Business accelerator launches in Sulaimani as part of growing entrepreneurial ecosystem

FILE: Design teams work at HackaSuly at American Unviersity of Iraq, Sulaimani (AUIS) in Sulaimani on September 7, 2019. (NRT Digital Media/Winthrop Rodgers)

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SULAIMANI — In the newest addition to Sulaimani’s expanding support system for entrepreneurs, the Takween Accelerator launched on Thursday (July 8) with the goal of supporting 45 new businesses to scale up their operations.

Part of the AUIS Entrepreneurship Initiative (AEI) at American University of Iraq, Sulaimani (AUIS), the accelerator will work with participating entrepreneurs over the next eighteen months to give them extensive training in product and market development and connections with investors and mentors.

“The AEI accelerator presents an opportunity to alter the landscape of the entrepreneurial ecosystem in Iraq,” said AEI Director Pat Cline in a press release.

“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,” he added.

The accelerator is funded by the European Union and the French Ministry of Foreign Affairs (CDCS), and implemented by Expertise France.

It joins other entrepreneurial initiatives that are already active in Iraq and the Kurdistan Region like Five One Labs and HackaSuly in Sulaimani, Re:Coded in Erbil, The Station in Baghdad, and Mosul Space as part of a growing effort to provide youth with the tools to start and grow their businesses in the face of what is often a challenging environment.

(NRT Digital Media)