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Commonwealth-Asia Alliance of Young Entrepreneurs (CAAYE) Launched
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Commonwealth-Asia Alliance of Young Entrepreneurs (CAAYE) Launched

The Commonwealth Youth Programme Asia Centre, Commonwealth Secretariat in collaboration with The Young Indians of the Confederation of Indian Industry (CII) organized 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.

12 representatives from youth entrepreneurship support organizations 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, agreed to the commitments and signed the Charter along with representative organizations from the countries mentioned above. The workshop was also attended by Raj K. Mishra and Aminul Islam Khan, Regional Director and Programme Manager respectively from the CYP Asia Centre and Raj Kumar Bidla from the Youth Affairs Division.
The mission statement endorsed by the Alliance partners was to be:

(1) a network that, through its engagement with governments, the media, the public, all relevant stakeholders and member organizations, champions the cause of young entrepreneurs at the local, national, regional and international level.
(2) an alliance of organizations from economies of the Commonwealth-Asia region that makes measurable progress towards development of entrepreneurship to ensure future prosperity.

The Alliance also committed itself to
(1) support young entrepreneurs across the Commonwealth-Asia region.
(2) build, appreciate and encourage youth entrepreneurship culture
(3) create a network between member countries for mentorship, advisory and other relevant support services to young entrepreneurs.
(4) contribute to human capital development through education & training of young entrepreneurs
(5) provide information on access to finance and other resources for young entrepreneurs
(6) influence policy mechanism for youth entrepreneurial development

“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.” This was how Mr Raj K Mishra and Mr. Raj Kumar Bidla viewed the outcome of the Workshop.

Dr Rahul Mirchandani, Chairman, Partnerships & International Relations, Young Indians described the formation of the Alliance as a “historic” occasion while Mr. Shankar Vanavarayar, National Chairman, Young Indians viewed the CAAYE as a “window of opportunity” for aspiring young entrepreneurs across the Commonwealth Asia region.



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