Entrepreneurship in Iraq after COVID-19

By Aymen Salman, for The Station. Re-published with permission by Iraq Business News.

During this worldwide pandemic, Entrepreneurs have to face a new reality. Whether a vaccine or a cure will be found for this virus or won't, we are hearing a lot of voices about the world and ecosystem after COVID-19.

Considering the fact that it's the right time to think about how the entrepreneurship world be like, The Station held a broadcast within the frame of "YANHAD" programme that The Station is implementing with Expertise France, and funded by EU and French Ministry of Foreign Affairs (CDCS).

In this live broadcast, our guests were Mr. Dhafir Hasan, business Innovation and Behavioral Change - Consultant & Trainer; and Mr. Adnan Addioui, a businessman, thinker, and founder of Moroccan CISE. The moderator of this broadcast was Mr. Ammar Al-Khatib, The Executive Director of The Station.

Starting with the definition of "Entrepreneurship", where Dhafir gave the real mean of entrepreneurship, describing how you can be creative in business and how you can add new components and services, He also highlighted that entrepreneurship has a high risk and that's what marks the key difference between SMEs and entrepreneurial projects; he also discussed other differences such as the possibility to expand, and the scalability that distinguishes entrepreneurship.

The COVID-19 pandemic has definitely put a huge amount of pressure on the Startups in Iraq, and from what we have heard over the last 3 months from our entrepreneurs' friends, they're confused. However, the most common comment that we agree with, is that startups should invest this time to re-plan their business and review their business plan, and identify solutions on how to overcome this catastrophe.

The world will be different after Corona, we have already seen how online activities gathered an enormous amount of publicity, and Dhafir advised all businesses to consider online sales, advertisement and marketing. There are some businesses that didn't stop operating during this crisis and they have made good profits, especially web-developers, tech-businesses and online education.

One of the main challenges the Iraqi entrepreneurs facing is the mentality of investors in Iraq and their unwillingness to invest in startups. Ammar asked if COVID-19 will motivate those investors to invest more in Startup companies. Dhafir replied, that this will mostly depend on how many successful stories will make it through this crisis, this will be the motivator for investors.

To understand what actually has changed during this pandemic, we asked Adnan, and he said that on the governmental level, we saw how all governmental institutions saw the importance of distance learning, online payments and online shopping, also it highlights the urgent need to diversify sources of income. In the meantime, he advised the entrepreneurs to think about how to launch new services, to see what issues their community faces to work on solving them through their projects.

This time is a great opportunity to do market research.

To watch the full live broadcast (in Arabic), please follow the link below:


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