Press Releases

IFC Supports Small and Medium Enterprises in Iraq

In Cairo:
Riham Mustafa
Phone: +(202) 2461-4230

Sulaimania, Iraq, May 24, 2016—IFC, a member of the World Bank Group, has provided skills management training to over 1600 entrepreneurs and supported more than 300 small and medium enterprises (SMEs) with corporate governance training in Iraq. The initiative is part of IFC efforts to spur private sector growth in the country by improving SMEs’ management skills, business performance and competitiveness.

The figures were announced during an event organized and hosted by the American University of Iraq Sulaimani (AUIS) today in collaboration with IFC focused on improving corporate governance standards for family firms. The day-long event also provided innovative SME and value chain solutions through developing distributors’ management and technical capacities, and management skills through IFC’s Business Edge training.

There are over 1 million micro, small and medium enterprises in Iraq currently, contributing about two-thirds of private sector employment. Recent studies show 80 percent face difficulties in accessing finance and scaling up, with many closing within five years of operations.

So far, IFC has built the capacity of 49 Iraqi trainers to deliver training through a network of specialized training providers. They, in turn, have trained more than 1,600 Iraqis, including 550 women, in a range of management skills. IFC has also organized workshops for SMEs on best corporate governance practices to help them expand their business and better access finance from commercial banks.

“Supporting SMEs and fostering sustainable business is a strategic priority for IFC in Iraq, given the current economic challenges,” said Ziad Badr, IFC Principal Country Officer in Iraq. “Improving the managerial capacity, business performance and competitiveness of smaller Iraqi firms will help boost economic growth and create jobs.”

The initiative is part of wider IFC strategy in Iraq focusing on supporting the development of its private sector, with a special emphasis on improving access to finance for smaller firms and supporting their growth. IFC also recently arranged a $375 million financing package for a leading private Iraqi power company to help provide electricity to millions of people across the country.

About IFC
IFC, a member of the World Bank Group, is the largest global development institution focused on the private sector in emerging markets. Working with more than 2,000 businesses worldwide, we use our capital, expertise, and influence, to create opportunity where it’s needed most. In FY15, our long-term investments in developing countries rose to nearly $18 billion, helping the private sector play an essential role in the global effort to end extreme poverty and boost shared prosperity. For more information, visit

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