2023 Youth Co:Lab Summit promotes inclusive entrepreneurship

July 24, 2023 | 17:06
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Close to 200 participants representing 20 countries and territories, including two representatives from Vietnam, gathered in Bangkok to discuss how they can help tackle the world’s most pressing societal challenges through leadership, social innovation, and entrepreneurship at the 2023 Youth Co:Lab Regional Summit.
2023 Youth Co:Lab Summit promotes inclusive entrepreneurship

The year's agenda was to encourage and celebrate the role of youth in accelerating the implementation of the United Nations Sustainable Development Goals, showcasing and inspiring action from these young entrepreneurs to support underserved communities and the most excluded social groups.

The summit focused on enabling inclusive entrepreneurship to ensure equitable progress that will ‘Leave No One Behind’, particularly those from vulnerable and marginalised communities. Youth social entrepreneurs presented their inclusive solutions, including female-centred solutions, and solutions impacting indigenous communities.

Vietnam's representatives included the founder of WordsMine, an edtech startup that helps people expand their vocabulary and general director of Zone Startups Vietnam, a reputable startup accelerator that runs significant initiatives that support youth and women empowerment.

The gathering is being hosted at the United Nations Conference Centre in Bangkok by Citi Foundation and the United Nations Development Programme (UNDP), in partnership with the United Nations Economic and Social Commission for Asia and the Pacific, the Commonwealth Secretariat, CVC Capital Partners, the International Labour Organisation, and the Islamic Development Bank.

“At Citi and the Citi Foundation, we are committed to fully embracing the diversity of the communities we serve. Through initiatives such as this summit, we hope to bring together partners to support young people’s entrepreneurial journeys and break down barriers that inhibit inclusive progress,” said Peter Babej, Asia Pacific CEO at Citi.

“Today, young people across the Asia-Pacific region are not only aware of present-day challenges that affect their communities, they are also taking proactive steps to make a difference. If we harness the entrepreneurial mindsets of these young people and involve them in creating innovative solutions based on their personal experiences, we can build bridges to inclusive growth,” said Violet Baffour, UNDP Bangkok regional hub director.

"This summit is an incredibly valuable opportunity as it provides a forum that goes above and beyond to reach marginalised communities and to empower young social enterprises that are bringing services and products to underserved groups,” she added.

Youth Co:Lab, co-created by the UNDP and the Citi Foundation in 2017, is the largest youth movement for empowerment, social entrepreneurship, equality, and social inclusion in Asia Pacific and has supported young people in 28 countries and territories. Since its inception, activities supported by Youth Co:Lab have involved over 255,000 participants across the Asia Pacific region.

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