Business Development Services for Small Enterprises in Iraq

ILO, IOM Collaborate to Improve Business Development Services for Small Enterprises in Iraq

The International Labour Organization (ILO) and the International Organization for Migration (IOM) in Iraq are collaborating to support the development of existing national small-scale enterprises and potential entrepreneurs from displaced and host communities in Iraq through entrepreneurship skills training.

Under the new collaboration, the ILO has introduced its advanced entrepreneurship and business management training programme, Start and Improve Your Business (SIYB), to selected staff from IOM to enable them to deliver the programme to IOM-supported existing and potential entrepreneurs.

This will provide entrepreneurs with quality support services that will allow them to start or enhance the performance of businesses and, in turn, create employment opportunities for internally displaced and host communities.

SIYB is made up of a comprehensive set of training materials and tools for various target groups in the small and medium-sized business sector to help them develop and strengthen their basic management skills. It is structured into three separate training packages that are designed to respond to the progressive stages of business development, including "Generate Your Business Idea," "Start Your Business," and "Improve Your Business."

In Iraq, the global training package was recently adapted to the country's context, including sector-specific exercises and case studies, under another ILO project, supported by the German Federal Ministry for Economic Cooperation and Development (BMZ) and in partnership with the German Agency for International Cooperation (GIZ), entitled "Improved BDS and Entrepreneurship Education targeting MSMEs and youth for decent work creation in the KRI". In addition, the project embarked on adapting SIYB material to reflect regional and national legal, economic, and cultural aspects, including linguistic differences. As a result, SIYB is now available in Arabic, Kurdish Sorani and Badini languages to ensure widespread outreach in Iraq.

As part of the programme's activities, a two-week Training of Trainers workshop took place in Erbil to build the capacity of some 50 IOM trainers on the programme. The training focused on a number of topics related to market research, generating a business idea and business plan, productivity and costing. A key element of the training was the development of action plans by the participants for the next steps of the Training of Trainers' cycle.

Following the completion of the Training of Trainers' workshop, each trainer will train 25 women and men on the entire SIYB programme by conducting IOM Trainings of Entrepreneurs and Trainings of Potential Entrepreneurs to fulfil their requirements as certified trainers. This will also be complemented with follow-up services for the targeted small enterprises.

"The Training of Trainers' methodology will ensure the sustainability of the programme in the longer-term, by creating a capable pool of national trainers from IOM, who will continue to deliver this package to potential and existing entrepreneurs beyond the project's duration," said Maha Kattaa, ILO Country Coordinator in Iraq.

The SIYB programme has been introduced in over 100 countries and adapted to meet specific national and regional needs. In Iraq, the ILO has rolled out the package through various projects that have introduced the training to national Business Development Services (BDS) providers and which support young refugees, internally displaced people and vulnerable host community members who are interested in setting up their own small business or improving existing ones.

(Source: UN)

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