The Commonwealth Youth Programme Asia Centre, Commonwealth Secretariat in collaboration with The Young Indians of the Confederation of Indian Industry (CII) organised a two-day Envisioning Workshop in New Delhi on November 15-16, at the end of which the Commonwealth-Asia Alliance of Young Entrepreneurs (CAAYE) was launched.
The initiative followed the mandate given by the Commonwealth Heads of Government Meetings in 2009 and again in 2011 to Commonwealth Secretariat and member governments to put in place policies and mechanisms to foster youth enterprise development as a means to mitigate the problem of unemployment among young people in the Commonwealth.
Representatives from youth entrepreneurship support organisations from Brunei Darussalam, India, Malaysia, the Maldives, Singapore and Sri Lanka participated in the workshop and agreed on a Charter, Governance Structure and Rules of Business and committed to a long term engagement of the Alliance as a catalyst of economic growth, job creation, innovation and societal change in the Commonwealth Asia region.
Pakistan and Bangladesh participated virtually in the proceedings and agreed to the commitments and signed the Charter along with representative organisations from the countries mentioned above. Federation of Chambers of Commerce and Industry of Sri Lanka was an active member and represented its participation through Network of Young Sri Lankan Entrepreneurs headed by Shazly Oowise of International Affairs Division.
Partnerships and International Relations, Young Indians Chairman Rahul Mirchandani when asked to speak on the alliance creation and Charter signing, stated, “We have made history in India today. The signing of this Charter that creates the Commonwealth-Asia Alliance of Young Entrepreneurs symbolises the start of a unique journey where young entrepreneurs begin the process of engaging continuously with government, policy in makers and each other to shape policy that will be an enabler to support youth entrepreneurship in the region. The process of dialogue to form this historic alliance over the past months has revealed remarkable consensus amongst all member countries and Alliance organisations on the issues that require intervention. These are access to finance, regulation, entrepreneurship culture building, seamless information sharing, mentorship, advisory and support services.”
On the impact of the alliance on promoting youth entrepreneurship, Commonwealth Youth Programme, Asia Centre, India Raj K. Mishra stated, With the signing of this Alliance, CII’s we see the setting up of the Commonwealth Asia Alliance of Young Entrepreneurs as a very positive development towards our goal of economic enfranchisement of youth. We hope, the Alliance would be a rallying force in advocating with the member governments to put in place appropriate policies, programmes and structures to promote youth entrepreneurship in the region.”
While National Chairman, Young Indians Shankar Vanavarayar, said, “The world today is competition, free Market and connected economically, with these opportunities and challenges, entrepreneurship is one clear way ahead. As a progressive step forward comes the CAAYE alliance in this space to imagine a world of opportunity for young people who work for progressive people who work for progressive South Asian world.”