UNDP Turkey brought together 84 Syrian and Turkish young entrepreneurs at the “Start-up Weekend” event in Istanbul aiming to find solutions to the climate crisis and climate-induced disasters.

 

UNDP Turkey supports Syrian and Turkish young minds to work in team spirit and find new ideas to tackle climate change

The United Nations Development Programme (UNDP) Turkey brought together 84 Syrian and Turkish young entrepreneurs at the “Start-up Weekend” event in Istanbul aiming to find solutions to the climate crisis and climate-induced disasters.

Organized on 25-26 September, the event was a part of the initiative implemented with funding from the Government of Japan and in partnership with the Ministry of Youth and Sports, aiming to increase access to employment, entrepreneurship opportunities and social integration of young Syrians under Temporary Protection and their Turkish peers. Participants had opportunities for learning each other’s cultures and making new friends, and shared their ideas developed to contribute to preventing the global climate crisis and environmental disasters.

“Working with youth gives us great enthusiasm. Supporting Sustainable Development Goal 13 – Climate Action, we are happy to see young people coming together to work on innovate solutions for people and our planet,” said Ms. Tuğçe Söğüt, Social Cohesion Projects Coordinator in UNDP Turkey Syria Crisis Response and Resilience Portfolio.

At the event, young entrepreneurs with various knowledge and experience levels were divided into teams of five by their mentors based on their preferred work areas, and developed and designed business ideas using new green technologies to prevent the ongoing climate crisis and environmental disasters, alleviate impacts, improve the livelihoods of affected and vulnerable groups, and foresee and prevent the damage that could be caused by such disasters.

Starting with the accelerated Ideathon, Building Business Plan and Presentation Techniques trainings, the marathon continued with groups presenting their enterprise ideas developed with the assistance of expert mentors.

The jury awarded the first place to the project “Gel-Götür (Come & Takeaway)” that aims to prevent food waste and strengthen neighbourly relations by sharing unused food items at homes. Since reducing food waste leads to reducing greenhouse gas emissions, the project has the goal to contribute to preventing the global climate crisis by encouraging people to reduce food waste. The winning team was awarded with technology gift voucher worth around US$3,650 (35,000 TL) to support them to develop their project.

Having interacted in the groups and experienced team spirit, intercultural communication and learning methods, Syrian and Turkish youth had opportunities to better know each other’s cultures through social activities.

Syrian youth make up the half of 3.7 million Syrians under Temporary Protection living in Turkey. The “Start-up Weekend” event that supports young entrepreneurs who work to tackle the climate crisis is a part of an initiative that aims to find solutions to the problems faced by Syrian youth and their Turkish peers. In this context, 403 young people have had opportunities to learn new job skills and receive entrepreneurship training. Grants of $350,000 and mentoring support have been provided to 70 young entrepreneurs. UNDP has already set up computer labs in 30 youth centres in 9 provinces.

The $3 million initiative funded by Japan and completed in September 2021, is a part of UNDP Turkey’s broader $75 million portfolio of projects aimed at building self-reliance of Syrian refugees and resilience of host communities by expanding labour market access, improving livelihoods, enhancing public services and building social cohesion.

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