We are beyond proud to introduce the fourth issue of Business LANDSCAPE on its one-year anniversary.
Throughout this past year, Business LANDSCAPE has covered a wide range of topics related to the Iraqi private sector, and of interest to the Iraqi ecosystem, shedding the light on the latest investments and their trends, highlighting the lessons learned and the success stories of many emerging startups, providing an overview of the different Iraqi sectors such as agriculture, industry, electricity, education, tourism, and health sector. In addition to providing summary pieces on the latest research conducted by KAPITA’s Research and Development Department in an attempt to supply the data-deprived Iraqi market with resources to fuel its growth.
The LANDSCAPE also offers the stage for key active figures from investors, founders, entrepreneurs, to economic experts, to share their rich experiences and valuable insight regarding the ecosystem.
In this issue, we go over the job market in Iraq and the required actions and reforms for companies to better attract and retain their talents, and the importance that the company’s culture and management play in this. We proceed with the investment landscape and provide recommended implementations and schemes that would further enable the investment into the youth and local startups. In addition, the founder of Baghdad Business School comes back after a year of their launch to reflect on their journey, lessons, triumphs, and future prospects.
We also address an often overlooked topic regarding the food safety authority in Iraq, its vital part in the wellbeing of the businesses, healthcare sector, and the population, and suggested steps to improve the reality of food safety control systems.
We offer a glimpse into the programs we run at KAPITA, including Orange Corners Baghdad, Takaat, ScaleUp Academy, and our Business Meetups, we believe in the approach of creating a strong pipeline that contributes to the development of the small, and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs) and the Iraqi private sector. And we explore the main MSME strategy practices within the Iraqi context.
Moreover, in this issue’s sector overview, we go over the construction, formerly one of the largest non-oil sectors in Iraq, the projects, progress, state of employment and salaries, and main issues. And we present a summary of the Iraqi Startups’ Ecosystem Monitor V 2.0, where we examine the influence of the COVID-19 pandemic on the Iraqi entrepreneurial ecosystem and weighs the results against the previous Iraqi Startups Ecosystem Evaluation study published by KAPITA in 2020, to highlight the changes brought about by the onset of the pandemic, and explore comparisons with other selected economies.
Our series of interviews includes Ammar Ameen, the founder and CEO of Miswag, a pioneering e-commerce company in Iraq. Mr. Ammar told us about the inspiring story and the dedicated team behind Miswag, their latest investment round, how an Iraqi e-commerce platform navigates its way through the investment scene and Iraq’s specific challenges, and what it would take for the youth to follow in the footsteps of Miswag.
Zaab Sethna, a partner in Northern Gulf Partners, a leading frontier markets investment firm, shared with us their views on the Iraqi investment scene, risks and challenges, friendliness towards foreign investors, and how to improve the access to investment opportunities for Iraqi startups.
Murtadha Al-Tameemi, a software engineer at Facebook, the founder of the gap year scholarship, and an advocate for education, talked to us about his passion for providing better opportunities for the Iraqi youth and the importance of reforming the education system and current mindset to help the youth realize their potential. He has also drawn attention to the existing skill gap in the Iraqi market and the ways to bridge it.
Business LANDSCAPE will continue its mission to cover, explore, and make a change in the Iraqi ecosystem and looks forward to another year of impact.
We deeply appreciate and thank everyone who contributed to this issue of Business LANDSCAPE and we sincerely thank the GIZ for being an outstanding enabler for us.