Bonn, 4 May: Junior Chamber International (JCI) and the UN Sustainable Development Solutions Network Youth  (SDSN Youth) are partnering to offer young people the recognition, tools, training and resources needed to scale their SDG-focused projects. 50 youth-led programs—25 for-profit and 25 non-profit—will receive access to powerful training tools, including the Investment Readiness Program (IRP), have their work featured in the 2019 edition of the Youth Solutions Report and be eligible to receive up to USD $5,000 in funding from the Global Youth Empowerment Fund. The joint-initiative was announced at the Global Festival of Action in Bonn, Germany.

Speaking on Saturday to a global crowd of policymakers, social entrepreneurs, researchers and civil society leaders, Sam Loni from SDSN and Christine Albrecht of JCI highlighted the importance of this initiative and called on young innovators from around the world to step forward and apply for the opportunity.

The Global Youth Empowerment Fund, founded by JCI in partnership with the SDG Action Campaign, offers grants and training to youth-led projects that advance the SDGs. The Fund was launched in 2016 and has granted over US $65,000 to 17 youth-led projects in 15 countries over the past three years. This year, the 25 non-profit projects featured in the 2019 Youth Solutions Report will be considered for grants up to USD$5,000.

The Youth Solutions Report showcases transformative, youth-led initiatives addressing the multiple challenges of sustainable development. The report selects, highlights and celebrates groundbreaking solutions from non-profits and social business venture  that contribute to SDG advancement. This year, 50 projects will be selected to be featured in the 2019 edition of the report, which will be launched in September during the United Nations General Assembly week in New York City.

The Investment Readiness Program is a 16-week acceleration program that provides young innovators with valuable insights from leading experts in the field, gives access to personalized 1-on-1 mentoring and connects with impact investors. Each week, participants join one live online webinar, complete a component of their investment proposition and receive personal feedback on their materials from an expert in the field. This year, the leadership team from all 50 selected projects will be invited to undergo this program, in an effort to train and support them in the scaling of their programs.

"Young people are already leading the way on the Global Goals," said JCI Secretary General Arrey Obenson. "With this program, we're giving them tools, resources and even funding to help scale their projects and create the change our world so desperately needs."

JCI Secretary General Arrey Obenson and Project Leader of Youth Solutions Program, Dario Piselli, welcomed the opportunity, saying in a joint-statement, "Young people are already leading the way on the Global Goals. We're excited to join forces to offer meaningful training to help them succeed and funding to help them scale, as well as recognition to tell their stories.”

The 50 winning projects will be announced in September 2019 during United Nations General Assembly week in New York.

Any projects interested in this opportunity can apply here before 1 June 2019.

Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) are a set of 17 goals included in the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development, which was launched at UN Headquarters in September 2015 and adopted by 193 member countries of the UN. The SDGs, which are relevant to all countries, aim to achieve social inclusion, economic prosperity and environmental sustainability.

Junior Chamber International (JCI) is a worldwide membership-based nonprofit organization of young active citizens ages 18 to 40 who are dedicated to creating positive change in their communities. Through projects in more than 5000 communities across nearly 120 countries, members seek targeted solutions to local problems, creating a global impact.

UN Sustainable Development Solutions Network (SDSN)was launched by United Nations Secretary-General, Ban Ki-moon, in 2012 to mobilise global scientific and technological expertise to promote practical problem solving for sustainable development, including the design and implementation of the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) at local, national and global scales. In 2015, the SDSN launched its official youth initiative, SDSN Youth, to empower youth globally to create sustainable development solutions. SDSN Youth educates young people about the Sustainable Development Goals and provides opportunities for them to pioneer innovative solutions to address the world's biggest challenges.