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The Sustainable Development Goals Collaborative Lab (SDG: Co-Lab) is an experimental platform for change that mobilizes the creative energy of Nepali youths and supports them to initiate and lead social ventures for inclusive development in line with the SDGs. It maintains an interactive database of ideas submitted by youths from different corners of the country. These are accessible to potential investors, users and stakeholders who can rate the ideas, provide feedback and contact the ideators directly. SDG: Co-Lab hosts an annual ‘Youth Innovation Challenge’ to give platform to youth ideas and connect with potential investors and other key stakeholders. Anyone from any part of the country, with simplest ideas aligned with SDGs can be a part of this initiative.
Nepalese society witnesses parents willingly spending millions of rupees to support their child's migration for jobs or studies. But there is little trust in investing the same amount as seed money to assist their child’s ambition to set up ventures in Nepal. This lack of trust society has in the undertakings of the youth is also visible in governmental institutions. Despite comprising 20% of the total population, the youth continue to be excluded from development processes and discussions at the local, regional and national levels. Overcoming the social, economic and environmental challenges faced by youth in setting up their entrepreneurial ventures requires a collaborative approach of every field. Through SDG: Co-Lab young people with diverse knowledge, perspectives and skills will work together and contribute to achieving targets set by the 2030 SDGs. SDG: Co-Lab is one the first of its kind, providing a platform where people can enlist their ideas, meet potential investors to exercise their passion. The inception of such a platform was met with a unique set of challenges pertaining to the public's perception of idea sharing on a public domain which includes; the issues of legal consequences and intellectual property.
SDG: Co-Lab provides young individuals a digital platform to showcase their ideas from any part of the country. Following six steps, the ideators can register their ideas which will later be reviewed by YI-Lab team to check if they adhere to the guidelines, without modifying any content. The published ideas will be accessible to the public, particularly to key stakeholders like investors who have the option to directly contact the ideator for implementation. Additionally, the YI-Lab will regularly connect ideas with potential investors through the meet and greet events in local, regional as well as national levels. The idea platform will also have a feature for moderated public feedback and rating. The annual ‘Youth Innovation Challenge’ will bring the ten best ideas of the year that get the highest public rating and recommendation by the jury who will receive funding to implement their ideas.
To tackle the issue of intellectual property, the YI- Lab is committed to taking necessary action against the violating party within the country or beyond. The ideas will be secure and monitored through our system.
In order to bring the maximum number of innovators, sensitization events will be organized and promoted from the grassroots level. The young potential entrepreneurs will be equipped with various publications and guidelines.
This collective platform for innovators is the first of its kind in Nepal, as it is a safe space for ideators to publicly publish their ideas and find potential collaborators. The platform has a search feature to filter ideas on the basis of project stage, SDGs focus area, location and fund requirements. The rating feature and feedback in different stages helps ideators to review their ideas further and enhance it. The contact innovator function will allow anyone to reach directly to the investor for collaborations.
As this platform is primarily envisioned for ideators, with a click they will get access to the online database where they can maintain their profile, add co-founders and get access to publications/ digital resources YI-Labs offers.
The YI-Lab is a collaborative platform and experimental pop-up to catalyze and mobilize the creative energy of young people between 15-29 to co-create solutions for inclusive development.
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