Empowering Indonesia's Youth: UNDP and Citibank Join Forces to Foster Entrepreneurship and Inclusivity


The United Nations Development Programme (UNDP) Indonesia and Citibank, N.A., Indonesia (Citi Indonesia), in partnership with key government agencies and the British Council, are spearheading a significant initiative to enhance the youth entrepreneurship ecosystem in Indonesia. The annual event, known as the Youth Co:Lab National Dialogue, has been a driving force in nurturing talent, fostering innovation, and providing critical support to young entrepreneurs in the country for the past six years.

According to the Indonesian Youth Statistics survey by Statistics Indonesia (BPS), the number of youth entrepreneurs in Indonesia saw a significant increase in 2022. A total of 19.48 percent of the youth population became entrepreneurs, marking a 1.02 percent growth compared to the previous year. This data reflects a growing interest and potential among young entrepreneurs in Indonesia.

Youth entrepreneurship plays a pivotal role in driving economic growth through innovation. However, young entrepreneurs in Indonesia face several challenges, including high business costs, limited access to resources, insufficient education and support, and coordination with local authorities and the government. Sustainable efforts are essential to support the young generation of entrepreneurs in the country.

During the event, Woro Srihastuti Sulistyaningrum, Deputy for Coordination of Quality Improvement for Children, Women, and Youth of the Coordinating Ministry for Human Development and Culture (Kemenko PMK), emphasized the government's commitment to supporting youth entrepreneurship. She mentioned the issuance of Presidential Decrees No. 2/2022 and No. 443/2022, which create a framework for cross-sector collaboration in youth entrepreneurship. This framework allows youth to collaborate with various stakeholders, including governments, companies, and community organizations, to create business opportunities and strengthen the youth entrepreneurship ecosystem.

Amich Alhumami, Deputy for Human Development, Society, and Culture of the National Development Planning Agency (Bappenas), stressed the importance of multi-stakeholder collaboration in optimizing youth development, particularly in the youth entrepreneurship ecosystem. He invited all parties through the Youth Co:Lab National Dialogue to commit to and invest in the youth, aligning with the government's target of achieving a 4 percent entrepreneurship ratio by 2024.

The Youth Co:Lab National Dialogue acts as a platform for open and constructive discussions among key stakeholders. It aims to produce a comprehensive policy brief outlining effective strategies to address the challenges facing youth entrepreneurship, focusing on skill development, inclusivity, and access to finance. This initiative offers actionable recommendations to drive positive change within the youth entrepreneurship ecosystem.

Puni A. Anjungsari, Country Head of Public Affairs at Citi Indonesia, stressed the pivotal role of entrepreneurship in national economic growth. She highlighted the importance of providing opportunities and access for the younger generation to become key drivers of the economy through entrepreneurship. Anjungsari expressed her hope that this collaborative effort would empower youth and contribute to achieving the government's target entrepreneurship ratio.

Sujala Pant, Deputy Resident Representative of UNDP Indonesia, conveyed the theme of the event, "Inclusive Entrepreneurship Ecosystems for Indonesia Vision 2045." She emphasized the responsibility to support the growth and participation of youth and communities within the country's entrepreneurial landscape. This includes collective action, access to digital opportunities, and access to finance, with a focus on inclusivity for all, including marginalized groups.

The Youth Co:Lab National Dialogue 2023 drew over 150 participants from the youth entrepreneurship ecosystem, including experts, policymakers, entrepreneurs, and advocates. The event encouraged all stakeholders to contribute to shaping a brighter future for Indonesia's youth entrepreneurs and to create a more robust and inclusive ecosystem that empowers the next generation of business leaders.

The British Council Indonesia, a supporter of the event, remains committed to fostering connections, trust, and mutual understanding between Indonesia and the UK. Their mission is to create opportunities for young people who aspire to become future leaders and change-makers, particularly through entrepreneurial endeavors and creative social enterprises.

Previously, UNDP and Citi Indonesia, with support from Citi Foundation and the Ministry of Youth and Sports, organized the Youth Co:Lab Indonesia National Bootcamp 2023 with the theme #InclusiveEntrepreneurship. This initiative aimed to empower young entrepreneurs from vulnerable and marginalized communities, including women, minority communities, and underserved groups. After intensive training, ten social businesses were selected to participate in pitching and business matchmaking, opening access to various funding sources to accelerate their ventures.

The collaboration between UNDP, Citi Indonesia, and various government agencies demonstrates a concerted effort to empower the youth of Indonesia and create an inclusive entrepreneurial ecosystem that supports their growth and aspirations.

About Citi Foundation

The Citi Foundation works to promote economic progress and improve the lives of people in low-income communities around the world. They invest in efforts that increase financial inclusion, catalyze job opportunities for youth, and reimagine approaches to building economically vibrant communities. The Citi Foundation's "More than Philanthropy'' approach leverages the vast expertise of Citi and its people to fulfill its mission and drive thought leadership and innovation. For more information, visit www.citifoundation.com


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