Iraqi youth entrepreneurship barometer report

Published 14. Aug 2023
The Youth Entrepreneurship Barometer survey, conducted by the International Trade Centre (ITC) and the Norwegian Refugee Council (NRC), delves into the challenges faced by young Iraqi entrepreneurs, particularly in agriculture.

Covering five governorates – Anbar, Baghdad, Basra, Kirkuk, and Ninewa – the report highlights themes like inclusiveness, skill access, business initiation, competitiveness, and essential ecosystem support. Notably, despite a positive perception of entrepreneurship, women encounter obstacles, especially in smaller towns where disparities are prominent. This edition unveils contrasts, with Baghdad and Ninewa respondents more optimistic about business development support (BDS) than Anbar, Basra, and Kirkuk.

Crucially, education's role remains vital, as technical and Vocational Education and Training (TVET) programmes offer substantial entrepreneur support. However, the report pinpoints gaps in job creation and post-graduation employment matchmaking. Digital tools and communication tech exhibit growth in business initiation ease, yet physical infrastructure variations persist, notably affecting Kirkuk.

The barometer reveals that there are significant gaps in the support networks available to young entrepreneurs and in their awareness of the assistance provided by the business ecosystem. This situation emphasises the pressing need for more investment in training, financial support, and the enhancement of the overall business environment. Achieving gender equality and enhancing access to education, infrastructure, and support networks are crucial steps to foster youth engagement and promote the growth of businesses.