By Aziz Al Nassiri, CEO, RiTS.
Noah’s Ark Initiative: Toward the creation of a new entrepreneur generation in Iraq.
Noah’s Ark — an initiative aimed at solving Iraq’s most pressing problem, youth unemployment — was launched on 3rd August 2017.
The Ark is an organized Launchpad for small entrepreneurial business startups.
The concept is based on the following approach:
- Finding all Iraqi university graduates who have entrepreneurial tendency (12% of graduates),
- Educating, training, supporting and helping these entrepreneurs find project ideas of interest to them,
- Expose the entrepreneurs to crowdsourcing, with focus on the elite of professionals, academics, scientists, inventors, mentors, business people, and investors to support, counsel, mentor, fund, partner, be a supplier or customer. In particular, the Iraqi diaspora as well as people from around the world who are concerned about the future of Iraq, can play a pivotal role here,
- Provide complete business modelling expertise together with a variety of supporting functions through incubation, carried out by a choice of Iraqi and non Iraqi incubators available on deck. i.e The Ark is an ecosystem of all Iraqi entrepreneurship initiatives,
- Design, and establish blueprints for repeatable projects, e.g. model farms, 3D Printed buildings teams (Mosul!), river transport boats (Marshes!),Babylon tourism arcades, etc,
- Ensuring competitiveness of all projects by always basing them on the latest technology and science available. The aim is not to catch up with the neighbours; we should aim to leap ahead of them. Iraqi scientists and the diaspora have a major role to play here,
- Establishing a fair, corruption free, crowd funding based, loan arrangement for all projects.
In doing all the above we are helping to launch 100s, and 1000s of startups in a systemic way, each startup is carrying all the elements of success with the crowdsource joining in their journey to provide good income for their owners and employees.
A feature of Noah’s Ark is to carry a running total of the potential jobs each project is likely to need, as well as another running total of jobs actually created, for all projects.
Furthermore, we intend to continue to develop Noah’s Ark for the benefit of Iraq’s economy. The platform already accepts registrations of companies and NGOs. In addition it provides a ”jobs” function whereby the startups and any Iraqi owned entity or simply operating in Iraq, can post their job vacancies.