UNDP-Shell Partnership: Carving the path to sustainable economic growth
Basra, 03 May 2017- Along with his father, 37 year-old Nazeer has been running the family’s small carpentry workshop for years in Basra, South of Iraq. His business is based on building doors for houses in his village in Al Nashwah sub-district of Basra.
- “With my old machine, I could only create 25 doors a month, but with this model I am making 50 doors,” shared Nazeer
- Nazeer, along with others including women and youth, received financial and non-financial support from the Livelihoods Project under UNDP-Shell Partnership
- The UNDP-Shell Partnership was launched in 2012 to build participatory planning and local area development capacity near the Majnoon Oil Field in Basra
Artistically carving the wooden doors with designs and Arabic calligraphy has been Nazeer’s specialty.
“My business was doing alright for a village carpenter, but I had one very old machine, which caused delays in my production,” said Nazeer.
Through the Local Council of Al Nashwah, Nazeer heard of the Livelihoods Project, under the UNDP-Shell Partnership, which offers support to both the establishment of micro-businesses and existing small scale businesses in the sub-district, collaborating closely with local stakeholders and communities.
Nazeer, along with others including women and youth, received financial and non-financial support from the Project through an application and selection process. As the Project aims at building the capacity of the local workforce and creating job opportunities for communities near the Majnoon Oil Field in Basra Governorate, Nazeer and others participated in general business trainings, gaining necessary skills like financial literacy, marketing, and bookkeeping.
The Livelihoods Project was initiated after consultations with local stakeholders on the provincial and sub-district levels, advising on the priority needs of communities near the Majnoon Oil Field and effective development interventions.
Support included the provision of equipment that the business owners needed to start their businesses, or to enhance their already existing small enterprises.
Nazeer received a larger and more modern machine for his workshop, allowing him to produce bigger pieces of wood in half the time.
“With my old machine, I could only create 25 doors a month, but with this model I am making 50 doors,” shared Nazeer.
By doubling his production, Nazeer’s income also doubled. With the higher income and the help of the business trainings he received, he invested in another machine, and by saving money was also able to buy a car.
“I bought the new machine because it makes wood carving easier and people want doors that look nice and inviting,” he said. “With my new car I drive my children to school and also deliver to my customers and make extra money.”
The UNDP-Shell Partnership was launched in 2012 to build participatory planning and local area development capacity, and implement respective activities in communities near the Majnoon Oil Field in the Governorate of Basra, South of Iraq. The Partnership also aims to enable high quality vocational training and support the micro, small, and medium enterprise environment.
Achieving decent work and economic growth is one of the Sustainable Development Goals that aim to tackle the most pressing challenges facing our world by 2030, like poverty, climate change and conflict.
Since its launch, UNDP’s partnership with Shell successfully carried out initiatives across Basra that enabled a more inclusive sub-district development planning process and generated economic opportunities for local communities including women, youth and people with disabilities.
Text and photo by Farah Sayegh/UNDP Iraq