IRAQI ENTREPRENEURS: MAKING ANWAR’S WORKSHOP GLOBAL

Anwar with his team installing water pumps Anwar with his team installing water pumps Photo: UNIDO

By Yasmine Khaled Aly, UNIDO

Before learning about UNIDO’s Investment Promotion in Iraq (IPI) Project, Anwar Hussein – a young, ambitious and hardworking Iraqi – had a small business but few business opportunities. With IPI's help, Anwar’s business, and life, have changed. 

 

 

Like many young entrepreneurs in Thi-Qar, Anwar wanted to start a business where there was a market need. Seeing a shortage in agricultural maintenance services in the city, he started a small repair workshop of 30 square metres for agricultural machinery; with only six employees and annual revenue of USD 50,000.

 

A few years on, Anwar’s long working hours and diligent self-learning efforts have paid off.  He has earned a good reputation for the quality and accuracy of his work.

 

However, as the business slowly grew, and despite his diligence and continuing hard work, he was no longer capable of managing internal problems and heavy daily operations. He simply did not possess the delegation or business management skills to handle expansion.  As a result, Anwar found it difficult to generate bigger business opportunities for the workshop. 

 

It was not until Anwar joined the business courses at the Enterprise Development Centre (EDC) – a joint initiative between UNIDO’s IPI project and the Chamber of Commerce in Nassiriya – that his vision and his business started to expand.  At EDC training courses in Thi-Qar, Anwar was able to hone his skills in business management, time management, customer service, marketing and finance. More importantly, he learned how to lead teams and delegate responsibilities within a larger operating business scheme.  Consultants at EDC also coached him in how to get a loan and expand his enterprise.  

 

Today, and with the knowledge he built at IPI and EDC, Anwar is able to receive a number of loans and expand his business. The small workshop grew by 70 percent into a large agricultural contracting and trading company with employees, and his revenue increased by 35-45 percent. In addition, he owns a 50-percent share in a gas station, and water and electricity generators that support the city of Thi-Qar.  

 

Reflecting on his journey with EDC, Anwar says that “starting a business is a big achievement for many entrepreneurs, but maintaining one is the larger challenge. EDC taught me how to maintain and grow my business.”

 

Anwar’s company received contracts from the Thi-Qar Irrigation Directorate and the General Authority for Water Resources. More recently, the company expanded to the global market, as Anwar has been contracted by Chinese companies specializing on imports and water pumps, such as Bhushan and Onan Corporation. His current annual revenue now varies from USD 230,000 to 250,000, with two workshops, an office and a warehouse of about 600 square metres.

Additional Info

  • Agency: UNIDO

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