With its rich culture and endless choice of unspoilt tourist spots, Indonesia’s eastern province of East Nusa Tenggara (NTT) has a massive potential to become one of country’s most prosperous provinces.

But the stark reality tells an otherwise different picture.

According to data from the Indonesia Youth Development Index 2017, the most common challenges East Nusa Tenggara faced are 1). Lack of quality education, 2). Little or no access to clean water, and 3). High unemployment rate.

Every challenge comes with opportunities. UNDP and Citi Foundation saw something within NTT province – beyond its natural endowment - that could propel millions of its population to prosperity; the burgeoning young population.  More than 25 percent of NTT’s population are millennials within productive age.  Combine this asset with entrepreneur skills that can provide much-needed jobs, then you’ll have a recipe for resilient growth.

Hence, UNDP Indonesia’s Innovative Financing Lab and Citi Foundation recently hosted Ideathonesia, entrepreneurial movement for youth entrepreneurship to grow in Kupang and nearby. As part of Youth Co:Lab pre event, Ideathonesia is a platform to crowdsource ideas that can help in solving social issues through youth entrepreneurship.

After a series of intense selections, we recruited 50 budding entrepreneurs in Kupang and we provided training in partnership with Plan International, in core business skills such as how to make pitches, devise business plan, digital innovation and core knowledge in problem solving.

“Ideathonesia gave us a remarkable experience of learning on social entrepreneurship. It also provided a platform for us to actually voice our ideas on how to solve social problems in the context of business settings. This initiative is really crucial to support the emergence of young entrepreneurs in Indonesia,” said the 1st winner of Ideathonesia,  Adiputra Kaban, founder of Teman Alor, a social enterprise which aims to combine travelling experience with volunteering works in a remote town of Alor.

According to Citi Indonesia, the youth holds the key to SDGs achievement in the province.

“We believe that with the involvement of many parties in the development of the young generation, the Sustainable Development Goals in Indonesia will have a maximum impact. " says Citi Indonesia's Country Head of Corporate Affairs, Elvera N. Makki

After the intensive two-day training, participants were required to share their social enterprise ideas with their newly acquired skills. Each participants presented their ideas in front of Ideathonesia participants and judges from Dispora, Citi Indonesia, and UNDP Indonesia.

The other winners were; Modal Katong, and Beta Berbisnis. Modal Katong is a fintech enterprise that aims connect investors and SMEs in Kupang.  Beta Berbisnis is a social enterprise focusing on increasing people’s awareness about history and culture of Kupang, through creative economy and travelling. All three winners will be part of Youth Co:Lab 2019 which will kick off in August.

UNDP Indonesia's Head of Communication Tomi Soetjipto said, "With new skills on social entrepreneurship, we hope the youth under Indeatheonesia can be local agents of change to achieve SDGs agenda and improve the lives of most vulnerable communities in NTT province.”   

Article by: Lady Diandra

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