Youth Co: Lab starts in Kathmandu to promote social innovation and entrepreneurship in youths

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Kathmandu, November 9, 2017: As many as 60 young entrepreneurs, leaders and innovators from across Nepal have gathered in the capital for the Youth Co: Lab, a national dialogue to promote social innovation and entrepreneurship and help the youths realize the scope and challenges of it.

The highlight of the first day was the panel discussion and session with entrepreneurs where youths got chance to explore opportunities and obstacles in starting their own enterprise.

The speakers Mr. Anil Keshari Shah, a renowned banker, and Mr. Sixit Bhatta, founder of Tootle, took the stage to advocate the importance of Economic Empowerment and reflect the role of young people for better tomorrow. They shared the story of their own struggle and pointed out the weaknesses that their generation couldn’t overcome.

Mr. Shah appealed the youths to become job creator rather than a job seeker. Throughout his turn, he restated that the youths shouldn’t question themselves ‘Can I do?’ but get driven by the feeling of ‘I can do.’  He asked the youth to become optimistic with their work and not to be afraid of the mistakes. Taking his chance to appreciate the presence of Nepali youth during earthquake’s aftermath relief, he presented Nepali youths as dedicated, hardworking and thoughtful. “You can make many mistakes in your life but make sure not to repeat the same mistake. You should have the inspiration to be followed by aspiration. We aren’t only inspiring you but providing you with seeds of opportunity. If you cultivate it being optimistic and sincere, it will surely yield you success,” said Mr. Shah.

For Mr. Bhatta, Nepal is not a small country and those who believe it to the opposite are running behind an outdated myth. He regards ‘Invest, Reinvest and Flourish’ as a mantra to become a successful entrepreneur. However, he feels that without a well-qualified and dedicated team to support, success lies far away. “Only you can reach your goal when you invest enough time to build your team. Your team represents your idea,” said Mr. Bhatta.

Mr. Bhatta, who comes from Doti, a remote district of Nepal, focused on decentralization of facilities and services so that youths will start exploring the opportunity in their own places. Furthermore, he also reiterated not to quit a venture just because of failure in the initial days.

Gautam Sharma was among the participant who thinks platforms like Youth Co: Lab is necessary for youths in different districts of Nepal. According to him, there are many youths who have ended up doing nothing in absence of proper guidance. “If this type of programs are taken beyond Kathmandu, there are many youths who would be highly benefited,” said Gautam.

The program is being organized by United Nations Development Program (UNDP), Association of Youth Organizations Nepal (AYON), National Youth Council (NYC), and Youth Force for SDGs; with Nepal Entrepreneurs’ Hub (NEHUB) as knowledge partner. Glocal Khabar is the official media partner of the event.

The program concludes on November 10.

Photos Courtesy: AYON

By: Prashant Bhandari

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