IOM to Implement Business Development Services in Iraq

The International Organization for Migration (IOM) Iraq Mission has signed an agreement with the United Nations Office for Project Services (UNOPS) to set up a project to support local private and semi-private Business Development Service (BDS) providers in the Governorates of Anbar, Basrah and Erbil.

The project aims to develop sustainable business models and engage a range of beneficiaries including current owners and managers of small businesses and potential entrepreneurs in socio-economically marginalized groups such as unemployed men, women, youth, and single parent households, the disabled, former combatants, internally displaced persons and returnees.

"IOM's nation-wide operational capacity will be complementary to ongoing UN activities in Iraq," says Michael Pillinger, IOM Iraq's Chief of Mission. "Providing opportunities for Iraqis to start and grow their businesses will help stabilize communities that have been shattered by years of conflict, and lay the foundation for economic revival."

Through the project, IOM will train Business Development Service trainers who will further coach local entrepreneurs on how to make businesses grow and prosper.

Preliminary research by the ILO and UNOPS found that many businesses in the Anbar, Basrah and Erbil Governorates were in need of assistance in management training, business analysis and consulting. The programme will also create opportunities for businesses in the three governorates to regularly exchange information and best practices.

Funding for this project comes from the United Nations Development Group Iraq Trust Fund. IOM Iraq, which has previously carried out three similar projects with support from the Trust Fund, will receive USD 1,000,000 for implementation over the next 18 months.

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