Islamabad, 28 July,The Scottish Government and SEED in collaboration with Youth Co:Lab an initiative co-led by UNDP and Citi Foundation has launched the ‘Impact Link: Social Enterprise Challenge 2020’ for youth-led social enterprises in Pakistan working on innovative solutions to counter health, social, economic and environmental challenges, with a particular emphasis on enterprises addressing challenges that have emerged as a result of the COVID-19 pandemic. Successful applicants will be invited to take part in a virtual boot camp spanning five days in the first week of September 2020.
The program will be exclusively executed in Pakistan by UNDP Pakistan, SEED, DEMO, and the Social Enterprise Academy.
Upon completion of the boot camp, ten most promising enterprises will be selected and awarded with cash prizes. The top five winners of the challenge will receive a grant of PKR 820,000while the runners-up will receive PKR 480,000 to upscale their ideas. Mentors and industry experts will be guiding these young entrepreneurs to build sustainable social ventures. The winners will also be showcased at the regional Youth Co:Lab Summit that will be held next year.
Details of the Impact Link: Social Enterprise Prize Challenge 2020 can be found here: https://bit.ly/ImpactLink
Speaking at the virtual launch, Ms AlionaNiculita, Resident Representative a.i. said at the occasion:
“With support from Youth Co:Lab, UNDP Pakistan is excited to collaborate with SEA’s Impact Link programme to promote social entrepreneurship, engage youth in social enterprise development and facilitate inclusive employment amongst the unemployed youth of Pakistan, especially during these challenging times. This collaboration will build on UNDP’s existing work towards enabling youth and youth-led social enterprises to meaningfully engage in initiatives that are working on the achievement of the Sustainable Development Goals in Pakistan, while creating spaces that value the participation, ideas, and voiceof young people.”
While speaking at the virtual launch, Shaista Ayesha- CEO & Director, SEED Ventures said,“SEED believes in the power of collaboration. This alliance between Impact Link and UNDP was initiated and spearheaded by SEED and is a testament to our belief. We are excited that it has happened. As Hub partners in Pakistan for Social Enterprise Academy – Scotland, we hope that through this collaboration we can forward and amplify the Academy’s cause for reaching and impacting lives of social entrepreneurs in Pakistan.”
Ms. Nazia Ali, Head of International at Social Enterprise Academy,while speaking at the virtual launch event commented “We are delighted to be able to connect SEA’s Impact Link programme funded by Scot Government, to Youth Co:Lab at UNDP and DEMO. In our second year of Impact Link in Pakistan, we are able to do crucial work to support and accelerate social entrepreneurs in these challenging times – when innovation is high and the availability and access to support is inadequate. There is much we can learn from insightful entrepreneurs working on both rural and urban solutions, and through Impact Link we will be able to lay the foundations for this learning to happen across a cluster of people across Pakistan.”