UNDP supports innovation of Iraqi youth

Aug 15, 2015

New concepts in business development introduced to youth in Baghdad @ UNDP Iraq/2015

In collaboration with Zain Iraq, the United Nations Development Programme (UNDP) has recently initiated the “Innovation for Development” project targeting 170 Iraqi youth (age 18 to 35) seeking to start businesses and encourage development in Iraq. The project commenced with a Training of Trainers and Volunteers workshop at the headquarters of Zain Iraq in Baghdad, on 14 and 15 August. 

Twenty-five of the 170 young people were trained on new concepts in business development. Two key methods to turn creative ideas into solid business plans were introduced: The first, Design Thinking, trained participants how to identify, conceptualize and test ideas. The second concept, Business Model Canvas, focused on how to undertake needs assessment and the requirements to develop concepts. 

The training was positively received by the young people involved. “Seeing the lifecycle of an idea improved my understanding of project design methodology and challenge anticipation,” noted Mohammed Nayyef, 24.

It also gave the participating Iraqi youth a forum to meet and exchange ideas. "I met a group of passionate youth for the first time; I personally learnt that any project has to be conceptualized and tested before implementation," said Saba Muqdad, 25.

The Innovation for Development project consists of young entrepreneurs, comprising four groups of focus: trainers, logistic supporters, reporters and bloggers, and photographers and graphic facilitators. They are currently working to improve their understanding of Design Thinking, in order to develop customized training material and a professional training environment for future events in Baghdad, Basra and Erbil. 

An “Innovation for Development Camp,” will be held by the end of November 2015 in Baghdad, to provide nearly 20 teams of entrepreneurs with rare opportunity to showcase their projects, attract investors and build partnerships, with an aim to further foster youth innovation and entrepreneurship in Iraq.


Dhafer Hasan, Programme Analyst, (m) +964 790 150 6492

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