First day of the Asia-Pacific Forum on Youth Leadership, Innovation, and Entrepreneurship in Beijing, China

Day 0: Planning and organising

The first day of the Asia-Pacific Forum on Youth Leadership, Innovation, and Entrepreneurship in Beijing, China has been nothing short of amazing! At a time when the largest group of young people live in Asia, many social entrepreneurs from across the region have been starting social enterprises - at varying successes. They’ve met for Youth Co:Lab’s Youth Empowerment Alliance, a large, multilateral ecosystem of different actors, which aims to make youth-led social entrepreneurship more successful, empowering and sustainable in an open learning environment.


What is: Youth Co:Lab’s Springboard program?

A key output of Youth Co:Lab is its support for youth social innovation challenges - and we have lots of them around. The springboard program will help young people make their solutions successful from identification and ideation towards incubation. With YEA’s large ecosystem - which contains a pool of young experts, seed funders, and government representatives - it’s a very good example of how to crowdsource and invest on the best solutions for the greatest impact!


Focusing on: ICE Hongkong

Jey Chan says ICE Hongkong wants to tap everyone’s cross-cultural competencies to shape a global society. We’re living in an increasingly connected world today as several cities are becoming the melting pots for different cultures and individuals - but how do we best deal with intercultural communication and its interaction with our own? ICE is aiming that its students learn about the cultural diversity makes us stronger together, not weaker, in today’s world. You can know more about them here.


Look forward to: UNDP’s report on the state of youth-led social entrepreneurship

YEA is all about evidence-based implementation: its research arm aims to support access to data how young people can best start a social business in their communities. They’ve shared to us a preliminary report on the the state of youth-led social entrepreneurship - there’s so many young people starting businesses in the region, but social businesses discontinue at twice the rate of regular businesses. UNDP’s set to publish it in the following weeks!


Today: Setting the scene on youth, social entrepreneurship, and the SDGs

Quite a long but exciting agenda for today! Different discussions on how small actions and technology help us to create big impact for the future. Different youth-led enterprises will also pitch for the Asia-Pacific Youth Impact Awards - wishing all the best for the youth-led teams!


Written by Manu Gaspar, winner of Youth CoLab blog competition