Improved Business Development Support Services and Entrepreneurship Education targeting MSMEs and Youth for the creation of Decent Work Opportunities in the Kurdistan Region of Iraq

The project aims to promote decent work opportunities in micro, small and medium-sized enterprises in the Kurdistan Region of Iraq.

Summary

The GIZ-funded project aims to promote decent work opportunities in micro, small and medium-sized enterprises in the Kurdistan Region of Iraq. As a strategy, the project introduces and institutionalizes the ILO Start and Improve Your Business (SIYB) program and its Financial Literacy training in selected national Business Development Services (BDS) providers. In turn, these providers will offer quality-training services to potential and existing Iraqi Kurdish entrepreneurs. The project will also foster entrepreneurship education by introducing the ILO Know About Business (KAB) entrepreneurship education training in technical and vocational training centers under the Ministry of Labor and Social Affairs (MOLSA).

Our approach

The ILO uses a facilitative approach in assisting potential entrepreneurs and businesses by building first the capacity of national BDS providers instead of delivering training services directly. A Training of Trainers (TOT) methodology is thus applied to achieve the program's sustainability by ensuring an available and capable network of Iraqi trainers and teachers who can deliver start-up and entrepreneurship training beyond the project duration.

Project activities

Iraqi Kurdish potential entrepreneurs, start-ups and existing businesses benefit from standardized business development support services
The ILO will adapt and implement the SIYB training program, a start-up and business management training focusing on starting and improving small businesses to create more and better employment. The program contains three interrelated packages: Generate Your Business Idea (GYB), Start Your Business (SYB), and Improve Your Business (IYB).

Iraqi Kurdish potential entrepreneurs, start-ups and existing businesses benefit from financial literacy support services
The project will build the capacity of national BDS providers to deliver ILO financial literacy training.

Selected national organizations are able to independently provide BDS and financial literacy support
The ILO will build the capacity of national institutions at two levels. The first level aims to work with national BDS providers currently operating in the KRI to market, sell, and deliver business support services on a cost-recovery basis. It will also build the capacity of TSPs to monitor businesses' performance in terms of income and job creation using ILO-tested monitoring and evaluation tools. Towards the end of the project, BDS partners will have developed a 2-year work plan, including a pricing strategy, in an effort to move towards commercially driven (full or partial) services. The second level seeks to work together with national facilitators, public or private institutions, which have a mandate in MSME development to manage the overall implementation of SIYB and financial literacy programs in KRI. The aim is to create national ownership in the facilitation of standardized BDS markets.

Entrepreneurship culture is fostered among young Iraqi women and men enrolled in governmental Vocational Training Centers in KRI
The project will assist the Ministry of Labor and Social Affairs (MOLSA) in KRI in implementing the ILO Know About Business (KAB) program in a selected number of TVET centers. In this activity, the ILO intends to foster a culture of entrepreneurship, motivate and prepare students to take on entrepreneurship as a viable livelihood.