Applications Invited to Support 50 Youth-led Social Startups

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Resident Representative of UNDP India Isabelle Tschan. Photo: PIB
Resident Representative of UNDP India Isabelle Tschan. Photo: PIB

Applications Invited to Support 50 Youth-led Social Startups

Applications open for the Youth Co:Lab National Innovation Dialogue 2023-2024 in India to support 50 youth-led social startups in accelerating their businesses.

Interested startups can submit their application under the themes: Agriculture Fintech and Insurtech for small and marginal farmers, Innovative solutions for indigenous groups, tribal communities, and Assistive technology and solutions. 

According to a communication released by NITI Aayog on January 12, 2024, some of the startups will also be supported with seed grants.

Speaking at the launch, Resident Representative of UNDP India Isabelle Tschan said, “India, with its significant youth population, enjoys the advantage of a demographic dividend, with nearly 40% aged between 13 to 35 years. At UNDP, we are committed to enhancing youth’s access to opportunities, in partnership with the government, the private sector, and civil society organizations.”

Dedicated young entrepreneurs offering solutions that address tangible issues or foster meaningful co-innovation opportunities aged 18-29 are invited to apply. 

Selected winners and finalists will have the opportunity to participate in an online Springboard Programme to enhance their entrepreneurial and leadership skills. 

The teams that produce the best results in the programme will be able to showcase their business ideas at the Regional Youth Co:Lab Summit 2024, to be held in June.

Speaking at the event Dr. Chintan Vaishnav, Mission Director Atal Innovation Mission (AIM), NITI Aayog said, “India has 700 million people under 30 yrs of age, and 1 in 5 workers across the globe will be Indian in the next 20 years. I firmly believe that some of the major solutions to our sustainable development aspirations will come from communities and Youth Co:Lab is a great initiative towards that objective.”

In India, Youth Co: Lab was launched in 2019 in collaboration with Atal Innovation Mission, NITI Aayog. Through this collaboration, Youth Co:Lab has conducted five national theme-specific youth social innovation and entrepreneurship dialogues in India, including several forms of engagement such as panel discussions, workshops, dialogues, and webinars.

Co-created in 2017 by the United Nations Development Programme (UNDP) and 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. 

UNDP is the leading United Nations organization fighting to end the injustice of poverty, inequality, and climate change. The Citi Foundation works to promote economic progress and improve the lives of people in low-income communities around the world. 

Atal Innovation Mission (AIM) is the Government of India’s flagship initiative to create and promote a culture of innovation and entrepreneurship across the country.

Rakesh Raman

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