On 15 October 2019, the United Nations Office for South-South Cooperation (UNOSSC) convened a Consultative Meeting on the South-South Entrepreneurship Academy in Shenzhen, China. The consultation was organised in collaboration with the Shenzhen Foundation for International Exchange and Cooperation and hosted by TusStar (a start-up Incubator) at its premises. The Objective of the Consultation was to review the concept and design of the current South-South Entrepreneurship Academy which is being implemented with partners in Hong Kong. These partners include, the Gratia Christian College, Cyberport, Youth Square and the Hong Kong UNESCO Association. The UN Office for South-South Cooperation intended to strengthen the implementation of the Hong Kong Component, to strengthen the overall vision and to accommodate other partners interested in joining the Academy. “We are willing to deconstruct what we have and listen to all partners present here towards designing a much broader stakeholder driven initiative”, said Denis Nkala.
Several other institutions across Asia-Pacific participated in the meeting, including the Mekong Institute (Thailand), Handong Global University (Republic of Korea), Lexin Foundation (Shenzhen-China), and Cambridge University Entrepreneurs (United Kingdom). Participants from these institutions presented their experience with entrepreneurship development. After the presentations, a seminar discussing the way forward for the South-South Entrepreneurship Academy took place, during which a number of constructive suggestions were put forward. Participants emphasized the importance of an enabling environment, friendly policies, and appropriate incentives to encourage entrepreneurship. “At the same time, we need to encourage the policy level initiatives. It is very important to help policy makers focus policies and establishments in each country towards supporting entrepreneurial initiatives”, said Mr. Madhurjya Kumar Dutta from Mekong Institute.
Based on the discussions, UNOSSC has decided to expand the scope of the South-South Entrepreneurship Academy to include five components ranging from policy level exchanges to local knowledge sharing. UNOSSC and the partners will develop the Academy into a comprehensive programme that promotes entrepreneurship development at policy and practice level through South-South and triangular cooperation.