The launch of Ruwwad Al Iraq platform was announced in the presence of representatives from INNOVEST Middle East, the World Bank, and the Iraqi Media Network (IMN) as well as the Founding Partners- Central Bank of Iraq, Zain Iraq, and Iraq Private Banks League. Ruwwad Al Iraq is the first initiative of its kind that aims at helping young entrepreneurs and start-ups across Iraq to achieve their dreams and develop their own projects. Ruwwad Al Iraq is a competition platform that invites participants to submit their innovative ideas or startup business plans in a bid for financial and in-kind prizes that will contribute in bringing their dreams to life.
The launching of this platform took place during a press conference held at Babylon Warwick Hotel in the capital of Iraq, Baghdad on 13th September 2018.
The inauguration speech was given by Mr. Ali Al Hilli, Entrepreneurship Consultant at Zain Iraq, who introduced the platform’s objectives, key stakeholders, and stages and explained how to participate in the platform competition.
Al-Hilli gave the floor to Dr. Ali Mohsen Ismail Al-Allaq, Governor of the Central Bank of Iraq and Head of the Board of Directors of the Tamkeen Fund, who emphasized on the important role entrepreneurs play in boosting the economy of Iraq. He added that “supporting the Tamkeen Fund by giving away grand prizes on the Ruwwad Al Iraq platform is part of supporting youth initiatives and innovations, which are deemed the future of the Iraqi economy.” He also thanked everyone who contributed to the Tamkeen Fund from private Iraqi banks and other financial institutions enabling the fund’s successive initiatives to support multiple activities benefiting large segments of society.
Mr. Mujahid Abu Al-Hail, Head of the Iraqi Media Network, spoke of the national responsibility that lies on the media to support entrepreneurs and shed light on their innovations and projects. “The media constitute an essential part of economic reform and development, because of their power in forming the public consensus. Our network supports this platform because it encourages people in developing countries to become more competent and conscientious about job and investment opportunities as well as trade opportunities,” he added.
Mr. Ali Al-Zahid, Chief Executive Officer of Zain Iraq, stressed on the important role the private sector plays in supporting and promoting young talents and startups. “We congratulate all the organizers of this project on launching the Ruwwad Al Iraq platform that will foster young Iraqi innovators,” continued Al-Zahid. “We, at Zain Iraq, have long been supporting and empowering youth in various fields, including entrepreneurs and start-ups, to develop their projects and gain as well as exchange expertise in the field of technology and information technology and communication. We believe that future development in Iraq and the region will be led by young innovators in the field of technology. Hence, we are always seeking to build awareness and promote opportunities that reinforce creative talents by contributing to shaping future entrepreneurs,” he added.
In turn, Ms. Yara Salem, The Special Representative of the World Bank’s mission in Iraq, asserted that the Ruwwad Al Iraq initiative is at the core of the World Bank’s main objectives, which focus on creating more job opportunities for the youth and giving them the chance to play an important role in the process of construction, development and establishment of peace and stability. This could promote economic, social and personal development in Iraq.
Ms. Salem also added that “Ruwwad Al Iraq provides young people with a chance to address their problems, priorities and ideas in order to overcome the impasse of unemployment and the lack of job opportunities and capacities, and actively participate in a creative and innovative way in developing social solutions in different fields including education, health, water, among others including technology-use solutions. Therefore, this initiative is characterized by building the foundations of community participation among the youth in the process of reconstruction and the rebuilding of the Iraq of tomorrow.”
For his part, Mr. Wadeea Nouri Al-Handal, Head of the Iraq Private Banks League, emphasized on the importance of the role banks play in supporting innovators and startups and added “we are working to provide startups with funding and soft loans through the banking sector and also contribute in providing them with the necessary training to launch and develop their own projects.”
Then Mr. Bassam Falah, Founder, and CEO of INNOVEST ME took the floor and commended the role played by the founding partners who supported the creation and establishment of the Ruwwad al Iraq project and stressed on the importance of the collaboration between the public and private sectors in building State economies and developing societies. “We are proud to take part of this national initiative, which would move the Iraqi economy forward,” said Mr. Falah. “The youths are the future and #the_future_starts_now,” he added.
Watch the video of the press conference at: https://goo.gl/EhjV9M
Baghdad, Iraq, 28/6/18
Today INNOVEST ME, the growth hacking- business acceleration investment firm that empowers entrepreneurs during their startup stage and SMEs during their market expansion phase, awarded the winner of its “Logo Design Competition” Graphic designer, Ali Al Tahhan. The competition received more than 500 designs and engaged hundreds of participants from all across the Arab World.
For the pre-launch of Ruwwad Al Iraq, the “Logo Design Competition” was launched to provide the youth sector a unique opportunity to take part in creating the incubation platform that aims to identify high potential entrepreneurs and startups in Iraq. This platform will empower start-up talents with the winning tools and resources needed to successfully launch in Iraq and eventually expand in the region and globally.
Bassam Falah, Founder and Managing Director of INNOVEST ME alongside the Executive Management Team awarded the winner, Ali Al Tahhan the prize money cheque of $10,000 USD in Babylon Hotel, Baghdad. “Ruwwad Al Iraq aims to shed light on the crucial and valuable role of entrepreneurs and their ability to drive economies and to develop prosperous societies. In addition, we are confident that their skills will contribute to the national income through their entrepreneurial ventures, create new businesses and provide new employment opportunities. Entrepreneurs are a national asset that must be cultivated, trained and incubated as they are the main vehicle to move an economy forward,” said Bassam Falah.
Bassam Falah further added: “Our aim is to build communities of innovators in various sectors, to create new partnerships, to solidify individual and collective efforts, to achieve local, regional and global prosperity and to provide sustainable development to the people and the community thus fulfilling their aspirations for a more stable, secure and dignified life.”
Duaa Adnan, Marketing Manager of Ruwwad Al Iraq, praised the design of the winning logo that was selected by the distinguished panel of judges, comprised of business leaders in Marketing and Communications from Iraq and the Middle East. The logo design was selected based on specific eligibility criteria such as creativity, design craftsmanship, distinctiveness, simplicity, equity and most importantly its embodiment of the entrepreneurship spirit and Iraqi culture.
Ruwwad Al Iraq is a platform that will provide entrepreneurs in Iraq the opportunity to start or scale up their business and will compete in three main categories, the “Startup Idea” stage, “Scale Up” stage and “Socialpreneurship” stage. The winning finalists will be awarded more than $100,000 in financial, in-kind and capacity building prizes. Applications will open August 1st, 2018. Visit www.iraqpreneurs.com or www.ruwwadaliraq.com for more info.
As part of our contributions to empower the youth within the startup ecosystem, INNOVEST ME is collaborating with the American University in Dubai (AUD) to run interactive sessions and workshops for the senior graduate students. Moatassem Moatez – INNOVEST ME Business Partner – delivered a fiery workshop on “Strategic Marketing” within the startup context, sharing real-life practical examples of regional and global best practices.
We had the pleasure to have Bishr Hamwi- Head of Digital Marketing at Gourmet Gulf – as a guest speaker on the topic “Service Marketing”. An excellent interactive session during which he shared with the American University in Dubai senior Graduate students the importance of building Brand Advocacy, and some great examples of how leading brands such as CPK (California Pizza Kitchen) drive their service levels towards excellence.
INNOVEST ME business partner, Moatassem Moatez, delivering a talk at the Nestle UAE event “Dare to Innovate”, around how to step up your game by thinking and acting like an entrepreneur within the framework of large organizations and corporations.
INNOVEST team being part of the #DubaiSme scale up the event and sharing their real-life experience on the entrepreneur journey.
We are happy to announce that the INNOVEST Passion Award for this year was presented to MBC HOPE in recognition for their amazing #Shabab2030social entrepreneurship program.
The award was presented during the #Shabab2030 “Investor & Networking” event which INNOVEST Middle East helped in organizing at the Versace Hotel in Dubai on the 18th of January, 2018. The event was intended to provide finalists with a unique platform to pitch their businesses to an active audience of investors, organizations and support groups within the startup and entrepreneurship ecosystem.
Mariam Farag, Head of CSR at MBC Group, received the award on behalf of MBC HOPE from Bassam Falah, Founder and Managing Director of INNOVEST Middle East
We are proud to announce that the winner of the IRAQPRENEURS – Ruwwad Al Iraq Logo Design Competition is graphic designer Ali Al-Tahhan. Ali holds a Bachelor’s Degree in Life Sciences from The University of Al Mosul in Iraq, is a teacher and speaks Arabic and Turkish fluently. Ali finds interest in photography/video and 3D design.
The IRAQPRENEURS Logo Design Competition winning logo was selected based on specific eligibility criteria that included but was not limited to the distinctiveness, esthetic visual design, equity, modularity & application and simplicity of the logo.
This competition was created to provide the Arab youth a unique opportunity to take part in creating what will be an incubation platform that will identify high potential entrepreneurs and startups in Iraq. The winning logo will be showcased at the launch of IRAQPRENEURS this upcoming March.
IRAQPRENEURS is pleased to announce the Judging Panel for the Logo Design Competition that is currently underway and is part of the prelaunch of the IRAQPRENEURS entrepreneurship platform.
The Logo Design Competition ran for one month between November 1st-30th 2017, and managed to attract more than 250 talented participants. The winner will receive $10,000 cash prize and an appreciation certificate.
The esteemed Judging Panel will cast its vote based on a Judging Panel Scorecard and will help select a winning logo for the IRAQPRENEURS- RUWWAD AL IRAQ Logo Design Competition 2018 from the top 20 shortlisted logo designs.
On November 1st 2017, INNOVEST ME kicked off the prelaunch of IRAQPRENEURS – RUWWAD AL IRAQ; what will be the leading entrepreneurship competition platform in Iraq. This incubation platform will help identify high potential entrepreneurs and startups in Iraq and will empower them with the winning tools and resources needed to launch successfully in Iraq and eventually expand beyond.
In order to develop a brand identity for IRAQPRENEURS, the Logo Design Competition will continue for one month and is open to all applicants from all over the Arab World. Logo designs are required to follow specific guidelines including; the need to represent Iraq and its culture, to capture key concepts such as innovation, startups and entrepreneurship, to create a unique and original font, to be in both Arabic and English and most importantly for the logo design to target the youth.
A judging panel will be nominated and selected for the IRAQPRENEURS Logo Design Competition to vote for the winning logo that will be announced by the end of the year.
On March 8th 2017, and on the occasion of the International Women’s Day, INNOVEST Middle East awarded Vital Voices Global Partnership the annual INNOVEST Passion Award for their VV GROW Fellowship Program in the MENA region. The VV GROW Fellowship initiative is a highly competitive one-year accelerator program for women owners of small- and medium-sized businesses. Through global and regional online and in-person interventions, the program includes customized business skills training, technical assistance, leadership development, and access to networks to grow their business and increase their leadership impact.
Alvin Allgood, Chief Operations Officer, and Malini Patel, Vice President of Economic Empowerment at Vital Voices Global Partnership, received the award on behalf of Vital Voices from Bassam Falah, Founder and Managing Director of INNOVEST Middle East. The awarding ceremony was held at the Vital Voices Global Partnership headquarters in Washington, DC.
The Web Summit is a global launch platform for the latest tech innovations; an event that attracts the whole tech world of entrepreneurs and business leaders. With more than 160 participating countries, more than 15,000 startups, and more than 50,000 attendees, the Web Summit is the biggest event of its kind in Europe.
ROI – the Brand Advocacy Agency within the INNOVEST investment portfolio – has been working on a breakthrough Reward & Incentive Program reaching out to a very important, yet untapped segment.
While most available R&I programs in the market focus on shoppers, customers, or consumers, the industry has missed reaching out to “influencers”, who happen to play a major role in driving your business’s push and pull strategies.
Sharaka – which means Partnership in Arabic – offers a task-based reward platform that ensures the alignment of influencers with your brand priorities, and encourages them to become brand ambassadors and drivers. Influencers differ from one industry or category to another. An influencer could be a retail floor salesperson in one industry, a pharmacist in another, a cash van salesperson, or could even be your merchandiser, your field promoter, your behind the counter agent, or your full list of staff.
Sharaka at Web Summit 2016
Sharaka Reward and Incentive platform was launched during the 2016 Web Summit, which took place between November 7th and 10th in Lisbon , Portugal.
Like most entrepreneurs, we had high expectations about our new innovative Sharaka solution, primarily driven by our passion for what we do. But the reaction from visitors, potential partners, as well as media exceeded our expectations and brought us to the realization that what we have developed is not just a Middle East need, but also a global one.
While preparations for an early 2017 launch in UAE, EGYPT, and SAUDI ARABIA are ongoing, the team is going through advanced discussions with regards to licensing the concept to potential business partners in key countries in Europe and Southeast Asia.
INNOVEST Middle East participated through its Founder and Managing Director – Bassam Falah – who spoke about the importance of Band Advocacy, and its exponential effect in our current digital era.
Achievements do not necessarily depend on the money we earn or the success we achieve at work or in business, but in the lives we touch and the positive change we bring around us.
We are proud to present 2015 INNOVEST Passion Award to Ms. Nadia Al Sayegh, the founder of Senses, a residential care center for children with special needs, and the only one that caters to the needs of those above 18 years of age.
For the past 10 years, and since the foundation of Senses back in 2005, Ms. Al Sayegh has succeed in shaping the lives of many children and their families in the UAE, driven by her passion and her genuine drive to make a difference
Mompreneur Rising is an 8 session and a pitch competition that is planned to empower females (in particular moms) with the tools and resources to ramp up their business, connect with like-minded community and gained expertise in planning, Strategy , Finance, Marketing, Fund raising and more .
INNOVEST Middle East to increase level of initiatives in Lebanon
Small and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs) play an important role in the Lebanese economy and contribute substantially to income, output and employment. However, the political and security challenges Lebanon is facing has created a particularly tough climate for SMEs, with a reduction in demand and the surge in the costs due to increasing risk factors. However, Lebanon remains a leading Entrepreneurial market in the region, driven by its human capital, by a strong believe in its potentials, and by an array of successful stories of startups that started in Lebanon and grew to become regional and global organizations.
INNOVEST ME Management Team Meets President Michel Suleiman
On November 27th, 2015 INNOVEST management team represented by Bassam Falah – Founder and Managing Director and Maroun Najjar – Business partner at INNOVEST Middle East met President Michel Suleiman to explore potential areas to support the SME sector in Lebanon, being the growth engine of any economy. Discussion also tapped into the daily challenges of the Lebanese people, and INNOVEST Management shared thoughts on areas of support, and some information on a campaign being prepared for Lebanon.
INNOVEST ME Joins Hands With Vital Voices Global Partnership
INNOVEST ME has taken an active part in the MENA roll out of the VV Grow fellowship program, through leading on the Mobilizing Markets modules. Our participation was yet another step towards bringing further value to Entrepreneurs and SMEs in the region. The 5 days in-person VV Grow program was held in Dubai, at Marriott Marquis between the 19th and 23rd of October 2016, and exposed participants to a wealthy content of theory, operations, and best practice examples in the areas of Strategy, Finance, Marketing, Leadership, and Networking.
22 participants from across the MENA region participated in the program, each aiming to accelerate the growth of her business, through acquiring the tools and knowhow needed to take her business to the next level.
A networking reception was held on the evening of October 21st,with the presence of the fellow participants, VV Grow management team, Marriott Management team, INNOVEST management team, as well as invitees from leading multinational business organizations and Media representatives.
INNOVEST ventured into CORE FIT in October 2014. In exactly 1 year INNOVEST managed to turnaround the CORE FIT business, expanding its operations from 1 single location to a coalition of 32 leading centres in UAE alone.
Below is a self-Explanatory message from CORE FIT founder – Clifford Tindell
About Vital Voices Global Partnership
Vital Voices Global Partnership is the preeminent non-governmental organization (NGO) that identifies, trains and empowers emerging women leaders and social entrepreneurs around the globe, enabling them to create a better world for us all. Their mission is to identify, invest in and bring visibility to extraordinary women around the world by unleashing their leadership potential to transform lives and accelerate peace and prosperity in their communities.
The non-profit VV Global Partnership grew out of the a U.S. government Initiative that was established in 1997 by then-First Lady Hillary Rodham Clinton and former Secretary of State Madeleine Albright following the United Nations Fourth World Conference on Women in Beijing to promote the advancement of women.
About VV GROW Fellowship Program
The VV GROW Fellowship Program is a highly competitive one-year accelerator program that works with women business owners of small and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs) with a high potential for growth to take their businesses and leadership to the next level. The program supports approximately 60 women-owned enterprises in Latin America and the Caribbean (LAC), and the Middle East and North Africa (MENA), and Sub-Saharan Africa (SSA), with a unique blend of online learning, in-person training, and tailored support services.
VV GROW Fellowship Program 2015 – MENA Region
Participants from across the Middle East and North Africa region will gather in Dubai between the 16th and 23rd of October to go through a week of in person training, workshops, and networking sessions.
INNOVEST ME is taking an active part in the MENA roll out, through leading on the Mobilizing Markets modules. Our participation is yet another step towards bringing further value to Entrepreneurs and SMEs in the region.
For more information, contact us at email@example.com
An article by Bassam Falah – managing director of INNOVEST ME – in Capital Business Magazine.
To read the full article, follow the below link: