Federation of Chambers of
Commerce and Industry of Sri Lanka

Commonwealth-Asia Alliance of Young Entrepreneurs (CAAYE)

Commonwealth-Asia Alliance of Young Entrepreneurs (CAAYE) Launched: 15-16 November 2011: New Delhi

The Commonwealth Youth Programme Asia Centre, Commonwealth Secretariat in collaboration with The Young Indians of the Confederation of Indian Industry (CII) organized a two day Envisioning Workshop in New Delhi on November 15-16, at the end of which the Commonwealth-Asia Alliance of Young Entrepreneurs (CAAYE) was launched. The initiative followed the mandate given by the Commonwealth Heads of Government Meetings in 2009 and again in 2011 to Commonwealth Secretariat and member governments to put in place policies and mechanisms to foster youth enterprise development as a means to mitigate the problem of unemployment among young people in the Commonwealth.

Representatives from youth entrepreneurship support organizations from Brunei Darussalam, India, Malaysia, the Maldives, Singapore and Sri Lanka. Participated in the workshop and agreed on a Charter, Governance Structure and Rules of Business and committed to a long term engagement of the Alliance as a catalyst of economic growth, job creation, innovation and societal change in the Commonwealth Asia region. Pakistan and Bangladesh participated virtually in the proceedings and agreed to the commitments and signed the Charter along with representative organizations from the countries mentioned above. Federation of Chambers of Commerce and Industry of Sri Lanka was an active member and represented its participation through Network of Young Sri Lankan Entrepreneurs headed by Mr. Shazly Oowise of International Affairs Division.

Dr Rahul Mirchandani, Chairman, Partnerships & International Relations, Young Indians when asked to speak on the alliance creation and Charter signing, stated that “We have made History in India today. The signing of this Charter that creates the Commonwealth-Asia Alliance of Young Entrepreneurs symbolizes the start of a unique journey where young entrepreneurs begin the process of engaging continuously with government, policy in makers and each other to shape policy that will be an enabler to support youth entrepreneurship in the Region. The process of dialogue to form this historic alliance over the past months has revealed remarkable consensus amongst all member countries and Alliance organisations on the issues that require intervention. These are access to finance, regulation, entrepreneurship culture building, seamless information sharing, mentorship, advisory and support services. With the signing of this Alliance, CII’s

“We see the setting up of the Commonwealth Asia Alliance of Young Entrepreneurs as a very positive development towards our goal of economic enfranchisement of youth. We hope, the Alliance would be a rallying force in advocating with the member governments to put in place appropriate policies, programmes and structures to promote youth entrepreneurship in the region.” Mr Raj K Mishra, Commonwealth Youth Programme, Asia Centre, India stated this on the impact of the alliance on promoting youth entrepreneurship.

Mr Shankar Vanavarayar, National Chairman, Young Indians, said that “The world today is competition, free Market and connected economically, with these opportunities and challenges, entrepreneurhip is one clear way ahead. As a progressive step forward comes the CAAYE alliance in this space to imagine a world of opportunity for young people who work for progressive people who work for progressive South Asian world.”

The Members of the Commonwealth-Asia Alliance of Young Entrepreneurs have set forth the following Charter:

What is CAAYE comprised of?

The Commonwealth-Asia Alliance of Young Entrepreneurs (CAAYE) is a network of young entrepreneurs and the organizations that support them. They have been established to continually promote the cause of young entrepreneurs in our respective countries. The CAAYE will convene each year and in advance of the Commonwealth Heads of Government Meeting & relevant Commonwealth Ministerial forums to provide a platform to present a united voice of young entrepreneurs.

Belief of CAAYE

The signatories of this Charter believe in strengthening, advocating and supporting the dreams of young entrepreneurs.

Mission of CAAYE

The signatories of this Charter, have a mission to create and sustain a recognized body that exists as part of the official Commonwealth process and is able to engage, contribute to and impact the work of the Commonwealth to raise awareness and address the issues of young entrepreneurs.

The CAAYE’s mission is to be:

  • A network that, through its engagement with governments, the media, the public, all relevant stakeholders and member organizations, champions the cause of young entrepreneurs at the local, national, regional and international level.
  • An alliance of organizations from economies of the Commonwealth-Asia region that makes measurable progress towards development of entrepreneurship to ensure future prosperity.

CAAYE’s commitment to Young Entrepreneurs

The signatories of this Charter, commit to:

  • Support young entrepreneurs across the Commonwealth-Asia region.
  • Build, appreciate and encourage youth entrepreneurship culture
  • Create a network between member countries for mentorship, advisory and other relevant support services to young entrepreneurs.
  • Contribute to human capital development through education & training of young entrepreneurs
  • Provide information on access to finance and other resources for young entrepreneurs
  • Influence policy mechanism for youth entrepreneurial development