Samoa is the first Pacific nation to join the Youth Co:Lab global initiative, followed by Fiji, Solomon Islands and Vanuatu. Implemented by Samoa’s National Private Sector Organization, the Samoa Chamber of Commerce and Industry, the Youth Co:Lab initiative has supported 40 startup businesses and 26 businesses for scale-up since its inception in 2018. 70 young Samoan entrepreneurs have been supported by Youth Co:Lab Samoa. The Youth Co:Lab Samoa Programme has 54% of female participation and has incubated 66 social innovation ideas. Opportunities generated as a result of this programme include mentoring, networking opportunities, and overseas travels to represent Samoa at international business conferences, in-kind and financial support.
Co-created in 2017 by the United Nations Development Programme (UNDP) and the 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. By developing young people’s 21st century skills, and by catalyzing and sustaining youth-led startups and social enterprises across the region, Youth Co:Lab is positioning young people front and centre to solve the region’s most pressing challenges. In addition to supporting youth entrepreneurship, Youth Co:Lab also works closely with multiple stakeholders, including governments, civil society and the private sector, to strengthen the entrepreneurship ecosystem and to promote policies that will support and enable young people to take the lead in finding and developing new solutions for social and environmental problems in their communities.
Our Impact in Samoa
Social Innovation Ideas Incubated
Young Samoan Entrepreneurs have been Supported by Youth Co:Lab Samoa
Female Participation in Youth Co:Lab Samoa Programme
1st Place Startup Winner, Youth Co:Lab Samoa 2020
Established by Hilton So’o on 6 May 2020, EnCode Software Solutions specializes in the development of custom-made software (or application) according to the specific requirements of clients. If you can’t find any readily-available software online that can satisfy you or your business’ unique requirements, then we can build a customized solution for you.
Many local businesses rely on licensed software or systems provided by overseas companies due to the lack of marketing by our local developers. We have the expertise on island, but a lot of people don’t know about it or lack confidence in the local market.
These systems tend to be much more expensive since they require overseas support which can cost a lot in the long run as systems need to be constantly maintained in order to keep them up and running and they will usually evolve and adapt to the client’s changing needs. We are locally based and therefore provide local support as such.
I am a very passionate software developer looking to utilize my knowledge and skills to solve the many problems being faced by our people today and I believe that starting my own business is the best way to achieve this. It hasn’t been easy but I have received some good mentoring and advise from influential people during my journey so far.
Youth Co:Lab Samoa 2019 in Review
Youth Co:Lab Samoa's Journey
Youth Co:Lab Samoa 2020 was held on 17-19th November and ran as a side event for the Digital Pacific Conference facilitated by the Ministry of Communications, Information and Technology and UNDP. This National Dialogue introduced two streams of startup and scale up participants. A total of 29 youth finalists participated in this event.
Samoa’s second annual Youth Co:Lab workshop took place from 23-25 October 2019 and featured 21 young and aspiring entrepreneurs with business interests in various sectors including health, education, media and food services.
On 7-8 June 2018, the UNDP Samoa Multi-Country Office (MCO) hosted the first ever Youth Co:Lab workshop in Samoa. The pilot event brought together 20 young Samoans with a passion for social innovation and entrepreneurship.
Youth Co:Lab Samoa's Highlight
Samoa Hosts Youth Co:Lab
Samoa hosted the first Youth Co:Lab at Tanoa Tusitala Hotel. Present were 21 young Samoan entrepreneurs and mentors from Samoa Chamber of Commerce, with the goal of creating Information and Communication Technology (I.C.T.) solutions for an ethical and inclusive Samoa. The Director of Women in Business Development Incorporated (W.I.B.D.I.), Adimaimalaga Tafunai spoke about the setting of social entrepreneurship in Samoa.
Samoa Chamber of Commerce and Industry
British High Commission Apia
UK Aid from the British People