The Launch of the IRADA Network: An Alliance of Entrepreneurship-Focused Institutions in Iraq
Baghdad - October, 2023 - The unveiling of the IRADA Network transpired at the 'Reintegrating the Iraqi Business Landscape' conference that took place in Baghdad on Wednesday, September 27, 2023. This network is the creation of a consortium of prominent institutions specializing in business development and entrepreneurship. Its primary aim is to fortify the private sector in Iraq through supporting creative young talents, nurturing emerging businesses, and empowering small and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs).
The Iraqi Riyada Network for Access, Development, and Advancement (IRADA Network) involves a group of leading institutions in the Iraqi private sector. These include the RWANGA Foundation in Kurdistan, Qaf Lab in Mosul, and Tafa3ul Hub from Basra. Institutions From Baghdad include; Computiq, The Station, Makers of Baghdad, and KAPITA Business Hub.
The IRADA Network aims to support small and medium-sized enterprises, startups, and youth communities, to eventually drive positive growth in building an investment-friendly environment. This will be achieved through two primary means:
Policy Formulation and Development
Supporting and assisting government efforts in promoting economic development by formulating policies that strengthen the private sector. Such policies may include boosting small and medium-sized enterprises, providing legislation and decisions that facilitate the business environment, and encouraging investment and job creation. Furthermore, supporting startups and youth communities plays a vital role in promoting innovation and the economy. Achieving these goals requires coordination of efforts across various sectors and effective collaboration between the government, private sector, and civil society.
Raising awareness of the importance of supporting the private sector and educating youth and relevant entities is crucial in the development of the Iraqi economy, as spreading this awareness plays a key role in expanding opportunities in the Iraqi market.
Focusing on the importance of supporting the private sector can diversify the country's income sources and help boost the economy and create new job opportunities. Additionally, directing efforts toward educating youth about the significance of entrepreneurship and innovation is essential in motivating them to develop their skills and leverage their potential in enhancing the country's economy.
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The Iraqi Riyada Network for Access, Development, and Advancement (IRADA) is a visionary network designed to unite and empower enablers within Iraq's business ecosystem. With a mission to provide access, drive development, and achieve advancement, IRADA aims to be a catalyst for positive change in the private sector and business ecosystem of Iraq.
About the Institutions Under the IRADA Network:
1. RWANGA Foundation
RWANGA Foundation is a non-governmental organization that is considered the foremost platform for young entrepreneurs. It is the primary supporter for honing youthful entrepreneurial skills through economic and social empowerment across Iraq. The Rwanga Foundation prepares young individuals for the job market with competitive skills in a rapidly changing world. It contributes to supporting youth, including entrepreneurs, in small and medium-sized projects from both genders by transforming their innovative ideas in the fields of education, youth, the environment, and marginalized communities into successful businesses that empower society and provide employment opportunities.
2. Qaf Lab
QAF Lab is an impact-driven innovation hub and business incubator, with a steadfast commitment to fostering innovation and supporting the private sector and local community in Iraq, particularly in Nineveh. QAF Lab’s primary mission is to serve as a catalyst for the entrepreneurial ecosystem, paving the way for aspiring entrepreneurs to bridge knowledge gaps, secure essential funding, establish vital industry connections, and embark on their entrepreneurial journeys.
Computiq is a leading technology company that provides exceptional technological solutions and educational services with international certifications. The company looks forward to enhancing professional and business life by supporting individuals and businesses to make the most of technology. Computiq strives to make digital skills an integral part of our lives, much like the importance of mathematics and English.
4. The Station
The Station is one of Iraq’s lead co-working spaces and Baghdad’s first co-working space. First established in 2018, as an independent, non-governmental, and non-profit organization, it became the cornerstone for Iraqi youth with fresh and inventive ideas to set a first foot into the business world and entrepreneurial projects.
5. Makers of Baghdad
Makers of Baghdad is a thriving innovation hub established in 2017 with the mission to support startups and micro-businesses, foster the entrepreneurship ecosystem in the region and create job opportunities for the youth in the digital sector. Through our entrepreneurship training, coworking spaces, and maker space, Makers of Baghdad aims to cultivate a vibrant startup ecosystem in Baghdad. By supporting the entrepreneurial spirit, Makers of Baghdad contributes to the economic prosperity of Baghdad and in Iraq as a whole.
KAPITA is an Iraqi institution dedicated to the development of the private sector. It supports small and medium-sized projects through investment, research, and data provision. KAPITA also offers incubation and acceleration programs for startups and small to medium-sized enterprises, as well as market development programs.
7. Tafa3ul Hub
Tafa3ul Hub is a leading platform aimed at promoting creativity and technology, and forming a community of innovative individuals. Our platform serves as a creative arena for inspiring and ambitious visions from all aspects of life, providing a space for them to communicate, collaborate, and innovate.