In light of the COVID-19 outbreak in Asia-Pacific and consequent travel restrictions, specifically to China, the organizers have decided to postpone the South-South Entrepreneurship Academy, tentatively until early May, with the dates to be confirmed. Meanwhile, the organizers will closely monitor the situation and further updates will be communicated in due course.


Building Global Citizenship and Harnessing Entrepreneurial Skills and Mindset

Through South-South Cooperation

“Gastrotourism and Entrepreneurship”

20-21 March, 2020 @ Cyberport, Hong Kong SAR (training)

22 March, 2020 @ Shenzhen, China (field trip)


For more information about the Academy, please refer to the this webpage.

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, social and technological transformation. These together create a burden on the global efforts to achieve inclusive growth and sustainable development. The youth population, however, due to their internet literacy and hence exposure to the world through real life experience or social or digital media ushered by an increasingly interconnected world, 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 doing so, the core ideas behind the design of this second cohort for 2019 entitled “Gastrotourism and Entrepreneurship” are based on belief that youth from the Global South countries can make good use of their culture, specifically cuisines, to generate economic growth and value. “Every dish has a story and every ingredient has the history of a destination” (World Tourism Organisation 2017:12). As Gastrotourism has gained global momentum, it is hence considered a trendy but sustainable strategy to not only create employment thus stimulating the growth of local, national and regional economies but also to preserve cultural and environmental heritage while contributing to social inclusion and mutual understanding across borders. This cohort also serves to recognize the importance of sustainable tourism following the United Nations 70th General Assembly’s declaration for the year of 2017 “International Year of Sustainable Tourism for Development”. The training will support a change in policies, business practices and consumer behavior towards more sustainable tourism and contribution to SDGs.

In this context, the Hong-Kong based South-South Entrepreneurship Academy will be implemented with some inter-regional collaboration particularly with Africa. As in Hong Kong SAR, several institutions are at the core of promoting gastrotourism, as demonstrated by a number of food tours being offered.

The UN Office for South-South cooperation, under its Global platform “Youth 4 South” is partnering several Hong Kong Institutions; namely, Cyberport, Youth Square, Gratia Business School of Gratia Christian College, the United Nations Education Science and Cultural Organisation (UNESCO) Hong Kong Association, and the Shenzhen Foundation for International Exchange and Cooperation 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 achieving SDG 8 Target 8.6, “By 2020, substantially reduce the proportion of youth not in employment, education or training”. The intention of the partners is to convene two events annually, in March and November respectively, each with a specific thematic focus.

South-South Entrepreneurship Academy 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. A previous piloting event (the first 2019 cohort) took place with the theme “Technology, Financial Innovation and Entrepreneurship” was convened in April 2019.

The first cohort for 2020 will be convened in March and will focus on Gastrotourism and Entrepreneurship. Trainees will be trained to identify entrepreneurship opportunities pertaining to their cuisine and environment. Entrepreneurs from Hong Kong’s gastronomic sector will provide the training. In addition, there will be training on the broader themes of the academy on wellness and supporting the development of a global entrepreneur. The highlight will be to gain practical skills from tried and tested case studies from successful Hong Kong-based restaurants.

Expected outcomes

  • Understanding by youth of gastrotourism and its value chain;
  • Understanding of transformation of the knowledge to entrepreneurship;
  • Development of ideas for implementation on return to country;


  1. 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.
  2. 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 also encourage the youth to seek excellence as entrepreneurs and social entrepreneurs. Some of the presenters will include Cyberport management and graduates (entrepreneurs).
  3. 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.
  4. 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.
  5. 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.
  6. Shenzhen Foundation for International Exchange and Cooperation (SFIEC) was founded in December 2014. Its aim is to promote international exchanges and cooperation and facilitating the internationalization of Shenzhen. SFIEC is one of the first non-public foundations promoting international exchanges and cooperation in China. Some projects are under the supervision of the Shenzhen Municipality Foreign Affairs Office. With their focus on Youth development, the Foundation will therefore sponsor young people to participate in the Academy from the Mekong countries for each of the cohorts planned for each year for the next three years (2019-2021).

The two-day workshop is expected to consist of 26 youths of the ages of 20-32 from the People’s Republic of China, including Hong Kong (SAR), South East Asia, South Asia, the Pacific, as well as Sub-Saharan Africa.

Invited speakers will include renowned entrepreneurs, professors and organisations with distinguished expertise in entrepreneurship in food and tourism industries, 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.

Application method

  1. Complete Application Form at;
  2. For oversea applicants (outside of Hong Kong),  please submit the form by 31 December 2019 and successful applicants will be informed by 15 January 2020. For Hong Kong-based applicants, please submit the form by 15 February 2020 and successful applicants will be informed by 28 February 2020.

Selection criteria

Participants will be chosen based on their strong interest in and proven capabilities to scale up developmental impacts in their communities with entrepreneurial activities upon successful completion of the programme, specifically:

  1. Strong interest in advancing social development with entrepreneurship;
  2. Proven leadership capabilities and strong potential to make a difference in their communities;
  3. Currently enrolled in or have attained a bachelor’s degree or higher qualification;
  4. Aged between 20-32 at the time of application (born between January 1988 and December 1999);
  5. Nationals of Southern countries in East Asia, South Asia, South-East Asia, Sub-Saharan Africa, and the Pacific;
  6. Previous experience working or interning in social enterprises, start-ups, non-governmental organizations, grass-roots organizations or other development-related fields is a plus;
  7. Proficient in English.