Youth Challenge winners convene for an incubation workshop
The global winners of Generation Unlimited Youth Challenge are taking their innovative ideas to the next level.
CAIRO, Egypt, 24 January 2020 – The global winners of the first-ever Generation Unlimited Youth Challenge convened in Cairo this week to take their innovative ideas on improving education, employment and civic engagement for young people to the next level.
Co-hosted by UNICEF and UNDP, the week-long incubation workshop provided an opportunity for the teams to practice pitching their ideas, receive tailored advice from successful entrepreneurs and investors, and learn about practical business development tools, including ones that can help them successfully balance impact and income.
“Talent is universal, but opportunity is not,” said Katherine Crisp, Senior Innovation Specialist at UNICEF. “The Generation Unlimited Youth Challenge is about putting the skills, resources and opportunities into the hands of young people, so that they can design solutions around education, training and skills, empowerment and entrepreneurship – the challenges that they and their friends are facing.”
In Cairo, the five winning teams worked on their 12-month action plans at the UNDP Innovation Lab and visited the technology center Greek Campus to learn about entrepreneurship and innovation. They participated in a “speed mentorship” session where they received advice on topics such as intellectual property rights, digital marketing, and product development from industry experts. The teams also tested their skills in evaluating pitches by listening to the presentations of up-and-coming Egyptian startups and asking them questions. These events were hosted by Cairo’s main start-up incubators and accelerators.
“The teams come from different parts of the world and they were eager to meet each other,” said Tamara Zakharia, Adolescent Development Officer with UNICEF Lebanon. “They wanted to share challenges, be inspired and take that extra step and grow.”
“My time in Cairo has been exhilarating to say the least,” said Youth Challenge winner Sana Farooq Khan from Pakistan. “We spent the entire week polishing our startup ideas, interacting with startups and connecting with other global winners who are doing some amazing work. I'm so grateful for this wonderful opportunity that came my way and can't wait to channel all the learning back home.”
The Generation Unlimited Youth Challenge is designed to inspire young people with brilliant ideas but without the resources to bring them to life. The first round of the Youth Challenge was launched September 2018, inviting youth from 16 countries to develop big ideas for education, training and decent work. Over 800 young people participated and 80 teams were recognized at the national level. Five global winners were selected for global incubation, receiving $20,000 in funding and an opportunity to take part in a tailored mentorship and business development programme.
The incubation workshop in Cairo also served as the launch of Youth Challenge 2.0 in Egypt, one of 40 countries participating. The global winners of the second round will be announced in September 2020.