Opening Remarks by Ms. Elaine Conkievich

UNDP Resident Representative,

13 December 2019, UN House


Distinguished guests and youth participants. I would like to express my sincere gratitude for you all in joining us at the “Social Pitching” event of The Social Entrepreneurship Program.

The 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development recognizes the important role of youth in achieving the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) and calls for action against the challenges faced by young people that limit their economic, social and political inclusion.

Today, young people are more connected, more creative, more informed and more persuasive than any previous generation. Young people are responding to the challenges of today with innovative approaches, contributing fresh ideas, creating the world they want, and driving human development for themselves, their communities and their societies.

 One third of the Mongolian population is made up of youth, aged from 15 to 34. Approximately 21% of the youth are unemployed or have no economic income.

 Furthermore, many young people are left out of decision-making processes, which further contributes to their marginalization and exclusion.

 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 to accelerate the implementation of the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) through leadership, social innovation and entrepreneurship.

Youth Co:Lab is implemented in 25 countries in Asia-Pacific, which makes it one of the largest youth social entrepreneurship movement in the world.

 In 2019, UNDP Mongolia joined Youth Co:Lab as a member country and within the scope of the membership, Social Entrepreneurship Program is co-implemented by UNDP Mongolia and The Science, Industrial and Innovation Agency of the capital city.

Recent studies done by Activated2030 project of UNDP Mongolia shows that young Mongolian’s creative thinking skills is quite high, but the young entrepreneurs (regionally) face a lack of specific knowledge and skills, such as networks, understanding of market and risk aversion.

UNDP Mongolia aims to address these challenges by investing and empowering young generation and by providing the platform of networks and resources to increase their impact, employment capability, revenue and international exposure for the youth to bridge the opportunities and lower the barriers to be part of the ecosystem and lowering the cost of failure.

Activated2030: A Youth Enterprising Project of UNDP Mongolia aims to increase the enterprising capability – ability turn the ideas into action of young Mongolians. We recently opened Activation Centre on the 1st floor of Hub Innovation Centre to be a platform for young people to continue their projects, get more support and information on opportunities and receive peer-to-peer learning.

The engagement and participation of youth is essential to achieving SDGs. Young people are one of the greatest potentials of our society, each of them individually, and all of them, together at once.

I would like to congratulate all the youth participants in coming this far. You were selected out of 300 applicants as representatives of diverse social background. You are leaders and drivers of change for actively engaging and participating in this first ever 3-month social entrepreneurship program organized by UNDP and UB City. Today is your day to shine and show the fruit of your 3-month hard work.

After today’s event, three national champions will be selected to move on to the next stage and participate in the Regional Springboard Programme starting next week.

Goodluck to you all!

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