Speech by the UNDP Resident Representative a.i., Narine Sahakyan, at the Young Entrepreneurs Academy Finale

April 19, 2024

Narine Sahakyan, Resident Representative a.i. of UNDP in BiH


Your Excellency, esteemed Minister Hota-Muminović, dear professors and students, 

It is with great pleasure and enthusiasm that I welcome you at this event dedicated at acknowledging your achievements and putting at use all the knowledge and skills you have gained throughout this learning journey that we started together in September last year. 

Entrepreneurship has direct positive impacts specifically towards economic development and unemployment reduction (SDG 8), enhancement of infrastructure and innovation (SDG 9), social equality and inclusion (SDGs 5 and 10) and sustainable production and consumption (SDG 12). But empowering you as young entrepreneurs is not merely a matter of economic development and growth; we believe that it is an investment in our collective future.  

We at UNDP are deeply committed to this cause. Through our various programs and initiatives like the Economic Governance for Growth (EGG2) Project, we strive to creating an enabling ecosystem that fosters a culture of entrepreneurship, empowers young people, and promotes sustainable development.  By harnessing the power of innovation and entrepreneurship of young people, we can jointly address some of the most pressing challenges facing our world today, including poverty, inequality, climate change, unemployment, and technological disruption.

Today, across the globe, young people are demonstrating remarkable creativity, innovation, and resilience in the face of unprecedented challenges confronting our society. Young people are the driving force behind sustainable development and have a key role in shaping a more inclusive and prosperous world and I am nothing short of impressed by the motivation, brilliance and dedication exhibited by the youth in Bosnia and Herzegovina. The Academy has become a platform to nurture talent, ignite passion, and cultivate the entrepreneurial spirit that resides within the youth in Bosnia and Herzegovina - whether it involves creating the next groundbreaking technology, revolutionizing an industry, or making a difference in your community. 

Today, as we gather here, we reaffirm our commitment to nurturing this entrepreneurial spirit, to providing the necessary support systems, and to unlocking the full potential of young people, including the remarkable contributions of the many talented women who have been an integral part of this Academy. At UNDP in BiH, we are dedicated to promoting gender equality and empowering women in entrepreneurship and beyond, recognizing that gender equality is not only a fundamental human right but also a necessary foundation for a peaceful, prosperous, and sustainable society. Through initiatives like the Young Entrepreneurs Academy, we look forward to contributing to the creation of an enabling environment where young entrepreneurs thrive and contribute meaningfully to society in Bosnia and Herzegovina. 

I use this opportunity to thank the Government of Norway for continued support and partnership, as well as our institutional partner, the Ministry of education of Canton Sarajevo, who recognized the importance of strengthening the culture of entrepreneurship and entrepreneurial education and who, together, with our support, is undertaking critical steps towards building resilient economy and society as a whole. 

To the young entrepreneurs sitting before me, I challenge you to dream big, work hard, and never lose sight of your goals. The world is yours for the taking, and I have no doubt that each and every one of you has the potential to make a lasting impact.

Thank you!