DILI, 20 october 2023 (TATOLI) – United Nations Development Programme (UNDP) through the Youth Employment and Entrepreneurship Skills (YEES) Project in partnership with the Korea International Cooperation Agency (KOICA) and the Minister of Trade and Industry (MoTI) organized a three-day Youth Entrepreneurship EXPO.
Youth as the Change Maker: Fostering Job Creation and Promoting Economic Diversification through Innovation and Entrepreneurship
The Expo aims to showcase the innovative products and creativity of youth jointly supported by UNDP, KOICA and the Government of Timor-Leste. The Expo will consist of a product showcase and bazaar, networking event, and entrepreneurship dialogue.
Filipus Nino Pereira, Minister of Commerce and Industry; Katyna Argueta, UNDP Resident Representative; and Eunju Cha, Country Director of KOICA, together with distinguished guests from different sectors, attended the event. The event will then continue with the policy dialogue between the Minister of MCI and two entrepreneurs about harmonizing policy and enabling the environment to foster job creation and stimulate youth.
There was a business networking activity between the big private companies, the Chamber of Commerce and Industry (CCI-TL), and potential investors with the entrepreneurs.
The entrepreneurs will share and pitch their business ideas, receive one-on-one feedback and consultation, and expand their professional networks. The potential list of attendees includes BNCTL, Jape Group, CCI-TL, Centro Supermercado, Dili Mart, Palm Business Group, East Timor Trading, MDF, and Telkomcel.
The event was concluded with information-sharing sessions on access to finance by BCNTL Soft Loan Specialists of UNDP.
More than 35 young entrepreneurs showcased their innovative products at the three-day EXPO.
KOICA and UNDP have been supporting more than 300 young Timorese entrepreneurs to develop their businesses.
“It is an honor to stand before you today at the Entrepreneurship and Business-Enabling Environment Expo, an event that highlights the remarkable journey towards fostering economic diversification and job creation through entrepreneurship,” Eunju Cha said in Timor Plaza.
She said that the Youth Employment and Entrepreneurs’ Skill Project was co-funded by KOICA, UNDP, and the Ministry of Trade and Industry: “With its two-pronged approach, this project demonstrates our commitment to empowering the youth of this nation.”
“Through the youth internship program, we aim to equip young individuals with the skills and knowledge needed to thrive in the workforce, contributing to their personal growth and the development of the nation. Simultaneously, we are dedicated to nurturing the entrepreneurial spirit within our youth and migrant workers, providing them with the training and support necessary to transform their dreams into successful businesses,” she said.
The Expo not only showcases the integrated approach towards promoting economic growth but also stands as a testament to the power of collaboration and innovation.
The Deputy Minister of Commerce, Augusto Júnior Trindade, said that the government of Timor-Leste is committed to supporting young entrepreneurs so that they can contribute to the diversification of the country’s economy.
Trindade highlighted that youth entrepreneurship would play a significant role in contributing to the social, economic, and environmental innovation needed to drive sustainable development in Timor-Leste.
He said that young people in Timor-Leste can play an instrumental role in creating the change needed to unleash innovations that lead to sustainable development outcomes, which can lead to youth entrepreneurship opportunities in the blue and green economies.
He said that young people in Timor-Leste can play an instrumental role in creating the change needed to unleash innovations that lead to sustainable development outcomes, saying it would lead to opportunities for youth entrepreneurship in the blue and green economies.
UNDP said youth entrepreneurship is a driver for the Blue Economy in Timor-Leste.
According to UNDP, the blue economy presents a promising avenue for economic growth and development in Timor-Leste: “The blue economy can help to create new economic opportunities and jobs, particularly in coastal communities, through sustainable fisheries, aquaculture, tourism, and marine renewable energy. By promoting sustainable practices and improving resource management, the blue economy can also enhance resilience to climate change and natural disasters.”
In 2022, UNDP, together with the Ministry of Finance, produced a preliminary roadmap for financing the blue economy in Timor-Leste.
Journalist: José Belarmino De Sá
Editor: Filomeno Martins