Youths pitch sustainable business models to tackle social issues

  • Metro News
  • Saturday, 03 Nov 2018

Chow (middle) with Priesner (with tie) and participants of the Youth Co:Lab Malaysia at CAT Penang in Gat Lebuh Cina, George Town.

TWELVE teams have gone head-to-head to pitch their innovative approaches to help achieve the United Nations’ Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) during the Youth Co:Lab Malaysia at @CAT Penang in George Town.

The three-day boot camp event saw some 60 participants coming up with various ideas and approaches to help ensure sustainability and uphold human rights.

They were put through intensive syllabuses designed to pilot their potential innovative solutions, build prototypes, solidify their impact delivery models and then refine their pitching through creative entrepreneurship strategies.

At its closing ceremony, Chief Minister Chow Kon Yeow said he hopes to see the ideas turn into reality and solutions for the people in future.

“For the participants, these are business opportunities.

“But for the society, their innovations can be a solution,” he said.

Among the winning ideas were on business models on using of biodegradable plastic that can be given out for free, harnessing of noise pollution as alternative energy and a one-stop solution for building and owning affordable houses.

Also present were UN resident coordinator Stefan Priesner, Malaysian Global Innovation & Creativity Centre (MaGIC) chief executive officer Ashran Datuk Ghazi and Citigroup Transaction Services Malaysia managing director Srinath Sambasivan.

Ashran said with the ideas from the youth, all they needed were further guidance to engage and implement their solutions through various partnerships.

“We can help them bridge their ideas to reality and make them practical.

“Investments from private sectors can come in to support, and the ideas can be formulated in line with government aspirations.

“We want people to not only make money, but also give back,” he said.

The event in Penang marks its final leg after Sabah and Kuala Lumpur earlier.

Co-led by United Nationals Development Programme (UNDP), Citi Foundation and MaGIC, the collaboration aims to instigate, catalyse and sustain youth innovation by supporting the region’s youth-led startups and social enterprises.

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