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Young entrepreneurs to build start-up ecosystems for SDGs

  • Published at 11:56 am December 20th, 2019
YCL2019
Winning start-ups, jury members and guest at the 'Accelerator Bangladesh 2.0: National Dialogue to Foster the Startup Ecosystem in Bangladesh' event, organized by UNDP and Citi Foundation in association with the ICT Division, in Dhaka on Tuesday, December 17, 2019 Courtesy

Youth Co-Lab aims to establish a common agenda through start-up ecosystems to empower and invest in youth population

United Nations Development Programme (UNDP) in association with Citi Foundation has created Youth Co-Lab to provide a platform for young entrepreneurs and innovators to achieve Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs).

Youth Co-Lab aims to establish a common agenda through start-up ecosystems for countries in the Asia-Pacific region to empower and invest in youth population.

An event titled “Accelerator Bangladesh 2.0: National Dialogue to Foster the Startup Ecosystem in Bangladesh” was organized by UNDP and Citi Foundation in association with the ICT Division on December 17 in Dhaka.

In the event, top three teams were awarded for their innovations as start-up ecosystems where the ideas of youth accelerating the implementation of SDGs through leadership, social innovation and entrepreneurship, were discussed among other issues.

Information and Communication Technology (ICT) State Minister Zunaid Ahmed Palak, also the chief guest at the event, said: "The government is keen to build a start-up ecosystem through incubation, technical support and resources, and idea-sharing platforms."

While thanking UNDP and Citi Foundation for the initiative, he added that Youth Co-Lab is opening doors for young entrepreneurs in Bangladesh.

Deputy Resident Representative of UNDP Bangladesh Van Nguyen said: “UNDP encourages more investment in youth in order to make them active agents of change, and partners in SDG implementation, monitoring, and accountability.” 

She continued: “Platforms like Youth Co-Lab will enable young people to take the lead in finding and developing new solutions for social and environmental problems in their respective communities.”

Citi Bangladesh Country Officer N Rajashekaran said one of Citi Foundation’s key focus areas is to harness the youth potential to achieve sustainable economic growth. 

Around 200 delegates, including government officials, private sector participants, NGOs, academics, social incubators, entrepreneurs, young business leaders, and youth from different walks of life were present at the event.