Iraqi Youth Initiative Program
The USAID-Tijara Provincial Economic Growthprojectis implementing an innovative youth-focused program; its goal is to create a variety of opportunities for youth - primarily recent graduates - to learn trades and enter new professions, establish new businesses, earn salaries and profits and generate additional employment.
This initiative received funds from the Ambassador’s Targeted Development Program of the U.S. State Department,to serve as a valuable tool for furthering the United States Government’s economic and social development initiatives in Iraq.
The Iraqi Youth Initiative contributes to the Iraq National Development Strategy (NDS) and will integrate the NDS principles into its approaches and client services. It also adheres to USAID policy on capacity building for the strengthening of local institutions, transfer of technical skills and promotion of appropriate policies.
The Iraqi Youth Initiative is an innovative combination of institutional resources designed to ensure that young clients benefit from an effective, holistic approach to career development.
The program promotes a vibrant entrepreneurial culture, creates job opportunities, and promotes employment generation through three major focus areas:
- Access to finance for youth;
- Creation of self-employment opportunities; and
- Bridging the gap between employers seeking skilled staff and potential employees.
The program will be characterized by:
- Nationwide outreach efforts;
- Focus on the use of self-assessment tools;
- Focus on rapid programmatic results.
The objectives of the Iraqi Youth Initiative are to be achieved through the implementation of the following three activities, using the Small Business Development Centers (SBDCs) and Microfinance Institutions (MFIs) supported by the USAID-Tijara project.
- Youth Entrepreneurship Resource Centers:Located within the SBDC, they serve as a one-stop repository of resources for young entrepreneurs wishing to establish productive businesses and seek gainful employment. The centers provide youth with counseling and business development services that will enable them to set up new or improve existing businesses and meet the pre-qualification requirements for the "Youth Entrepreneurs Access to Finance” activity.
- Youth Entrepreneurship Access to Finance: These services will be housed within the SBDC where the MFI partners will set up a dedicated outlet to service the Iraqi Youth Initiative program. The objective is to develop and expand the provision of demand-driven financial services for the participating youth. It will offer to the young entrepreneurs, who have received relevant financial literacy training in their business sector/s, the opportunity to apply; and qualify for innovative loan products from participating MFIs based on the quality and substance of the business plans they submit as part of their loan applications.
- Youth Employment Promotion: This activity provides youth with employable skills, certifications and qualifications for higher learning opportunities within Iraq and abroad. This will enable existing, as well as new entrepreneurs, to gain access to a pool of newly trained labor force and allow them to hire productive workers. The Iraqi Youth Initiative will be implemented through USAID-Tijara’s SBDC network, of which twelve top performing centers will be chosen, with the integral involvement of a minimum of four, and up to ten MFIs.
By the end of The Iraqi Youth Initiative, which is expected to reach over 5200 youth, the expected outcomes are:
- A total of 3,600 youth completing training at the Youth Entrepreneurship Resource Center training program to become business entrepreneurs, of which over 1,800 will be able to borrow money through the Youth Entrepreneurship Access to Finance.
- A total of 1,600 youth going through the Youth Employment Promotion, of whom up to 1,000 will be placed into apprenticeships, up to 500 placed in permanent jobs, and the remaining trained for opportunities outside this program.
- Through the cross-cutting efforts from the YouthEntrepreneurship Resource Center, The Youth Entrepreneurship Access to Finance, and the Youth Employment Promotion, a total of 2,500 jobs will be generated by the Iraqi Youth Initiative.
These principles embody education that focuses on sound values; development that emphasizes opportunities for male and female youth; humanity that enhances youth dignity; demographics that focuses on youth based upon their demographic diversity; and change in youth attitudes and behavior.
- About Us
- Frequently Asked Questions
- Contact Us