Program Highlight: Regional Finals of the ASEAN Impact Challenge

Bangkok, Thailand. October 31 – November 3, 2019 – The United States Government, through the ASEAN-USAID Partnership for Regional Optimization within the Political-Security and Socio-Cultural Communities (PROSPECT) project, continues to strengthen innovative entrepreneurship by providing an opportunity for young start-up innovators, or “Start Impact Innovators,” from all 10 ASEAN Member States, to tap into business expertise and pitch their sustainable business ideas to potential investors. This year, twenty youth entrepreneurs from across ASEAN were short-listed to participate in the AIC Regional Finals.  This annual event, launched today in Bangkok, is a collaborative effort with Impact Hub of Kuala Lumpur, the Senior Officials Meeting on Youth, and the ASEAN Foundation to host the 2019 ASEAN Impact Challenge (AIC) Regional Finals for youth entrepreneurs.

Following the next two days of skills building, innovators will called upon to pitch their sustainable business concept to a panel of judges comprising representatives from the ASEAN Senior Officials Meeting on Youth, UN agencies, Impact Hub and its corporate partners, impact investors, and others. Start Impact Innovators will be invited to the ASEAN Business and Investment Summit organized by the ASEAN Business Advisory Council, where they will have a chance to network and pitch their concepts among a wider audience of investors and venture capitalists.

The winning innovator will be selected based on the quality of their business model, anticipated impact to target beneficiaries, how well their innovations might advance Sustainable Development Goals, and the team’s capacity to manage and potentially scale their innovations. The winner will also receive catalytic support for their start-up from corporate partners and impact investors as well as recognition on a regional stage.  The U.S. Government, through USAID’s PROSPECT project, partners with ASEAN in advancing an open and free Indo-pacific that drives youth innovation and entrepreneurship while elevating inclusive economic growth through market-based solutions.