A Parallel Iraq – A thriving entrepreneurial culture has taken root

Originally published in bite.tech by Ahmed Tabaqchali and Emily Burlinghaus in October 2018.

Most of the coverage and analysis of Iraq post-2003—by international, regional, and local journalists and analysts—has focused on the dysfunctional state and warring political elites whose failures to provide basic services to an already alienated population has come in sharp focus during the recent Basra demonstrations. However, despite the vital nature of this coverage, it has missed a new entrepreneurial Iraq—represented by its youth—that has emerged and flourished in the...

Entrepreneurship, Innovation, and Private Sector Growth in Iraq and the KRI: A Roundtable with the Dutch Department of Sustainable Economic Development and the Netherlands Enterprise Agency

On Saturday, September 8, the AUIS Entrepreneurship Initiative (AEI) hosted the Dutch Consul General in Erbil Willem Cosijn; Second Secretary of the Embassy of the Netherlands in Baghdad Martijn Groen; Senior Policy Officer of the Department of Sustainable Economic Development, Nathalie Gonçalves Aurélio; Policy Officer of Netherlands Enterprise Agency, Sabrina Waltmans; and Policy Officer of the Netherlands Consulate General, Aram Abdallah for a discussion on entrepreneurship, innovation, and private sector growth in Iraq and the Kurdistan Region of Iraq. Participants included entrepreneurs, investors, and private sector advocates from Asia Hawala, Kurdistan Economic Development...

Women in Tech and Entrepreneurship Summit


On Saturday, April 7, the AUIS Entrepreneurship Initiative [AEI], in coordination with the German Corporation for International Cooperation (GiZ), Google Developer Group, and Zain Iraq, hosted the Women in Tech and Entrepreneurship Summit, organized by Five One Labs and Re:Coded. The full day event involved a panel of female entrepreneurs from across Iraq, and “Intro to Coding” and “Launching your Startup” workshops. Both aspects of the event aimed to raise awareness about and explore opportunities for women in technology and entrepreneurship in Iraq through discussion and training.

The panel discussion was moderated by...

Assessing Women's Entrepreneurial Potential in the Aftermath of the Kuwait Conference

On Monday, March 12, the AUIS Entrepreneurship Initiative hosted the event, “Assessing Women’s Entrepreneurial Potential in the Aftermath of the Kuwait Conference” as a follow-up to the inaugural IRIS Dialogues held the previous day. The event was designed to be an open discussion to share ideas about increasing women’s participation in Iraq’s entrepreneurship sector.

The discussion was led by Christina Andreassen, Business Development and Education Manager at WOMENA, a Dubai-based angel investment platform geared toward female entrepreneurs in the MENA region; Aziz Al-Nasiri, CEO of Noah’s Ark,...

AUIS Global Entrepreneurship Week


On November 16, 2017, IRIS hosted an informal discussion and Q & A session with entrepreneurs in the Kurdistan Region and Iraq as part of Global Entrepreneurship Week (“GEW”), a weeklong worldwide event hosted by the Global Entrepreneurship Network (“GEN”). GEN is a group aimed at providing support to aspiring entrepreneurs through access to investors, researchers, and policymakers across 170 countries. Each year since November 2008, it has hosted GEW to celebrate the achievements and experiences of entrepreneurs through activities, competitions, and networking events.

The AUIS Entrepreneurship Week event aimed to provide AUIS...

Workshop: Design Thinking and the Entrepreneurial Process


On July 24, 2017, the newly-established AUIS Entrepreneurship Initiative (AEI) and FiveOne Labs co-hosted a workshop on design thinking and the entrepreneurial process in partnership with the Nishtiman Youth Network . The workshop was facilitated by Alice Bosley, Executive Director of Five One Labs, and IRIS Research Fellow Aaron Bartnick , future MBA candidate at the University of Oxford.
The workshop drew 50 students from six universities across the region, including AUIS.

After a brief welcome from the workshop facilitators, AUIS President Professor...

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