed-steel radiator business in just 18 months. He now employs 16 people, and his business is thriving.

Swapnil in his factory
From factory worker to business owner

What is Swapnil’s advice for aspiring young entrepreneurs?“Believe in your business idea and put in the maximum effort to realise it. Obstacles are stepping stones to success. Winning a race requires consistent effort, dedication, self-belief and a fighting spirit.”

Growing a hobby into a business

Thirty-year-old Da Ching, from the Bandarban district of Bangladesh, is another great example. Despite having graduated with a Master’s degree, Da Ching struggled to find employment. As a hobby, she created ornaments and posted pictures of them on Facebook. The interest she generated gave her the idea of starting her own business. She called it Finery, but it wasn’t until she joined a programme offered by B’Yeah, one of YBI’s members, that she gained the skills and support to grow her business.

Mentoring, training and support has helped Da Ching to turn her hobby into a business

Thanks to mentoring, training and support, Da Ching has been able to register her business and open a shop in Dhaka. Her business continues to grow, and she now not only supports herself but also employs 14 people in her factory and shop.

Da Ching is always looking for opportunities to support her community through her business. She pays members of her community to make traditional dresses for women, which she sells online and in her shop. As well as supporting people to generate an income, this is a way to showcase their indigenous culture. She also recently started running courses at her shop, where she teaches people to create their own rickshaw art. These courses enable people to explore their creativity and learn a new skill.

Da Ching is proud to be a young female entrepreneur

“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,” Da Ching says.

Developing young entrepreneurs

Through the YBI network of local member organisations, young people can access a wide range of entrepreneurship support services that enable them to start and grow their businesses, create jobs and transform lives.

The IKEA Foundation is excited to be supporting Youth Business International with a new grant to provide 2,050 young entrepreneurs–like Swapnil in India and Da Ching in Bangladesh–with training, mentoring, access to finance, and support in adopting digital technologies, so they can create over 6,200 quality jobs for other people in their communities.

We believe that young people are the key to creating thriving businesses that boost their economies and create jobs in their local markets. That’s why we are excited to see the changes these young entrepreneurs make in their families and communities!