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27 October 2021; Erbil, Kurdistan Region of Iraq - UNFPA and the Ministry of Labour and Social Affairs with the Ministry of Culture and Youth in the Kurdistan Regional Government launched in partnership with MSelect the Social Responsibility Skills for Young Entrepreneurs project in Erbil. The project was based on the success story of the “Orange Corners Erbil Programme” implemented by MSelect with support from the Kingdom of Netherlands. 

For the next two months, 20 young women and men will receive mentorship and training in leadership skills, entrepreneurship and financial management focusing on the social responsibility aspect of the businesses. The participants will benefit from sessions on gender equality, prevention of gender-based violence and reproductive health rights.  

During the event, Mr Himyar Abdulmoghni, UNFPA Iraq Deputy Representative, highlighted the importance of investing in youth, especially girls,  to harness the Demographic Dividend in Iraq: “Currently, young people represent 41% of the population in Iraq. It is crucial to empower them to become independent, entrepreneurial and socially responsible citizens. Only when young people are healthy and well educated, can they take the country upwards in development”. 

Mr Hawre Jabbar Hamad, Deputy Director of Funds [to support small projects for youth] at the Ministry of Labour and Social Affairs said: “We are happy to announce the launch of this important project along with the Ministry of Culture and Youth and UNFPA. The project will help young people gain much-needed employability and entrepreneurial skills focusing on gender equality and giving back to their communities. We hope to extend the project to other youth centres across the country to reach the maximum number of young people who can make a difference.”

To support social entrepreneurship and young people empowerment, UNFPA will provide seed money to selected start-up proposals demonstrating sustainable social impact.  Furthermore, the Ministry of Labour and Social Affairs will offer participants short-term loans to help them launch their businesses based on specific eligibility criteria.

UNFPA is strongly committed to supporting and empowering adolescents and youth, especially girls, in their quest to be heard and build the future of Iraq. UNFPA strategy to achieve the 2030 vision for Sustainable Development puts youth at the centre of scaling up the global, regional and national needs of young people. 


UNFPA, the United Nations Population Fund, delivers a world where every pregnancy is wanted, every childbirth is safe, and every young person’s potential is fulfilled.

For more information or media inquiries, please contact Salwa Moussa, Communications Specialist, 009647809171035