Improving Livelihoods of Rural School Dropouts Undertaking Small Entrepreneurship
The study assesses the participation of dropout rural youth in different income generating activities and its impact on their socioeconomic development. It analyzes the contribution of small agricultural enterprises owned and operated by rural dropout youth in two selected villages of Dimla upazila under Nilphamari district of Bangladesh. Study finds the rate of under taking agricultural entrepreneurship by dropout youth was comparatively lower than agricultural labour and other services. The youths who involved agricultural entrepreneurship were able to increase their income and improve their livelihoods significantly. Average change in household income was 101 percent and household assets’ value was increased by 211 per cent after involvement with different small enterprises. Results also show significant development in using different life sustaining articles by the entrepreneurs. There was 138 percent increase in working-days, which indicates self employment opportunities of rural youth. Participation of the rural dropout youth to small enterprises contributed significantly towards their socioeconomic development in general and reduced the poverty gap in particular. It is suggested to have coordinated and integrated efforts from government and development organization for developing and implementing an effective youth development programme.