The United Nations Development Programme (UNDP) and Accenture, a global management consulting and professional services firm, have announced the launch of YAS! (Youth for Africa and Sustainable Development Goals), a pan-African entrepreneurship portal-platform in Lagos, Nigeria.
The platform, which is aligned with the UN’s Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs), will serve to address four main pillars of the entrepreneurship ecosystem, which include: Information, Mentorship, Funding and Network.
“Africa’s entrepreneurial space is advancing rapidly. However, success stories are often isolated and commonly found only on the national or regional level”, explained to Lamin Momodou Manneh, UNDP’s Regional Director in a statement issued this week.
“In North and West Africa, Nigeria and Egypt are taking a lead role while other localities remain marginalized. YAS! will help to scale these efforts across the region and the entire continent to improve on the individual achievements and make them collective,” Manneh added.
YAS! is an initiative of UNDP, developed by its Regional Service Centre for Africa (RSCA) and powered by Accenture that aims to connect entrepreneurs to the resources they need to develop and grow their ideas or businesses. Users can interact on the platform, leveraging features such as learning, an ecosystem map, and information around opportunities for funding youth development.
The activation, which will take place on the 10th and 11th of December 2018, in Lagos, will be a two-day programme, where entrepreneurs, mentors, investors, corporates and donors will discuss entrepreneurial topics, attend workshops and network.
Day 1 will comprise panel discussions, workshops and a shark tank. On Day 2, there will be a hackathon, where entrepreneurs will learn about emerging technologies such as blockchain, big data & analytics, virtual reality, internet of things, artificial intelligence and industry X.0. They will also attempt to incorporate these emerging technologies into their solutions.
“Youth entrepreneurship is very important to the growth of the African economies. The more youth are empowered to create sustainable businesses, the more jobs are created,” said Rory Moore, Liquid Studio Director and Innovation Lead for Accenture Africa.
“The YAS! Platform is committed to empowering youth with skills, funding and mentorship support to help them grow and scale,” she concluded.