Youth Co:Lab Pakistan was launched in 2019, by the United Nations Development Programme and Citi Foundation. Youth Co:Lab Pakistan works closely with multiple stakeholders across the country including the government, civil society and the private sector, to strengthen the emerging entrepreneurship ecosystem in Pakistan and create pathways for the economic empowerment of youth by facilitating the next generation of social entrepreneurs to accelerate their initiatives in achieving the Sustainable Development Goals.
Through the Youth Empowerment Programme, Youth Co:Lab Pakistan currently promotes entrepreneurship to equip young people with necessary skills to start their own businesses and grow enterprises that will create more employment while providing opportunities to otherwise disadvantaged young people, directly contributing to SDG 8 - Decent Work and Economic Growth. Youth Co:Lab Pakistan works with young entrepreneurs in all sectors at various stages of business growth through scouting for good ideas, turning them into viable business solutions, and providing effective mentoring and grants. Currently, Youth Co:Lab Pakistan has three key components i.e., the National Dialogue, the Movers Programme and Digital Skills Development, which are working to:
• Provide capacity building, mentorship and grants to youth-led social enterprises
• Promote policy dialogue for youth innovation and entrepreneurship
• Facilitate 21st century skills development and SDG awareness
• Equip youth with demand-driven digital skills to create a skilled digital workforce
Youth Co:Lab Pakistan National Dialogue
National Dialogues are an important element of Youth Co:Lab Pakistan, and have had an impact on young people across the country. Each year, the National Dialogue brings together local youth, government, private sector and academia with the aim of promoting an enabling environment for entrepreneurship and strengthening the capabilities of youth to adopt 21st century business models for social development.
570+ Applications Received
1.5 Million Youth Engaged
66 Youth Upskilled
62 Social Entreprises Supported
$30,000 Total Funds Disbursed
30+ Partners Engaged
SDG Bootcamp Winner 2019
Daastan is Pakistan's premier book publishing marketplace which enables young writers to publish their work, sell globally and earn royalties from sales. The team has been able to gather 10,000 authors from 17 countries and has produced 500+ original books in local languages of Pakistan. They conduct workshops in universities to upskill youth and story writing competitions online to give chances to new authors to come on mainstream media. Their strong linkages with academia, homegrown localized book publishing technology and global awards are a testimony of their social impact. To date, Top 20 authors have collectively earned 10,000 USD in royalties over the past two years. Their vision is to put a book in every hand.
Youth Co:Lab Pakistan Digital Skills Development Journey
Youth Co:Lab Pakistan equips young people, especially young women, transgenders, minorities and youth who are differently abled, with demand-driven basic digital skills to help increase their economic opportunities and create a skilled digital workforce. This provides young people with the opportunity to provide services online, start online businesses or grow their businesses by using digital skills.
Youth Co:Lab Pakistan collaborated with SheLovesTech, a flagship initiative by CIRCLE Women, to upskill 300 youth from underserved communities using low cost technology and the power of entrepreneurship. Pivoted under COVID-19, the initiative took youth through an online bootcamp to train them on basic digital skills and soft skills, preparing them for jobs/freelancing work in the field of technology.
Youth Co:Lab Pakistan trained 60 youth on digital skills including web app development in asp. net, user experience/user interface designing, social media marketing and e-commerce, skills that can be used remotely and enable them to provide services online in order to earn a living from the comfort of their homes.