After 9 month of continuous support to Ruwwad Al Iraq platform since its launch on September 13th, 2018, INNOVEST adopted the final stage of Iraqpreneurs Competition: The Awards Ceremony & Iftar (2018/2019). The ceremony took place on the 15th of May 2019 at Babylon Rotana Hotel in Baghdad in presence of organizers of the platform such as The World Bank, and Iraqi Media Network (IMN) as well as the Founding Partners including Central Bank of Iraq, Zain Iraq, and Iraq Private Banks League. The attendees of the Ceremony also included Dr. Mahdi Al-Alaq, Counsellor of Prime Minister and Dr. Ali Al-Alaq, Governor of the Central Bank of Iraq, as well as VIPs and representatives of other supporting companies.
“Such initiatives are the best solution to the problem of youth unemployment and the future of our country” Mahdi al-Ala, Adviser to Prime Minister said in his speech, praising all the efforts of Iraqpreneurs and support of the organizers of the platform.
The event was organized to honor the finalists of Ruwwad Al Iraq Competition and to let them compete on the 1st, 2nd& 3rd ranks of each category; “Socialpreneur”, “Idea Stage” and “Scale-up Stage” by presenting their startups to a judging panel formed of 5 judges; Ms. Yarah Salem – World Bank Country Manager in Iraq, Ms. Dawsar Al Charchafchi – March Holding Board Member, Mr. Nour el Handhal – Chairman of the Board of Directors of Ashur Bank, Mr. Waled Eidy – Senior Advisor to the Central Bank of Iraq and, Mr. Ali Al Zahid – CEO of Zain Iraq.
Bassam Falah, CEO of INNOVEST Middle East, said in his speech “Our mission is to support entrepreneurs and startups in the Middle East and on span of 9 months, Iraqpreneurs platform was able to achieve there majority of its goals including the nonstop support to our winners and applicants.” Falah awarded Ms. Yara Salem, World Bank Country Manager in Iraq, Innovest Passion Award for her instrumental contributions and support to the launch of Iraqpreneurs platform.
Based on judging panel’s scores, “Smart Container” came in the 1st place in Socialpreneur category and won a US $10,000 prize, followed by “Asdikae Magazine” who got the 2nd place and won US $5,000 and finally “Ikfal Nakhla” who was awarded US $2,500 for the 3rd place. Concerning other categories, 1st place was for “Garages App” in Idea Stage Category who won US $10,000, 2nd was “Plant Tissue Culture” who got US $5,000 and 3rd was “E-Capsule” awarded US $2,500. For Scale-Up Stage Category, 1st place US $20,000 was awarded to “Alsaree3”, “6262” won the 2nd place US $10,000, and the 3rd place US $5,000 was awarded to “Dakakenna”.
As a generous encouraging gest, Governor of the Central Bank “Dr. Ali Al-Alaq” surprised the participants with an additional support award worth 6 million IQD offered to each of the 9 winners.
Dr. Al-Alaq explained the need to support youth initiatives and enable them to take advantage of and benefit from their potential. “We all believe in the capabilities of Iraqi youth and embracing youths in this period is of utmost importance especially with the help of Tamkeen Fund, Central Bank of Iraq, and Initiatives like Iraqpreneurs platform,” Al-Alaq said. “Today we are gathered with our winners, and as the program was proceeding, we were noticing the vivid mobility among young Iraqis so this program paved the way for young energies in the country to reveal,” he added.
It is important to note that Iraqpreneurs platform was launched last year on the 13th of September 2018 to help young entrepreneurs in Iraq to achieve their goals and develop their own projects by providing in-kind and cash support worth more than USD $100,000.
Since the launch of Ruwwad Al Iraq platform, more than 3000 applicants registered their ideas/projects on platform’s website. The number was reduced later as the competition proceeded to 200 qualifiers in round 2, and then 30 qualifiers in round 3 (10 participants from each category), till reaching 9 winners (3 participants from each category) in the final round.
On span of 9 months, the platform attracted more than 100,000 followers on social media, and more than 11,000 contacts through university activations. Moreover, the platform offered 4,400 e-learning courses to its qualifiers and issued more than 2,200 e-certificates.
Registration window for Iraqpreneurs 2019-2020 Round will start on the 15th of September 2019.
Click on the link below to watch the Awards Ceremony:
Click on the link below to watch a shortened version of the 9-month program: