Youth entrepreneurship

ILO co-convenes dialogue on youth entrepreneurship ecosystem in Asia and the Pacific in collaboration with UNDP, Commonwealth Secretariat, Islamic Development Bank and UNESCAP

The first workshop was held to discuss creating a Strategic Intelligence Hub for Youth Entrepreneurship Ecosystem in Asia and the Pacific.

Press release | Bangkok, Thailand | 15 July 2022
Participants of strategic intelligence hub workshop. © UNDP
BANGKOK, Thailand (ILO News) – Young people in Asia and the Pacific will benefit from an enabling entrepreneurship ecosystem, one which gives them access to skills development, finance, networking, markets and business development services to fulfil their potential as entrepreneurs.

To help meet this need, UNDP, the Commonwealth Secretariat, ILO, Islamic Development Bank and UNESCAP held a workshop in Singapore on 4-5 July to devise a strategic intelligence hub for youth entrepreneurship ecosystem in Asia and the Pacific. The workshop was part of the Youth Co:Lab Summit 2022 in Singapore, co-organized by UNDP and Citi Foundation and in partnership with National Youth Council Singapore.

The dialogue brought together government officials and policy makers from Bangladesh, Bhutan, Brunei, Maldives and Pakistan. The participants shared country-specific knowledge and ideas about needs, potential objectives and roles of a strategic intelligence hub to promote youth entrepreneurship.

Other areas needing further support were discussed, including expanding regional and national understanding of relevant policies, regulatory frameworks and requirements to identify ecosystem challenges and enablers for various youth groups as well as fostering collective intelligence for South-South and triangular collaboration between government partners and other key stakeholders.

During the two-day workshop, the delegations further expanded their knowledge and shared insights, including through country case studies and engagement with young entrepreneurs from Asia and the Pacific.

Discussion on youth entrepreneurship ecosystem in Asia Pacific. © UNDP
Beniam Gebrezghi, UNDP Programme Specialist on Youth and Civil Society, commented, “the Hub will be a starting point of an explorative journey for key stakeholders to exchange knowledge and experiences on the current state of youth entrepreneurship eco-system and what it means for policymakers and its potential impact in respective countries.”

Akira Kawasaki, ILO Entrepreneurship and SME Development Officer, contributed to the workshop by highlighting the need of the hub to create synergies among existing youth entrepreneurship initiatives and facilitate cross-national cooperation and knowledge exchanges.

The UN Global Initiative on Decent Jobs for Youth and its thematic area on youth entrepreneurship and self-employment provide a platform for local, national, regional and international stakeholders to collaborate towards greater access to decent work for young women and men. It is an inclusive global alliance of partners committed to scaling up action and impact on youth employment under the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development. It recognizes the important roles of governments, social partners, youth and civil society, parliamentarians, the private sector, the media, the UN, academia, foundations and regional institutions in promoting decent work for youth. Collectively, the ILO, UNDP and partners bring a vast network of resources, knowledge and partnerships that can be leveraged to achieve a positive impact on the lives of young people, including through entrepreneurship, for a human-centred recovery.