Call for Application: South-South Entrepreneurship Academy Second Cohort 2021, “Beauty in Mind and Action for Sustainable Business” (Deadline 10 November 2021)


The UN Office for South-South Cooperation and partners from Hong Kong, namely, 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 and Youth Square, and UNESCO Hong Kong Association, have co-organized the South-South Entrepreneurship Academy since 2018. The Academy aims to equip youth from the Global South 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.

The upcoming cohort of South-South Entrepreneurship Academy will focus on the theme of “Beauty in Mind and Action for Sustainable Business”, highlighting sustainability of the beauty industry has increasingly received growing interest from consumers and companies. With sustainability impacts occurring through all phases of a cosmetic product life cycle, there’s a great push for products that are not only safe for people but also for the planet; sourcing organic raw materials, using environmentally-friendly formulations, production practices and packaging. In 2020, Shiseido, a Japanese cosmetic company launched its Sustainable Beauty Actions (SBAS) global initiative and stated that “we believe that embracing your inner and outer beauty empowers you, inspires those around you and ultimately leads to a better, more beautiful world. We strive to ensure the sustainability of such a world through our innovations.”[1] Part of this initiative is their contribution towards SDG 14 through their Blue Project on ocean protection. By developing, innovating, and producing sustainably, beauty companies such as L’Oréal[2] are also able to contribute to the achievement of the Sustainable Development Goals.

In this cohort, participants will have the opportunity to interact directly with entrepreneurs, experienced industry practitioners, experts from the academia and public sector, and learn from their sharing and coaching. Following training, participants will form groups to develop their idea into a mature business plan, which will be presented in front of the experts and valuable feedback will be given. Students will develop transferable skills including collaboration, critical thinking, project management, problem-solving, leadership and presentation.


19th October 2021: Application opens

10th November 2021 (BKK time): Application deadline

17th November 2021: Successful applicants notified

27-28th November 2021: Online training

11th December 2021: Business plan competition

*Further information will be provided to successful applicants.

Application method – Complete the online application form HERE

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 program, 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.
  5. Nationals of Southern countries in East Asia, South Asia, Southeast Asia, Sub-Saharan Africa, and the Pacific.
  6. Previous experience of 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

About the Organizers

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 with Cyberport 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 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”.

UNESCO Hong Kong Association (UHKA) is dedicated to facilitating and achieving UNESCO’s mission, creating conditions for dialogue among civilizations, cultures, and peoples based upon respect for commonly shared values. The Association’s goals include sustainable development, mutual respect and the alleviation of poverty. UHKA aims for the sustainable development of society, the economy and the environment through education, science and culture. Its compliment of staff will deliver lectures on gender equality, global citizenship and social entrepreneurship.

The Pacific Islands Private Sector Organization (PIPSO) is the premier private sector representative body in the Pacific Islands region that advocates for and drive private sector-driven economic growth for the benefit of the region. The Organization’s focus includes championing the interests of the private sector in the appropriate fora and enhancing the business competitiveness and growth of Pacific businesses.

[1] Tan-Gillies, H. 2020. Shiseido launches Sustainable Beauty Actions campaign. The Moodie Davitt Report.

[2] LÓREAL. 2020. L’Oréal’s Contribution to the United Nations Sustainable Development Goals