By Yasmine Khaled Aly, UNIDO.
Before learning about UNIDO’s Investment Promotion in Iraq (IPI) Project, Anwar Hussein – a young, ambitious and hardworking Iraqi – had a small business but few business opportunities. With IPI’s help, Anwar’s business, and life, have changed.
Like many young entrepreneurs in Thi-Qar, Anwar wanted to start a business where there was a market need. Seeing a shortage in agricultural maintenance services in the city, he started a small repair workshop of 30 square metres for agricultural machinery; with only six employees and annual revenue of USD 50,000.
A few years on, Anwar’s long working hours and diligent self-learning efforts have paid off. He has earned a good reputation for the quality and accuracy of his work.
However, as the business slowly grew, and despite his diligence and continuing hard work, he was no longer capable of managing internal problems and heavy daily operations. He simply did not possess the delegation or business management skills to handle expansion. As a result, Anwar found it difficult to generate bigger business opportunities for the workshop.
It was not until Anwar joined the business courses at the Enterprise Development Centre (EDC) – a joint initiative between UNIDO’s IPI project and the Chamber of Commerce in Nassiriya – that his vision and his business started to expand. At EDC training courses in Thi-Qar, Anwar was able to hone his skills in business management, time management, customer service, marketing and finance. More importantly, he learned how to lead teams and delegate responsibilities within a larger operating business scheme. Consultants at EDC also coached him in how to get a loan and expand his enterprise.