|Overview : |
The UNDP believes that youth can make a real and positive difference by engaging with challenges head on through innovation, exploring dynamic approaches to mobilizing their peers and communities and creating adaptive solutions. An emphasis on promoting innovative solutions can help ensure that scarce resources are leveraged for maximum impact and engagement.
Co-created in 2017 by UNDP and the Citi Foundation, the Regional Youth Programme on Leadership, Innovation and Entrepreneurship (Youth Co:Lab) aims 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. In 2020, Youth Co: Lab expanded to 25 countries and territories, deepening mentorship capacity for youth entrepreneurs through the Springboard Programme (startup acceleration programme), and engaging ecosystem partners in the development of young people’s 21st Century skills. Youth Co:Lab was launched in Japan in 2019 with a SDG business idea contest, “Social Innovation Challenge” (open call for youth led social entrepreneurship solutions to tackle SDGs), and a symposium “Japan Dialogue” held in November 2019.
In 2020, UNDP RO Tokyo and Citi Foundation co-hosted a series of National Dialogues and Social Innovation Challenge. The events were held online given the evolving situation of the COVID-19.
Through Youth Co:Lab, a regional programme supported through the UNDP Bangkok Regional Hub and co-led with Citi Foundation, UNDP Representation Office in Tokyo is seeking to empower and engage youth to internalize innovation, co-design and develop the next generation of services by prototyping new ideas and solutions that address national and global agenda.
It will support youth and other stakeholders to:
- Strengthen the ecosystem for enhanced coalition building and networking among young entrepreneurs, social innovators and youth-led networks and organisations with leaders and experts in the fields of business, development, finance, technology and innovation
- Build the capacity of young entrepreneurs, social innovators and youth-led networks and organisations through developmental exercises and mentoring, and recognise their skills and talent
- Provide funding and investment platform to scale successful innovations both nationally and regionally.