ILO trains entrepreneurs on its business management training programme in Iraq

The training targets young internally displaced people, refugees and host community members looking to start their businesses, or existing businesses wanting to develop and grow their enterprises. 

Article | 24 June 2021
(ILO News) The ILO has trained over 150 women and men from displaced and host communities in Dohuk and Ninewa on its Start and Improve Your Business (SIYB) training programme, designed to support small-scale entrepreneurs to start or grow their businesses.

A total of 10 training courses were conducted over a period of three days, bringing together owners of small businesses who are looking to improve their enterprises. It is part of a series of trainings that the ILO in Iraq is implementing for entrepreneurs to enhance their business management skills.

The training package covers a diverse range of topics - from marketing and business planning, to costing and record keeping. The courses were conducted by 18 trainers from a wide spectrum of organisations, who have been trained by ILO to deliver the programme to entrepreneurs.

These included trainers from the Central Bank of Iraq, the Iraqi Company for Banking Guarantees, the Middle East Bank, the National Bank of Iraq, ‘Peshdari’ Company, as well as partner NGOs, including ACTED, Al Theqa Organisation for small enterprises financing, TRIANGLE, Zakhou Small Villages Projects (ZSVP) and Bashkoreen Organization.

Many of the participants could not access finance from formal services, and as a result, the ILO is implementing a financial inclusion model, in collaboration with the Central Bank of Iraq to support young Iraqis and forcibly displaced entrepreneurs as well as existing businesses to access much-needed financial services. 

The training is part of efforts being implemented by the ILO under the “Partnership for improving prospects for forcibly displaced persons and host communities,” also known as PROSPECTS, a multi-agency programme supported by the Government of the Netherlands.

“These ten training workshops are part of ILO’s interventions aimed at private sector development through sustainable business development services provided by local partners and their trainers,” said Fadia Jradi, financial inclusion and entrepreneurship officer for ILO PROPSECTS in Iraq. “The spirit and the positive learning experience we have seen throughout these trainings will indeed contribute to better entrepreneurship atmosphere, eventually, when combined with access to finance, it will lead to decent job creation for forcibly displaced people and host community in Dohuk and Ninewa.“

For more information, see: From skills and learning to decent jobs: ILO holds its first face-to-face SIYB training of trainers in Iraq

“My business is very small and I would like to expand, so I was very happy to learn about the ILO’s SIYB training. The training taught me how to evaluate the success of my business, and how to plan for the future. We hope to receive further trainings that will provide us with more details on how to implement the topics in focus and we hope to receive financial support so we can develop our businesses and better serve our communities” - Ahmed Aziz Abdullah, Internally Displaced Person and owner of a small houseware shop.

“I started off by having an on-line service and running my business from home. After getting financial support from family members, I set up my business. Yet, my business requires lots of supplies and products. I have joined this three-day training to learnt how to improve and develop my business. The training has been beneficial for owners of small businesses” - Sandra Garges, Internally Displaced Person and owner of small business selling decorations for birthdays and other celebrations.

“The training programme has shown me how I can improve running my business, especially in terms of financial management. I also learnt how to price my products in an appropriate and competitive way. I will implement this knowledge to develop my business step-by-step” - Yousef Ahmad Abdo, member of the host community of Dohuk and owner of “Lion Production,” a video production company.

“I was able to set up my own business in 2020, using money which I had to borrow from family and friends, as I could not access loans through the banks. My business is still running despite its limited profits. The training has taught me many things about the labour market, customer needs and our competitors, among other things” - Renas Mohammed Murad, Syrian refugee and owner of a small carpentry business.

“I would like to develop my business gradually, but I need financial support and I need to better manage my business. This is why I participated in this programme and I feel that I have hugely benefited from it, but I need to develop further by introducing new ideas to my business” - Nergz Said Ghazi, Internally Displaced Person from Mosul who currently lives in Dohuk and runs a sewing and clothes business.