Kuwait City, 27 May 2016- Ms Ameera Al- Hassan, UN-Habitat’s assistant head of Kuwait office, presented an empowering presentation on youth entrepreneurship during a Gender Mainstream workshop for women in Kuwaiti society at a ceremony on Sunday at Al Babtain Library in Kuwait city. The Global Women Entrepreneurs Forum 2016 highlighted the potential of promoting the empowerment of women and mainstreaming as a fundamental to every society’s prosperity and development. This step can be accelerated through partnerships programmes with UN-Habitat that help women entrepreneurs’ businesses in their communities resulting in reducing poverty and unemployment especially in developing countries in Asia and Africa.

Recent partnership programme launched by the 25th Governing Council of UN-Habitat last April 2015, stems from the Urban Youth Empowerment and Ecological Safety Project in which, “The Youth Innovation and Entrepreneurs Award (YIEA) was announced,” with two organizations two potential collaborative partners, the International Ecological Safety Collaboration Organization (IESCO) and the China Development Orient Development & Investment Company Ltd (CDB-Orient) both signed a partnership agreement with UN-Habitat to provide YIEA Award to best the youth running project. The Global Women Entrepreneurs Forum 2016, hosted women entrepreneurs around the region who all started their businesses just few years ago and attendees came from Peru, Mexico, Malawi, Algeria, Switzerland, Austria and Kuwait.

Participants presented and explained the nature of their projects, their partners, the challenges they faced until they succeeded in running their projects and how they accomplished in climbing the ladder of success and their future aspirations that include expanding their trade globally and contributing positively to all aspects of their communities. In her turn Ms. Al Hassan, explained the YIEA award that aims at encouraging youth to develop their cities economy through working in profit or non-profit organizations. She added that this award is presented to both young males and females as it stems from UN SDG5 in connection to gender equity regardless to their countries.

The partnership entails support of funds worth USD 20,000 dollars for winners of the award that could be two; open to young people aged between 15-32 years old to any impactful and sustainable projects implementable around the region. Applicants should be innovative in their approaches of project by applying any of the SDG themes and support any of the sectors in unemployment, poverty and ecological safety through modified development models and policies. Both IESCO and CDB-Orient contributed in creating engagements for young people in the developmental cities in Africa and Asia by partnering with UN-Habitat and creating this youth competition to promote and nurture future inventors by providing a venue to display youth’s inventions in aims of creating wider avenues for entrepreneurship.

Al Hassan stated during the workshop, that 90% of youths live in developing countries in which 74 million youths are unemployed who range from the ages of 15 to 24 years old. Unemployed youth in some countries reach 50% of the total society. Therefore the YIEA award aims at promoting and nurturing young innovative ideas and to provide a venue to showcase youth inventions and contribution in urban and rural areas in five categories; leadership, green energy solutions, resolving climate change challenges, improving profitability and business excellence and their positive contribution in the cultural field and fostering peaceful dialogue. She further added, youths make up to that 1.8 billion of present world population.

Therefore they are a strong power that contributes to the countries continuity of economy and prosperity The YIEA award is biennium and winners of the competition will be announced at the Beijing and receive the $20,000 dollars grant, a trophy of excellence, and a certificate jointly issues by UN-Habitat, IESCO and CBD Orient for contribution on valued added projects. It is worth noting that YIEA is established to help inspire young men and women in urban and rural areas and to become future innovators and entrepreneurs. Ms. Al Hassan ended by encouraging forum attendees to participate in the ADB Transport Forum 2015 Youth Video Competition that is still running and the deadline will be on August and winners will be announced during September 2016.

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