Largest gathering of young social entrepreneurs in Asia-Pacific underlines the role of youth in climate protection

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The Regional Youth Co:Lab Summit, co-organized by the Citi Foundation and the United Nations Development Program (UNDP), celebrates 5 years of positioning young people at the frontline and at the center to solve the region’s most pressing challenges

SINGAPORE, July 7, 2022 /PRNewswire/ — Nearly 250 participants from 20 countries and territories gathered Singapore to discuss how they can help address the world’s most pressing challenges at the 2022 Youth Co:Lab Regional Summit youth in climate protection and Leave no youth behindparticipants united behind a common agenda to accelerate the implementation of the United Nations Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) through leadership, social innovation and entrepreneurship.

Citi logo (PRNewsfoto/Citi)

hosted in Singapore The Citi Foundation-UNDP Hybrid Summit will be held in partnership with the National Youth Council Singapore (NYC). Over 3,000 people from more than 100 countries have also registered online via Youth Co:Lab’s virtual platforms to join us.

Minister of State, Department for Culture, Community and Youth & Department for Trade and Industry, Alvin Tan opened the summit with keynote addresses that focused on the importance of partnerships to empower and equip our youth to take action. (You can contact the media representative of the National Youth Council for the full copy of MOS Tan’s opening speech.)

During the two-day summit, participants will engage with private and public stakeholders, including governments, investors, incubators and accelerators, to discuss youth leadership and empowerment for sustainable development, innovative financing solutions, a gender-responsive entrepreneurship ecosystem and the future of work .

“When given space and a voice, youth are powerful actors in tackling some of the world’s toughest development challenges, and UNDP is committed to supporting and mobilizing young people, particularly social entrepreneurs, who are driving innovation in communities around the world Asia Pacific region,” said Christopher Bahuet Deputy Director, UNDP Regional Office for Asia and the Pacific. “This Summit is an invaluable opportunity to join forces with these young, determined drivers of social justice and entrepreneurship to expand our efforts to build a greener, more inclusive and more sustainable future.”

Attending the Summit, Citis Head of South Asia & ASEAN, Amol Gutte said, “Citi is excited to bring young people together and engage them in solving tomorrow’s challenges. Aiming to rapidly advance the UN SDGs by 2030, the summit is a crucial platform for young entrepreneurs from across the region to access the support needed to help their transformative ideas grow to fruition and scale.”

More than twenty young social entrepreneurs will also present their innovative solutions on the topics of climate protection, the advancement of women and leaving no one behind.

Represent Singapore At the summit are youth teams Artwave and previous participants in the National Youth Council’s Youth Action Challenge[1] Stick ‘Em, HomePal and SELF.

  • Artwave creates meaningful encounters at the intersections of sustainability, mental wellbeing and art through initiatives such as audio dives at local locations South East AsiaAudio walks in artist enclaves and (sustainable) online dinners.

  • Stick ‘Em makes STEM education accessible to everyone by building robots with chopsticks at 1/10th the cost of traditional robotics kits.

  • HomePal is a technology startup and social enterprise whose core product is a fall detection system that uses IoT devices and AI-enabled verification to quickly and accurately detect falls or anomalies in nursing homes while protecting their privacy.

  • SELF is a grassroots initiative that aims to reduce inequalities faced by low-income women in Singapore by bridging opportunities for them to remain employable and achieve progressive income growth.

The summit will also discuss the catalytic role young social entrepreneurs can play in tackling the climate crisis, with key findings from a Youth Co:Lab research report titled Climate concerns for climate action: The role of young social entrepreneurs. Based on the responses of 1,085 young entrepreneurs in 25 countries in the region, 74% of young entrepreneurs believe that climate-related challenges will have a negative impact on their business. 66% of young entrepreneurs surveyed are actively engaged in offering products or services to mitigate the impacts of climate change, such as through policy, advocacy, and education and skills for green jobs. The results of the study will be officially presented after the summit.

Youth Co:Lab, co-launched in 2017 by UNDP and the Citi Foundation, is implemented in 28 countries and territories and is the largest youth movement for empowerment, social entrepreneurship, equality and social inclusion in Asia Pacific. Young people around the world are responding to today’s challenges with innovative approaches and fresh ideas, building bridges and creating the world they want. Youth Co:Lab works closely with multiple stakeholders across the region, including governments, civil society and the private sector, to strengthen the entrepreneurship ecosystem and policy environment to better empower young people to take the lead in new Adopt solutions that contribute to the achievement of the SDGs.

Since its inception, the initiative has reached over 200,000 participants, benefited over 11,000 young social entrepreneurs and supported over 1,240 social enterprises to start or improve.

The Regional Youth Co:Lab Summit is another milestone celebrating Citis 120th anniversary one Singapore. On this occasion and in line with the theme of the summit Leave no youth behindCiti Singapore presented a check from S$152,021 to ChildAid at the opening of the summit to help build a better future for disadvantaged youth. ChildAid is a charity concert that raises funds for The Straits Times School Pocket Money Fund (STSPMF) and Business Times Budding Artist Fund (BTBAF) to provide students from low-income families with a monthly grant for school-related expenses and the arts and crafts respectively .Since 2002, Citi has raised S$7.1 million (from 2021) to support these two funds.

About Citi

Citi, the leading global bank, has approximately 200 million customer accounts and operates in more than 160 countries and jurisdictions. Citi provides a wide range of financial products and services to consumers, businesses, governments and institutions, including consumer banking and lending, corporate and investment banking, securities brokerage, transaction services and wealth management

Visit www.citigroup.com | for more information Twitter: @Citi | YouTube: www.youtube.com/citi | Blog: http://blog.citigroup.com | Facebook: www.facebook.com/citi | LinkedIn: www.linkedin.com/company/citi.

About the Citi Foundation

The Citi Foundation works to advance economic progress and improve the lives of people in low-income communities around the world. We invest in efforts that improve financial inclusion, boost youth employment opportunities and reinvent approaches to building economically vibrant communities. The Citi Foundation’s “More than Philanthropy” approach leverages the vast expertise of Citi and its employees to fulfill our mission and drive thought leadership and innovation. Visit www.citifoundation.com for more information.

About UNDP

UNDP is the leading United Nations agency working to end the injustices of poverty, inequality and climate change. Working with our broad network of experts and partners in 170 countries, we help nations develop integrated, lasting solutions for people and planet. Learn more at undp.org or follow us at @UNDP.

About the National Youth Council (NYC)

At NYC, we believe in a world where young people are respected, heard, and empowered to impact and change the world. Together with our partners, we develop sustainable young people who get involved Singapore by instilling in them a heart for service, resilience and an entrepreneurial spirit.

[1] Organized by the National Youth Council (NYC) and in partnership with the Citi Foundation and UNDP, the Youth Action Challenge (YAC) empowers youth to engage with government, business and community organizations on grassroots initiatives to achieve youth vision for Singapore in 2025 The YAC offers youth the opportunity to turn their ideas into reality through curated workshops and guidance from experienced industry professionals. More information at www.jugendaktionsplan.sg

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