Avijatrik, a startup from Bangladesh, has won the social innovation award at the 2nd Youth Co:Lab summit held in Hanoi, Vietnam recently.
Youth Co:Lab is the largest youth social entrepreneurship movement in Asia, supported jointly by United Nations Development Programme (UNDP) and Citi Foundation, said a press release on Tuesday.
The summit brought together over 500 delegates, including hundreds of youths, partners and government officials from 20 countries to exchange ideas, knowledge and experiences, to influence policy initiatives on youth entrepreneurship and encourage social innovation leading to Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs).
Thirty-two national winners from 20 countries in the Asia Pacific region presented their social enterprise ideas to a panel of judges, among them, Avijatrik from Bangladesh along with other six teams from different countries won the Social Innovation Challenge award in nine categories.
Established in 2015, Avijatrik won the Youth Co:Lab Social Innovation Challenge Award in Community Development category, initiated by UNDP and Citi Foundation for empowering local communities through tourism.
The enterprise has already empowered over 90 communities and served more than 3200 travellers by connecting with local communities using the online platform, avijatrik.org.While sharing his experience, Avijatrik CEO Nazmul Islam said, “Youth Co:Lab is a great platform for young people who want to unlock their potentials for social enterprise and contribute to SDGs. This is also an opportunity for building networks across the region.”
“As I see the first generation of Youth Co:Lab social entrepreneurs flourish and carry their own initiatives forward, I’m reminded of the reason why this work is so important: young people really do hold the key to social change,” said Valerie Cliff, UNDP Deputy Regional Director for Asia & the Pacific.
“Youth Co:Lab’s approach of listening to the perspectives and ideas of young people, and empowering them to drive business solutions that address our world’s most pressing issues is how real change happens,” said Brandee McHale, President of the Citi Foundation.