NITI Aayog, UNDP Launch Youth Co:Lab to promote budding Entrepreneurs in India

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Atal Innovation Mission (AIM), NITI Aayog and United Nations Development Programme (UNDP) India in order to recognise the talent of young India as critical drivers of sustainable development launched Youth Co:Lab on 4th October, with an objective to promote social entrepreneurship and innovation in young India.

Through this new initiative of  Youth Co:Lab, young entrepreneurs and innovators of the nation will get a chance to connect with governments, mentors, incubators and investors, who will help train them with the best entrepreneurial skills.

Youth Co:Lab will also organize a series of youth dialogues across various cities such as New Delhi, Hyderabad, Bangalore and Mumbai to promote entrepreneurship across India.

AIM and UNDP, as part of UNSDF signed between NITI Aayog and UN India, are coming together to spread awareness about different issues related to youth, the future of work and the Sustainable Development Goals (SDG) through Youth Co:Lab.

The first phase of Youth Co:Lab will focus on six SDGs: SDG 5 (Gender Equality), SDG 6 (Clean Water and Sanitation), SDG 7 (Affordable and Clean Energy), SDG 8 (Decent Work and Economic Growth), SDG 12 (Sustainable Consumption and Production) and SDG 13 (Climate Action).

Talking on the significance of youth led entrepreneurship, Mission Director Ramanan Ramanathan said that “youth entrepreneurship has immense potential benefits and the most significant one is that it creates huge employment opportunities in the country.”

“With the world’s largest youth population millions in the county are entering the workforce every year, it is critical for India to create a robust employment and entrepreneurship ecosystem,” he added.

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Focused to support the young people overcome challenges, UNDP and AIM, NITI Aayog will empower young people through innovative development ideas.

Also, Youth Co:Lab will arrange social innovation challenges at the national and sub-national level, which will invite young people in the age group of 18-29 years and start-ups to showcase their proposed ideas and solutions to deal with some of the region’s biggest social challenges.

They will also get the chance to pitch their innovative ideas at UNDP’s regional centre in 2020.

Aspiring entrepreneurs or nascent entrepreneurs (with less than 3 years of experience) can submit their ideas at  http://aimapp2.aim.gov.in/youth2019/entry.php  before 4 November, 2019.

Applicants who will get selected will be invited for a national innovation challenge, where after winning every winner start-up will get an opportunity to incubate and strengthen their ideas at the Atal Incubation Centres.

Speaking at the launch, Resident Representative, UNDP India Shoko Noda said, that 21st-century challenges can’t be solved with traditional approaches.

“It is essential to position young people front and centre, to solve the region’s most wicked development challenges. We must ensure that they are motivated and excited to learn future skills, particularly leadership, social innovation, entrepreneurship and communication,” she added.

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