UNDP Libya revealed that its Accelerator Labs programme is encouraging young entrepreneurs from southern Libya to participate in its agricultural incubators. The programme provides business tools to turn the young entrepreneurs’ ideas into real business ventures.
What is the UNDP Accelerator Labs?
The UNDP says its Accelerator Labs programme is the world’s largest and fastest learning network on sustainable development challenges. It uses innovation tools such as design thinking, systems thinking and collective intelligence. The Network is composed of 91 Lab teams covering 115 countries (including Libya) and taps into local innovations to create actionable insights and reimagine sustainable development for the 21st century.
What are Lableaks?
“Leaks from the Lab” is an attempt from Accelerator Lab Libya to inform the public of what it does as the Accelerator Lab in short messages (like Tweets). It can be a meeting with “unusual” partner or building an unfinished prototype. This is a good way to build interest and curiosity of its work.
What is UNDP doing in the South?
The UNDP Accelerator Lab Libya is experimenting in the south by enabling innovation in youth entrepreneurship for agribusiness, a sector it believes has enormous potential in Libya.
How does UNDP Libya promote youth entrepreneurship?
UNDP Libya identified several challenges and opportunities through its exploration methods that most people – mainly the youth from rural areas – are eager to establish businesses but do not have the know-how. Based on this, it decided to build the capacity of youth by informing, guiding, motivating, mentoring, and providing visibility to their ideas to partake in entrepreneurship programmes and succeed in developing business plans.
How do these business incubators in agribusiness work?
Specifically in agribusiness, the UNDP explained that there will be two phases. The first phase is to invite youth to participate in a business incubator to develop their business plans for a specific business needs in their area. Once they have developed a business model and plan, the second phase will enable them to launch their businesses through the support of UNDP local partners.
What are UNDP plans for entrepreneurship?
The UNDP Accelerator Lab is specifically experimenting in the field of agribusiness after an economic sector study was conducted in more than 15 towns. The Accelerator Lab believes that Libyan youth, in general, are entrepreneurial by nature and are zealous to build the country. However, from many interviews and engagement with local organizations and actors, it realized that the youth just need a nudge to motivate them onto their entrepreneurship journeys. The UNDP said If this experiment succeeds, it plans to share the model publicly so everyone can benefit from it.
The UNDP stressed that its Accelerator Labs believe in grassroot solutions. Hence its experiment will try to empower local ideas into developing fully-fledged businesses by making it more inclusive.
What long-term benefits does the UNDP see with the agribusiness in the south, and could this be seen in other regions in the country?
There are many reasons why the UNDP chose to focus on agribusiness: Africa is the only continent that is not food sustainable. Libya relies almost entirely on fusil oil revenues. Libya has an enormous supply of groundwater (the biggest in Africa) that can be used in agriculture.
Libya is not efficiently storing and transporting its agricultural produce. It has vast empty lands. All these combined, including that its youth are naturally entrepreneurial, will have an enormous contribution for the development of Libya.