The Ministry of Youth and Sports and UNICEF, in partnership with the Kurdistan Organization for Human Rights Watch, call on young changemakers in Iraq for the imaGen Ventures Youth Challenge
Erbil, 18 April 2023 – The Ministry of Youth and Sports, in partnership with UNICEF, launched today the Generation Unlimited Youth Challenge “ImaGen Ventures”, calling on young changemakers to design solutions to accelerate progress towards the SDGs.
Successful applicants will be invited to take part in design workshops to make their ideas reality. Following these workshops, the most promising ideas will be selected and provided with seed funding as well as mentorship to support the projects’ implementation.
In August 2023, solutions from all countries participating in this year’s challenge will be submitted to a global judging process. These projects will receive further funding, and will be included in a tailored global incubation programme from Generation Unlimited partners to support them to scale.
Co-hosted globally by five Generation Unlimited partners – UNICEF, UNDP, Plan International, USAID, and the World Organization of the Scout Movement – and, in Iraq, in partnership with the Ministry of Youth and Sports and KOHRW, the challenge calls on young innovators across Iraq to design solutions to accelerate progress towards the SDGs, in line with UNICEF Iraq’s priority areas such as Climate Change and Gender Equality.
The Youth Challenge is a global initiative meeting young people where they are and working with them in supporting the realization of their full potential. It aims to inspire young people with brilliant ideas, providing the resources needed to bring them to life. This includes young people that are forcibly displaced, those who face daily discrimination due to their ethnicity, their gender, their disability or disadvantaged by poverty.
In line with the SDG-focused solutions, GenU's imaGen Ventures 2022 awarded twelve teams of young entrepreneurs as global winners at the youth pavilion during COP27. These innovative teams showcased their talents by presenting projects that included
eco-friendly plastic, sustainable sanitation technologies, solar-powered lighting systems for schools, and bio-briquettes. With the seed-funding provided, these winning ventures have the necessary resources to advance their ideas and make a greater impact on their communities.
The most promising ideas will contribute to the success of Generation Unlimited, an ambitious global public-private-youth partnership meant to meet the urgent needs for expanded education, training and employment opportunities for young people on an unprecedented scale.