Thanks to their relationship with 12 microfinance institutions also supported by USAID-Tijara, SBDCs have facilitated the transfer of more than $2.5 million in start-up and expansion capital to Iraqi businessmen and women who used their loans to build 825 new businesses that created over 3,600 new jobs.
Several SBDCs have established commercial enterprises to support local businesses. The Najaf SBDC started a DHL agency and a visa processing center for international trade delegations. SBDCs in Samawa and Nassriya recently opened print centers that support local advertising and marketing needs. SBDCs in Salah ad Din and Muthanna conduct business feasibility studies and engineering assessments for private investors and companies interested in creating local jobs.
Monthly and bi-weekly economic newsletters attracting local advertising now exist in Najaf, Samawa and Nassriya. SBDCs in Najaf, Karbala, Salah ad Din and Babil encourage economic expansion by sponsoring trade fairs and Business-to-Business (B2B) events.
Last year, the Karbala Business Development Center conducted an extensive employee training program for the French cement company Lafarge. Currently, SBDCs in Erbil, Samawa, Nassriya and Basrah assist the International Organization for Migration by providing business training and mentoring to Internally Displaced People and minority business owners seeking to rebuild their economic livelihood.
For additional information about SBDCs in Iraq, please visit www.sbdc-iraq.com.