US President John F. Kennedy had the Peace Corps. Shenzhen has the Southern Young Entrepreneurs Plan.
According to a joint announcement by the United Nations Office for South-South Cooperation and the Shenzhen Youth Federation, the city will send out what could only be described as tech missionaries to countries in need of entrepreneurial skill development.
With a particular focus on “green tech”, the mission’s objective is to train no fewer than 10,000 people in developing countries over the next five years, equipping them with the skills they need to jump-start their countries’ scientific and technological innovation bases.
Jorge Chedick, Director of the United Nations Office for South-South Cooperation, and Chen Daixing, representative of the Shenzhen Youth Federation of China, announced the launch of the plan at the United Nations Youth Climate Summit held at UN Headquarters in New York.
Chedick said the program will provide “one-stop” support for young entrepreneurs in developing countries, improving their knowledge and skills in entrepreneurship, finance, innovation and digital technology, and supporting them to help reduce carbon emissions.
Chen Daixing said that in the past 40 years, young entrepreneurs have been the main force in Shenzhen’s transformation from a small fishing village to a technology center. He believes that Shenzhen, with the power of young entrepreneurs, can provide “Chinese wisdom” for the UN to promote sustainable development goals.
The project will conduct two training sessions in Asia and Africa this year, starting with a focus on digital payments and entrepreneurship.