Five youth-led Enterprises Win at Youth Co:Lab’s incubation Challenge to Promote Sustainable Development
June 20, 2022
MANILA, Philippines – Young entrepreneurs shared their ideas for positive social change at the Youth Social Innovation Lab: Kabataan All In event which concluded last May 6, with five youth groups emerging as winners. The incubation challenge, led by the United Nations Development Programme (UNDP) and Citi Foundation through Youth Co:Lab in partnership with Edukasyon.ph, supports aspiring changemakers in developing inclusive and disruptive solutions through network-building, mentorship, and funding opportunities.
Out of more than forty applications received by Edukasyon.ph, 18 groups with members aged 15-30 years old, were shortlisted to participate in a series of training sessions which ranged from mentoring sessions to business workshops. The sessions gave participants the opportunity to hone their skills in impact-driven ventures and strengthen their proposed solutions which they presented during the culminating session attended by representatives from partner organizations.
The top winner was PathFinder, whose enterprise called “Model City Council” aims to foster youth participation and leadership by providing leadership training, advocacy building, and opportunities which will empower them in proposing development solutions to their local government. The other winning pitches include “Black to the Future”, an enterprise which provides earning opportunities for junkmen of low-value black plastics by converting the trash they collected to high-value construction materials; Rise Rural Philippines, who developed a tech-based solution called “Araw-Kalinga Box” (AKB) which utilizes solar power to provide maternal and infant healthcare; Global Changemakers, who developed “Veggie Crisps Delight” which promotes the livelihood and development of rural youth farmers, and Bagong Tanglaw, who built “Peer2Peer”, an educational social platform that hosts peer-to-peer learning.
The five teams will receive a monetary prize of Php 35,000 each to support and develop their solutions. They will also be showcased in UNDP and Edukasyon.ph various platforms, and they will be enrolled in regional capacity-building sessions for young entrepreneurs called the Springboard Plus.
Grace David, CEO of Edukasyon.ph, highlighted the importance of shifting the landscape of sustainable development. “All of us have that consciousness that we want to do good, that we want to bring everyone with us,” she said. “And what’s beautiful is that it’s not limited only to NGOs or to volunteer work. We are now expanding it to be a business entity, and when there is a business model, there is true sustainability because we know we will have more resources available to do good work.”
Dorski Granada, Citi Philippines’ Head of Corporate Affairs, commended the rise of youth-led enterprises, noting, “Citi is happy to support the youth’s efforts in enabling progress in their communities. The youth are behind the many changes we see in the world today and we are confident that they will continue to change and positively impact the world in the years to come.”
This sentiment was echoed by Selva Ramachandran, UNDP Philippines’ Resident Representative, who pledged their organization’s support for the youth in their entrepreneurial journey, “Young minds like yours make us hopeful and encouraged that we will be able to bounce back stronger. You are at the forefront of our goals, leading actions to heal our planet, promote peace, and foster inclusive environments to leave no one behind.”
About Youth Co:Lab
Youth Co:Lab positions young people front and center in order to solve the region’s most pressing challenges. Co-created in 2017 by the United Nations Development Programme (UNDP) and the Citi Foundation, Youth Co:Lab aims to establish a common agenda for countries in the Asia-Pacific region 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. Youth Co:Lab has been implemented in 28 countries and territories across Asia Pacific. https://www.youthcolab.org/
UNDP is the leading United Nations organization fighting to end the injustice of poverty, inequality, and climate change. Working with our broad network of experts and partners in 170 countries, we help nations to build integrated, lasting solutions for people and the planet.
About Citi Foundation
The Citi Foundation works to promote economic progress and improve the lives of people in low-income communities around the world. We invest in efforts that increase financial inclusion, catalyze job opportunities for youth, and reimagine approaches to building economically vibrant communities. The Citi Foundation's "More than Philanthropy'' approach leverages the enormous expertise of Citi and its people to fulfill our mission and drive thought leadership and innovation. For more information, visit www.citifoundation.com.
Launched in 2015, Edukasyon.ph is the largest online youth platform in the Philippines empowering millions of Filipino students to make better education decisions that lead to a fulfilling career and life. Students use our website to access courses, schools, scholarships, online education, and other resources and opportunities to take the paths best suited to their own interests, skills and passion. We’ve worked with hundreds of schools, corporations, and foundations to enable them to reach and engage with our student community along the journey from education to career.