UNDP Accelerator Labs encourage young entrepreneurs from southern Libya to participate in agricultural incubators

UNDP Libya announced that its Accelerator Labs program is encouraging young entrepreneurs from southern Libya to get involved in its agricultural incubators. The program provides business tools to turn young entrepreneurs’ ideas into real business ventures.

What are the UNDP Accelerator Labs?

According to UNDP, its Accelerator Labs program 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. Comprised of 91 lab teams from 115 countries (including Libya), the network leverages local innovation to generate actionable insights and rethink sustainable development for the 21st century.

What are Labelaks?

“Leaks from the Lab” is Accelerator Lab Libya’s attempt to let the public know in short messages (like tweets) what it is doing as an Accelerator Lab. This can be meeting an “unusual” partner or building an unfinished prototype. This is a good way to generate interest and curiosity about his work.

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What is UNDP doing in the south?

UNDP Accelerator Lab Libya is experimenting in the south by enabling innovation in youth entrepreneurship for the agribusiness, a sector it says has huge potential in Libya.

How does UNDP Libya promote entrepreneurship among young people?

UNDP Libya, through its exploration methods, has identified several challenges and opportunities that most people – mainly rural youth – would like to start but don’t have the know-how. Based on this, it decided to build the capacity of young people by informing, guiding, motivating, mentoring and making their ideas visible to participate in entrepreneurship programs and develop successful business plans.

How do these incubators work in agribusiness?

Specifically in agribusiness, UNDP explained that there will be two phases. The first phase is to invite young people to participate in an incubator to develop their business plans for specific business needs in their field. Once they have developed a business model and plan, the second phase will allow them to launch their businesses with the support of local UNDP partners.

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What are UNDP Plans for Entrepreneurship?

The UNDP Accelerator Lab is experimenting specifically in the agribusiness sector after conducting an economic sector study in more than 15 cities. The Accelerator Lab believes that Libyan youth in general are entrepreneurial by nature and eager to build the country. However, from many interviews and engagements with local organizations and stakeholders, it became clear that the youth just need a nudge to motivate them in their entrepreneurial journey. UNDP said if this experiment is successful, it plans to share the model publicly so everyone can benefit.

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UNDP emphasized that its Accelerator Labs believe in basic solutions. Therefore, his experiment will seek to empower local ideas to develop full-fledged businesses by making it more inclusive.

What long-term benefits does UNDP see in agribusiness in the South, and could this be seen elsewhere in the country?

There are many reasons why UNDP chose to focus on agribusiness: Africa is the only continent that does not have a sustainable diet. Libya relies almost entirely on fusil oil revenues. Libya has an enormous amount of groundwater (the largest in Africa) that can be used for agriculture.

Libya does not store and transport its agricultural produce efficiently. It has huge empty lands. All of this combined, including the fact that youth are entrepreneurial by nature, will make a huge contribution to Libya’s development.

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