CITYPRENEURS is a UN-backed ecosystem building and growth platform that helps young entrepreneurs create revenue generating solutions for urban challenges within the framework of the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development. The platform brings together a cross-section of stakeholders focused on sustainable and inclusive impact to foster public-private collaborations and policy development.
Since 2017, Citypreneurs has worked with the Metropolitan Governments of Seoul (2017-2019), Bangkok, Ho Chi Minh, Singapore (2020-2021), Seoul (2020-2021), Kinshasa (2021-2022), and Ulsan (2023) to solve urban issues and has also expanded regionally across continents.
FOR THE FIRST TIME EVER,
THE MAJORITY OF PEOPLE IN THE WORLD LIVE IN CITIES
For the first time ever, the majority of people in the world live in cities. Every week, nearly 1.5 million people become urban dwellers and the UN projects over 2/3 of the world’s population to live in cities for 2050.
This unprecedented global rise of cities comes with expectations of living standards that are getting harder to meet, as well as worsening demographic, environmental, economic and social issues. In fact, while cities only occupy about 2% of land around the world, they generate over 80% of global GDP and produce 70% of greenhouse emissions.
THE URBAN INNOVATION CHALLENGE: CITYPRENEURS
was developed in this context, where cities can be a laboratory to drive innovation that can solve some of our biggest challenges.
Citypreneurs brings together the nexus of innovators, investors and policy makers to facilitate innovations focused on the public interest or social impact. Through focusing on local contexts and involving policy makers, innovations can be experimented on without relying on national level changes, and local ecosystems of innovators, investors and policy makers can be built to collaborate much more closely to address problems. By focusing on solutions that have or are close to a prototype, these innovations can also be scaled up relatively quickly if policy makers or investors believe them to be useful and valuable.
Our goal at Cityprenuers
is to enhance the capability of start-ups in four distinct ways:
1) Cityprenuers aims to create a thriving ecosystem for start-ups by connecting impact-driven start-ups with innovators, investors, researchers, regulators, producers, and customers. We recognize that successful start-ups do not develop in isolation and believe in the importance of a collaborative ecosystem.
2) Cityprenuers convenes policy discussions on how the public sector can facilitate impact-driven innovation and collaborate with start-ups. We explore ways for innovators and governments to design policies for the 4th Industrial Revolution that promote sustainability and inclusivity.
3) Cityprenuers offers workshops and training sessions for start-ups to understand the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) and develop their businesses while considering the SDGs. We receive many requests from young individuals who aspire to tackle significant issues and establish impact-driven start-ups. Hence, we provide guidance on metrics and principles aligned with the SDGs.
4) Cityprenuers provides opportunities for teams to showcase their innovations to one another and gain visibility from investors and buyers both domestically and internationally. Although certain editions include winners who receive grants or investments, our primary objective is for teams to learn from one another and cross-pollinate ideas and innovations.
THE SUSTAINABLE DEVELOPMENT GOALS
“Sustainable development is more than a goal.
It is our responsibility to our planet and future generations”
António Guterres – Secretary General of the UN
WHAT ARE THE SDGs?
The 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development, adopted by all United Nations Member States in 2015, provides a shared blueprint for people and the planet, now and into the future.
At its heart are the 17 Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs), or Global Goals to be achieved by 2030, which are a universal call to action by all countries to ensure no one is left behind. They represent an unprecedented opportunity to end extreme poverty and protect the planet, putting the world on a sustainable path towards peace and prosperity.
HOW CAN ENTREPRENEURS CONTRIBUTE?
Citypreneurs encourages entrepreneurs to look at how the SDGs can be achieved in cities through addressing urban issues. By participating in our urban innovation challenge, you will be guided by the SDGs to develop sustainable business models and identify key issues your solution can address, while making connections with think tanks, policy makers and other innovators to further strengthen the network of sustainable development actors in our global community.