United Nations Development Programme (UNDP) Maldives and Youth Co:Lab on Wednesday, commenced the two-day 3rd National Dialogue on Fostering Sustainable Youth Entrepreneurship.
The forum was inaugurated by Minister of Economic Development Fayyaz Ismail, Minister of Fisheries and Agriculture Dr Zaha Waheed and UNDP Resident Representative Akiko Fujii.
During the opening remarks by Fujii, she noted a need for a "new generation of entrepreneurs to step forward, to think out of the box and pave way for new industries to thrive".
According to UNDP, the dialogue is "guided by the importance of bringing the efforts to promote youth-led entrepreneurship and social innovation to the national level", to lead social change in the communities and achieve the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs).
Moreover, its objective is to provide a knowledge-sharing platform for youth aged 18-30, linking entrepreneurs and industry experts to facilitate an interactive consultation process on different aspects of the "start-up ecosystem".
An additional key area of focus for the forum is SDG 4.4 and 8.5 - increasing the number of individuals with technical and vocational skills and achieving full and productive employment for all women and men, including youth and persons with disabilities.
Concluding the opening ceremony, Resident Representative Fujii officially released UNDP's book 'Youth Visions', a collection of contemporary artworks and personal stories formulated through the 'Youth Vision' art workshops conducted for young individuals from four geographically diverse regions of Maldives.