Concept Note

SOUTH-SOUTH ENTREPRENEURSHIP ACADEMY

Building Global Citizenship and Harnessing Entrepreneurial Skills and Mindset

Through South-South Cooperation

“Technology, Financial Innovation and Entrepreneurship”

Date: 3-4 April, 2019

Venue: Youth Square, Hong Kong SAR

 

The event is organised by the United Nations Office for South-South Cooperation (UNOSSC) and Centre for Business/Social Sustainability and Innovations (BSSI) of Gratia Business School of Gratia Christian College with support from the Government of Hong Kong SAR (Cyberport), Youth Square, and UNESCO Hong Kong Association.

 

Background

A rapidly changing world offers many challenges and opportunities for the youth, particularly in the Global South countries. Among these challenges are high levels of unemployment resulting from massive economic and social transformation ushered in by globalisation, digitalisation, the internet economy and artificial intelligence. Furthermore, many young people are left isolated due to the pressure to keep up with educational demands and social integration. These together create a burden on the global efforts to achieve inclusive growth and sustainable development. Meanwhile, the youth population, due to their internet literacy and their bulging numbers in the work force, have an opportunity to play a critical role in contributing to such goals through entrepreneurship and innovation. Considering these, there is a need for investment in human capital and in the young population in particular to be equipped with the current qualities, skills, knowledge and know-how of global citizenship and entrepreneurship in order to achieve the sustainable development agenda that leaves no one behind.

In this context, a Hong-Kong based South-South Entrepreneurship Academy will be implemented with some interregional collaboration particularly with Africa. In Hong Kong SAR, several institutions are at the core of promoting a digital economy and entrepreneurship. In line with the business model of South-South Cooperation, the UN Office for South-South Cooperation (UNOSSC) is partnering with these institutions; namely, Cyberport, Youth Square, Gratia Business School of Gratia Christian College and the United Nations Education Science and Cultural Organisation (UNESCO) Hong Kong Association to work with youth from Asia and the Pacific as well as other regions to enhance global citizenship and entrepreneurship. The project is targeted at supporting actions towards attainment of results towards SDG 8 Target 8.6 “By 2020, substantially reduce the proportion of youth not in employment, education or training”.

The event is organized under the Platform of the United Nations Office for South-South Cooperation (UNOSSC) – Youth for South as part of its activity for the Asia-Pacific Region. Previous piloting events were convened in 2018 by the same organisers. The guidelines for the South-South entrepreneurship academy include convening two events annually each with a specific theme.

Objectives

The first cohort for 2019 to be convened in April will focus on Technology, Financial Innovation and Entrepreneurship. The evolving changes in the financial industry leading to biometric technology, Distributed Ledger Technology (DLT) e.g. blockchain, interoperability, open sourced, real time global payment systems, and the use of big data, driven with progress in Artificial Intelligence (AI) for enhanced security among other open new spaces for entrepreneurship offer challenges and opportunities for entrepreneurship. The objectives of the training in the first Cohort of 2019 is to explore options in using technology in the financial sector. The training will be led by entrepreneurs in the sector.

Expected outcomes

• Understanding by youth of the new financial industry;
• Understanding of transformation of the knowledge to entrepreneurship;
• Development of ideas for implementation on return to country;

 

Organisers

The UNOSSC continually seeks to showcase and transfer forward-thinking Southern development solutions to development partners to meet the critical development challenges of today. Furthermore, UNOSSC seeks to work with specialised UN Agencies, governments and the private sector in the areas of their competency to strengthen development through South-South Cooperation.

Cyberport is the renowned centre for entrepreneurship training led by the Government of Hong Kong. Entrepreneurs trained here have proceeded to grow their own companies. Holding the event at Cyberport will not only provide excellent facilities, but will also encourage the youth to seek excellence as entrepreneurs and social entrepreneurs. Some of the presenters will include Cyberport Management and graduates (entrepreneurs).

Gratia Christian College, through its business school, and particularly, the Centre for Business and Social Sustainability and Innovations (BSSI), are focused on nurturing a generation of students that are enabled to reach their full potential by providing a high-quality education and cultivating a commitment to community service. The College will provide a number of ad hoc training activities encompassing the ideals of entrepreneurship, youth wellness and global citizenship.

Youth Square is a project of the Hong Kong (SAR) Government for promoting social harmony and civic education among the youth of Hong Kong. The project is managed by a private sector company, “the New World Facilities Management Company”. They will provide training facilities to complement facilities provided by Cyberport.

UNESCO (Hong Kong) as the specialized UN Agency on education, science and Technology as well as culture is uniquely positioned to understand the challenges of the youth today. Besides its global outreach can help provide that global understanding of youth issues in Asia, Africa and other continents. UNESCO officials have stated that education should transform lives, help to build peace, eradicate poverty and drive sustainable development.

 

Participants

The 2-day workshop is expected to consist of 25 Youths of the ages of 15-24 from the People’s Republic of China and Hong Kong (SAR) (60%), South East and East Asia (20%), South Asia (10%) and Africa (10%).

Invited speakers range from successful entrepreneurs and organisations with distinguished expertise in digitisation, innovation and entrepreneurship, and the concept of global citizenship. Representatives from the UNOSSC, Cyberport, Youth Square, Gratia Business School of Gratia Christian College and UNESCO Hong Kong Association will also serve as speakers.

The training will be conducted in English only and therefore trainees need to have a working level of English.