Co-created in 2017 by the United Nations Development Programme (UNDP) and the Citi Foundation, Youth Co:Lab aims to establish a common agenda for countries in the Asia-Pacific region to empower and invest in youth, so that they can accelerate the implementation of the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) through leadership, social innovation and entrepreneurship. By developing young people’s 21st century skills*, and by catalyzing and sustaining youth-led startups and social enterprises across the region, Youth Co:Lab is positioning young people front and center in order to solve the region’s most pressing challenges. In addition to supporting youth entrepreneurship, Youth Co:Lab also works closely with multiple stakeholders, including governments, civil society and the private sector, to strengthen the entrepreneurship ecosystem and to promote policies that will support and enable young people to take the lead in finding and developing new solutions for social and environmental problems in their communities.
In its inaugural year, Youth Co:Lab convened 11 national dialogues and social innovation challenges across Asia and the Pacific which culminated with a regional summit. The initiative has helped more than 1,700 young people develop their 21st century skills, and it has launched or improved 140 social enterprises. The project has also established partnerships with over 80 key partners to strengthen the Youth Empowerment Alliance.
On the back of this success, Youth Co:Lab will be scaled to 20 countries and territories in the region, including: China, Hong Kong SAR, India, Thailand, Vietnam, Philippines, Malaysia, Indonesia, Sri Lanka, Bangladesh, Pakistan, Maldives, Nepal, Fiji, Bhutan, Samoa, Solomon Islands, Myanmar, Cambodia and Timor-Leste.
Stay tuned to our ever-evolving website www.youthcolab.org for blogs, videos, competitions as well as resources for your budding entrepreneurial endeavor. The Co:Lab website will not only host the outcomes and stories from these events, it will foster greater dialogue about regional issues, and provide a platform for exchange between young people, business leaders and government. In short, the site will be a one-stop-shop for knowledge on youth entrepreneurship and social entrepreneurship in the Asia Pacific region.
The initiative is managed by a dedicated team at UNDP’s Regional Hub in Bangkok, Thailand. To get in touch with us please write to: [email protected] or send us a message through Facebook or Instagram.