EU and UNDP mobilize dozens of youth in preparation for the Second Innovation for Development Forum

Nov 21, 2016

36% of the 200 young people who gathered in Sulaimaniyah were females. Photo: UNDP Iraq/2016

Sulaimaniyah- The EU-UNDP Innovation for Development Initiative, under their joint Local Area Development Programme (LADP), is taking a leading role in enhancing entrepreneurship in Iraq through the promotion of innovation in business.

In this context, UNDP organized a four-day training workshop from 18 to 21 November 2016 in Sulaimaniyah for 200 participants from all over Iraq, 36% of whom are females. Based on Design Thinking and Lean Startup methodologies, the training provided participants with the most up-to-date tools, concepts, and terminologies to help them turn their ideas into projects or to scale up their business. 

EU Ambassador to Iraq, Mr. Patrick Simonnet, said: “This initiative illustrates the critical importance of engaging with youth, and capitalizing on talent, entrepreneurship and volunteerism. Considering Iraq’s demographic bulge, youth is an asset which cannot be overlooked, and using such forum provides a solid basis in channeling such wealth and turning it into both an opportunity, and a catalyst for positive change." 

“This workshop changed my point of view about many things, gave me confidence and means to solve work related problems,” said participant from Mosul, Mr. Ahmed Ammar.

Made possible with the dedication of over 25 young volunteers, comprising the innovation team, the workshop included early morning sport activities, evening activities, and site visits to a number of companies and institutions.

Participant from Babylon, Ms. Aseel Ali, said: “Nothing is better than sharing ideas with new people and building a team together; the Innovation for Development workshop made this possible.”

Mr. Anas Al-Sarraf from Baghdad shared a similar view: “It was a wonderful experience, the environment was motivational allowing everyone to exchange ideas, experience and knowledge. We benefited practically and socially. I met my peers from all over the country in one place, and I am planning to keep these relations going.”

Over 70 teams registered their ideas to participate in the follow up process that includes registration of the project idea and team members, research period, developing the Business Model Canvas (BMC), and building the Minimum Viable Product (MVP) or prototype for testing and collecting results.

“The innovation team will provide support until the launch of the final application to submit full proposals. A number of projects will be selected based on specific criteria in a comparative process to participate in the Second Innovation for Development Forum early 2017,” noted UNDP Project Manager, Mr. Dhafer Hassan. This Forum will provide teams with the opportunity to present their project ideas in front of investors, banks, donors, and governmental and non-governmental organizations, in order to establish implementation partnerships.       

 

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Contact

Dhafer Hasan, Project Manager, (m) +964 790 150 6492

Mohammed Fawzi, Press and Information Officer, EU Delegation to the Republic of Iraq (m) +964 780 928 5377