UNDP partners with Cisco, Citi to develop Sri Lankan youth entrepreneurship

ECONOMYNEXT – The United Nations Development Programme (UNDP) in Sri Lanka has partnered with the National Youth Services Council (NYSC), Cisco and Citi to train youth in digital and entrepreneurial skills.

They will conduct e-learning programmes in 20 locations across Sri Lanka to build on national priorities placed on strengthening the knowledge on Information and Communication Technology skills among youth, a statement said.

 “eLearning is a powerful tool that has the potential to connect the youth of Sri Lanka to up-to-date learning material to equip youth with the right tools to contribute to the sustainable development of the country,” it said. 

“This innovative mode of learning will also support in developing the entrepreneurial skills of youth, thus providing them with the ability to positively contribute towards the economy.”

Entrepreneurship skills are critical to create the jobs of the future, many of which also require digital skills, said Murugan Vasudevan, Regional Manager – South Asia for Cisco, commenting on the e-learning module.

“Cisco is excited to be able to partner with the United Nations to offer the entrepreneurship course with interactive, online case studies to show how one can apply digital skills to start a business.”

An added feature of this programme will be the training on ‘Financial literacy for Young Entrepreneurs’, facilitated by Citi staff who will volunteer as resource persons. 

 “We strongly believe technology is a key enabler for inclusive development and recognizes the crucial role of the youth in creating a prosperous Sri Lanka,” said Ravin Basnayake, Citi Country Officer Sri Lanka.

Jorn Sorensen, UNDP Sri Lanka Country Director, said the programme will support the digital capacity of young people in Sri Lanka. 

“As a crucial segment of society, we believe that engaging with young entrepreneurs to provide better access to market information and business skills, and a better enabling environment for youth-led enterprises is the best way forward to achieve inclusive and participatory sustainable development”.

 The e-Learning programme will engage approximately 1000 youth through the National Youth Services Council network island wide, who will have an opportunity to the Cisco eLearning course on Entrepreneurship. 





The programme will run as a two-day workshop engaging 50 participants at each youth center. 

Forty best performers from this pool of participants will be given an opportunity to engage with the youth center instructors as Volunteer Instructor Assistants to expand this initiative further to other young people within the community.

”Young people are active drivers of change in local communities,” said Eranda Weliange, Chairman of NYSC.

“This programme will enable young people in this country to advocate for change both within their communities and beyond.”
(COLOMBO, April 24, 2018)

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