Accelerating the implementation of SDGs in Timor-Leste through collaboration and support for social innovations

Dili 4 December 2020 

Youth Co:Lab, jointly organized by the UNDP Accelerator Lab Timor-Leste and Recycling Promotion Pilot Project, facilitated a National Youth Forum on Friday. The forum took place at Novo Turismo and was attended by H.E. Mr. Domingos Lopes Antunes, Vice-minister of Commerce and Industry, H.E. Mr. Philip Hewitt, Ambassador of New Zealand in Timor-Leste, Ms. Lazima Onta Bhatta, UNDP Deputy Resident Representative, representatives of development partners, and youth participants.

The National Youth Dialogue provided spaces for youth participants, the Government, the private sector, non-government organizations, and academia to collaborate and determine challenges, priorities, and solutions for improved innovation and entrepreneurship ecosystem in Timor-Leste.

UNDP launched the Call for Applications for young Timorese with innovative solutions in sustainable waste management, food production and consumption, and community-based tourism in October. Thirty successful applicants were selected to participate in the boot camp on 1-3 December 2020, from which eight teams pitched and showcased their solutions in the National Forum. The best top 3 solutions were awarded, including; EAMO, producing fresh and organic mushroom to reduce malnutrition and create job opportunities, Husi Rural sai Global (HRSG), reducing plastic waste through using quality paving; and Am kolo Soldadura, creating high quality and innovative furniture, flower-based and other products.

Winners of the Social Innovation Challenge will receive UNDP Knua Juventude Fila-Liman membership, enabling them to access regular capacity-building support and incubation and receive support from Bangkok Regional Hub through the SpringBoard Module for further development of their business. 

Vice-minister of Commerce and Industry, H.E. Mr. Domingos Lopes Antunes pointed out, "Youth is the center of development. Entrepreneurship development through Youth Co:lab competition can be one of the great models to influence more youths. Therefore, I would like to thank UNDP, New Zealand Embassy, and other partners for this initiative. In the future, we, as the government, including agencies, will try to create more opportunities for youths to choose."

UNDP Deputy Resident Representative Ms. Lazima Onta Bhatta said," We look forward to collaborating with all our partners to strengthen the entrepreneur's ecosystem in Timor-Leste so that we can support aspiring youth to make their dreams come true." 

Co-created in 2017 by UNDP and the Citi Foundation Youth Co:Lab, aims to establish a common agenda for countries in the Asia-Pacific region to empower and invest in youth to accelerate the implementation of the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) through leadership, social innovation, and entrepreneurship.

UNDP is the leading United Nations organization fighting to end the injustice of poverty, inequality, and climate change. Working with our broad network of experts and partners in 170 countries, we help nations to build integrated, lasting solutions for people and planet.

Learn more at or follow at @UNDP.

Contact: Bonifacio Lopes, Learning & Event Facilitator, UNDP Accelerator Lab - Knua Juventude Fila-Liman (KJFL): or


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