United Nations Development Programme (UNDP) and the Citi Foundation jointly founded 'Youth Co:Lab'— a platform for young entrepreneurs in the Asia Pacific region towards achieving the sustainable development goals (SDGs) through innovative business solutions.
The closing event of "Youth Co:Lab Bangladesh National Springboard Programme 3.0" was organised by these two organisations in collaboration with the ICT Division on Thursday through a virtual conference.
The event was organised to share the ideas of youth for accelerating implementation of SDGs through leadership, social innovation and entrepreneurship, said a press statement.
Zunaid Ahmed Palak, state minister for ICT Division, NM Zeaul Alam chairman of Startup Bangladesh Ltd, Sudipto Mukherjee, resident representative of UNDP, and N Rajashekaran (Shekar), Citi country officer, Bangladesh, among others joined the virtual event.
For the third consecutive year, the Youth Co:Lab is working to further strengthen the agenda of development and tackling SDGs. This year the global pandemic has caused an unforeseen rise of unemployment in Bangladesh and entrepreneurship is key to tackling unemployment, the media statement read.
During the event, top five teams were awarded for their innovations as startup ecosystems from the 13 social enterprises. These startups participated in a 3-day virtual bootcamp, which was conducted by the experts from UNDP.
This year, Amar Lab, Kotha, Liter of Light Bangladesh, Mechanic Koi and the Releaf were awarded in the national dialogue event.
These teams came up with excellent solutions with significant social impact at the community level for attaining the SDGs.
N Rajashekaran (Shekar), Citi country officer, Bangladesh said, "We are constantly impressed with the innovations of our young Bangladeshi entrepreneurs and their endeavors in addressing the SDGs challenges."
"Through Youth Co:Lab, we are working closely with the startups to harness their spirit and inspire them to reach new heights every day. Citi Foundation is proud to join this movement and work on solving some of the most crucial social and economic challenges," he added.