Samoan Young Entrepreneurs Take on SDGs at Youth Co:Lab Samoa 2022

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    Several young, local entrepreneurs have won seed funding to take their businesses to the next level, at the completion of the latest round of the Youth Co:Lab program.

    Through the support of the Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade Regional, the Samoa Chamber of
    Commerce and Industry, in partnership with the United Nations Development Programme (UNDP), has facilitated the fourth annual Youth Co:Lab Samoa National Dialogue 2022 from the 27th June – 1 st July 2022 at the Tanoa Hotel Conference Room.

    Youth Co:Lab Samoa (YCL Samoa) is a startup incubator program that brings together a diverse group of Samoan youth in the early stages of operating their businesses, or young, aspiring entrepreneurs, and works to improve or create business plans introducing innovative thinking, financial planning and social impact through the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs). The industry interest of this year’s cohort ranged from transportation, food services, 3D mapping and manufacturing, to name a few.

    The key objectives of the Samoa National Dialogue include providing a national platform for young social entrepreneurs across Upolu and Savaii and to foster a sense of community between youth entrepreneurs, industry leaders, government stakeholders and business support including the Samoa Chamber being the National Private Sector Organization.

    “Today starts the National Dialogue for Samoa’s Youth Co:Lab bringing this program’s most important stakeholders, our young entrepreneurs, to discuss and establish a common goal to strengthen the coalition and establish an enabling ecosystem to promote social innovation through entrepreneurial spirit for the benefit of Samoa,” said Mr. Patrick Lawson, Second Secretary of the Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade, Australia, in his opening remarks for the program.

    “Through our close partnership with the Samoa Chamber of Commerce, as the lead implementing partner for this initiative, the Youth Co Lab Initiative has supported over sixty young entrepreneurs since its inception in 2018 through capital investment, funding, capacity building, mentoring and networking opportunities,” said Ms. Verena Linneweber, Officer in Charge of UNDP.

    The Samoa Chamber acknowledges the support of its private sector partners – BOSS Jewelry, TokoUso Barbershop and Food Bar, Brown Consult, Samoa Stationery and Books, SkyEye, Vodafone Samoa, Digicel Samoa, Mana Care, BookingSamoa, INSEACT and the Samoa Business Hub.

    The Chamber also wishes to thank the UNDP Bangkok Regional Hub, the UNDP Accelerator Lab as well as the Ministry of Commerce, Industry and Labour, Ministry of Customs and Revenue, and the Ministry of Communications, Information, and Technology for their support and participation in this initiative.