In addition to sessions on key principles of social entrepreneurship and innovation, participants received an interactive lesson about design thinking and startup methods.
“The activities we did broadened our way of thinking, so it helped us,” said participant Giftson Semi, who developed a small business model to improve waste management in Gizo and create job opportunities for unemployed youth.
“I think if we implemented the ideas, it would really help our community,” he said.
The workshop was the first in a series of activities leading up to the Western Province Youth Peacebuilding Innovation Forum to be held in Gizo from 20 to 22 November.
Workshop participants will be invited to apply for an innovation boot camp that will help them refine solutions related to social cohesion, peacebuilding, civic engagement and youth unemployment or underemployment.
Teams of innovators will build and test prototypes before pitching them at the provincial innovation forum for the chance to win seed funding and other support to start their social enterprise.
The UNPBF project’s manager, Tony Cameron, emphasized the importance of harnessing the potential of youth in Western Province and aiding their efforts to tackle persistent social challenges.
“Young people are valuable resources. Their inspiration and enthusiasm needs to be considered as part of national peacebuilding discourse,” Mr. Cameron said.
“Supporting young innovators brings communities and the country closer together, fulfilling the vision for sustainable peace and development.”
The UNPBF project aims to support peaceful and inclusive transition in Solomon Islands, jointly implemented by UNDP and UN Women in close collaboration with the Prime Minister’s Office, the Ministry of National Unity, Reconciliation and Peace and the Ministry of Women, Youth, Children and Family Affairs.
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