Thursday, July 9, 2020 - 11:30
The AUIS Entrepreneurship Initiative (AEI) at American University of Iraq, Sulaimani (AUIS) announced today the launch of the Takween Accelerator, Iraq’s first business accelerator program. Takween is a project of Yanhad, an initiative to promote civic engagement and entrepreneurship for youth in Iraq, financed by the European Union and the French Ministry of Foreign Affairs (CDCS), and implemented by Expertise France.
The Takween Accelerator will help develop at least 45 entrepreneurial ventures across Iraq over the next 18 months, with the aim of supporting founders to rapidly and effectively grow their businesses and spur job creation and economic development.
Takween will offer participants a complete suite of support for entrepreneurial development, including intensive training centered on product and market development; a strong international mentorship program; an opportunity for seed funding; and integration into an investor network.
“The AEI accelerator presents an opportunity to alter the landscape of the entrepreneurial ecosystem in Iraq,” said AEI Director Pat Cline. “It will have knock-on effects that will ripple throughout the private sector and will immediately become a central pillar of the burgeoning ecosystem, bringing together entrepreneurs, investors, academia, and other partners to rapidly promote private sector growth in Iraq.”
Yanhad Project Manager Alexis Goshen stated, "Expertise France, in close cooperation with its Iraqi partners, is very proud to start implementing the Yanhad project, funded by the European Union and the CDCS. The actions will promote and support civic engagement, employment and entrepreneurship in Iraq. In particular, we are going to work with the AUIS Entrepreneurship Initiative and support the Iraqi youth to develop their skills and establish the first accelerator in the country. For that purpose, the team will be assisting around 45 start-ups to scale up their businesses."
About the AUIS Entrepreneurship Initiative
The AUIS Entrepreneurship Initiative (AEI) was launched to build on the close link between early-stage private sector growth and national economic progress. Entrepreneurs in Iraq struggle with challenges posed by limited infrastructure, mentorship, and capital. AEI aims to fill that gap by providing aspiring entrepreneurs with practical educational resources, access to mentors and professional advisers, pitch events, and seed funding.
About Expertise France
Expertise France is the French public agency for international technical assistance. It aims at contributing to sustainable development based on solidarity and inclusiveness, mainly through enhancing the quality of public policies within the partner countries. Expertise France designs and implements cooperation projects addressing skills transfers between professionals. The agency also develops integrated offers, assembling public and private expertise in order to respond to the partner countries' needs.
AUIS Entrepreneurship Initiative Contact:
pat.cline [at] auis.edu.krd
Tel: +964 0770 555 5555
Yanhad Media Contact:
helen.baker [at] expertisefrance.fr
Tel: +964 750 732 2214