​​​​​​​About the Programme


Entrepreneurship is wealth-creating. It encourages innovation, brings new value to the market, and helps build local and regional wealth. Entrepreneurship can empower young people to boost their lives and livelihoods, create jobs and solve social problems through innovation.

As the COVID-19 pandemic worsens problems in food security, public health, and employment in Iraq, entrepreneurship is more important than ever to “build back better” towards a post-pandemic world.

Building on the experience and lessons learned of the past five cycles (2016-2020), 2021 UNITAR COVID-19 Response and Recovery Programme: Mobilizing Resilient Entrepreneurs to Address Food Insecurity, Public Health and Unemployment - For Youth in Iraq is an online training programme that equips youth entrepreneurs in Iraq with the knowledge, skills, and attitudes to turn ideas for a social or for-profit enterprise into a business model that meets the urgent domestic needs stemming from the COVID-19 pandemic and promotes sustainable recovery.

The programme is conducted with the financial support of the Government and the People of Japan.



The 12-month training programme trains participants on the full cycle of entrepreneurship, from idea to market, in two phases.

Phase 1 is “The Fundamentals of Entrepreneurship and Innovation” (targeting 150 participants from across Iraq).

Phase 2 will delve deeper into “Leadership, Strategy and Innovation” (for 25 top participants chosen from those who completed Phase I).


The training is conducted fully online using an online mobile learning management platform and other online engagement tools.

Over the course of the programme, participants engage in online/asychronous modules, peer-to-peer discussions, assignments, and live webinars by subject matter experts and UNITAR staff. Participants are also mentored by international experts and national coaches.

Learning Objectives

  1. Explain (social) entrepreneurship and its importance to innovate, converge solutions and build back better
  2. Implement a design thinking methodology to identify and solve problems or needs through (social) entrepreneurship and innovation
  3. Evaluate (social) entrepreneurship in the context of Iraq's sustainable growth and development.
  4. Discuss the key components of the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs)
  5. Formulate and test each aspect of the business model for a social entrepreneurship venture
  6. Outline existing opportunities and challenges in promoting gender equality
  7. Build leadership capacity in yourself and others to drive successful growth-oriented enterprises
  8. Craft risk management and competitive strategies for enterprise growth and development
  9. Apply impactful communication techniques to various contexts
  10. Demonstrate critical thinking skills to develop new and innovative business opportunities and strategically address complex and pressing challenges brought on by the Covid-19 pandemic, such as food insecurity, public health, and youth unemployment

Previous Programme Cycles

Find out more about the participants and projects of each year's cycle.

2019 Cycle; 2019 Programme News

2018 Cycle; 2018 Programme News

2017 Cycle; 2017 Programme News

2016 Cycle; 2016 Programme News




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