Press Release

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

19 April 2023

The Ministry of Youth and Sports and UNICEF, in partnership with the Kurdistan Organization for Human Rights Watch (KOHRW), call on young changemakers to participate in the imaGen Ventures Youth Challenge and accelerate progress towards the SDGs

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.

Notes to Editors:

For more details on how to apply, please follow this link:

UNICEF: UNICEF works in some of the world’s toughest places, to reach the world’s most disadvantaged children. Across over 190 countries and territories, we work for every child, everywhere, to build a better world for everyone.

Generation Unlimited: Generation Unlimited is a global public-private-youth partnership working to prepare young people to become productive and engaged citizens. It connects secondary-age education and training to employment and entrepreneurship, empowering every young person to thrive in the world of work.

Alix Reboul-Salze

Communication Specialist
Miguel Mateos Muñoz

Miguel Mateos Muñoz

Chief of Communication – UNICEF Iraq

UN entities involved in this initiative

United Nations Children’s Fund

Goals we are supporting through this initiative