New Jugaad programme to boost youth engagement in corporate decision making across Asia

The Asian Venture Philanthropy Network (AVPN), Social Ventures Hong Kong (SVHK), Social Enterprise Academy(SEA) and Bridge Institute have partnered to help enhance youth voice in corporate decision-making in Singapore and Malaysia.

According to a recent youth behavioural study conducted by AVPN, more than 60% of youths in Southeast Asia want to see more action done by businesses to combat socio-environmental issues.

The Jugaad pilot (Hindi: a flexible approach to problem-solving that uses limited resources in an innovative way) seeks to bridge the gap between younger generations and corporations by matching corporates to Young Impact Leaders who can work alongside a youth committee to provide forward-thinking recommendations for meaningful action.

Developed by AVPN and Social Ventures Hong Kong as anchor partners, the programme will first identify the needs of the two participating corporate partners before matchmaking them with three to four Young Impact Leaders. Together, over three months, they will co-create new directions for corporate impact that reflect their shared voices and aspirations.

As a local partner, the Social Enterprise Academy, along with NeoUprise and Bridge Institute, will deliver a series of learning programmes to support the personal development of the young people and help them to maximise their contribution to their host businesses.

As well as gaining invaluable industry experience, the Young Impact Leaders will be able to deepen their understanding of, and have influence over, the issues that matter most to them such as; sustainability, equity, diversity, and inclusion (EDI), or mental health, to impact the changing world of business and workplaces for the better.

Naina Subberwal Batra, CEO of AVPN, said:

"Jugaad is a colloquial Asian term that reflects the guts to develop an ingenious solution. We want to show the potential of Jugaad through this initiative - not only to showcase the entrepreneurial capacity of young people, but also give them a stake in influencing decisions that eventually affect them."

Jakira Khanam, Regional Director – Asia at the Social Enterprise Academy, said:

“We are very excited to be part of the Jugaad pilot working in partnership with our local partner NeoUprise in Malaysia and with AVPN, SVHK and Bridge Institute. Jugaad is a very fitting name, as we jointly seek to pilot creative and resourceful solutions with young impact leaders and corporates for enhanced intergenerational dialogue and business impact in Asia. Our shared belief is that young people are future leaders, agents of change, job creators and social and environmental innovators, and when given opportunities to engage, the next generation can effect ripples of change. “

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This initiative is brought together by the AVPN Youth Opportunities Platform to catalyse opportunities for young people in Asia. The Youth Opportunities Platform (i) identifies youth social investment opportunities in the region, (ii) highlights collaboration pathways across sectors and impact areas, and (iii) advocates for under-represented youth voices and issues. Launched in June 2022, the AVPN Youth Opportunities Platform will be a capital aggregator and resource matchmaker for capital providers and communities of young impact leaders who are seeking to scale youth empowerment in Asia.