The project partners from Basra and Slovenia concluded an intensive workshop in Erbil, Iraq to train in the methodology of Financial Participatory Approach. The complex-sounding phrase essentially means a strategically planned and transparent process of conducting competitions for the best idea. In our case, the competition was conducted by the newly established Basra Business Incubator with the strong support of the Basra governorate, for the most promising business ideas in the region.
The first announcement of the competition for best business idea wars released in January 2022. By the end of the month the Basra Business Incubator received 228 applications done by contestants from the Basra region, 62.4% by males and 37.6% done by females.
The next step of the competition was the selection of 50 contestants out of 228 in February 2022. The selection was made by a jury of 9 judges based on an assessment sheet, considering productiveness, scalability, sustainability, number of employees, number of managers, environmental friendliness, financial scale, social impact, and style. All the contestants were asked to write a project action plan.
25 excellent contestants received certificates and occasional prizes, 25 of the applicants with the best business plan moved to the next stage of the contest. The Basra Business incubator prepared a training curriculum about how to start a business, feasibility studies, how to develop a marketing strategy, preparing a SWOT analysis, about forecasting external changes and managing risks, as well as about productivity. Based on the received training the future businessman and woman rewrote their business plans.
The winners of the competition were determined in the third round, which was held in March 2022. Again, the selection was made by the jury and based on written criteria. The jury members were Nihad Jabr Abboud, Abdul Sahib Saleh Hamidi, Ali Muhammad Sabeih, dr Nadwa Hilal Jawda, Thaer Ali Hammoud, Nahida Sabeih Abdel-Zahra, Zainab Fadel Hammoud, Aladdin Taha Mansour and Youssef Hashem Shalash. The jury selected the winners of the contest based on project efficiency, the degree of its durability, and they considered how realistic the realization of the project is. Imortant criteria were also the production and financial value, the distinctiveness and uniqueness of the project, social impact, number of new jobs created as well as the entrepreneurial character of the project.
At the end of the third round of the competition the best business ideas were rewarded with a financial incentive to develop their company. The total prize amount of $20,000 was divided between 16 winners, which are:
- Reham Yaqoub Yousef Jassim Al-Kazemi
- Hanadi Nabil Muhammad Jaafar
- Hawra Nizar Saleh Younis Al-Hassani
- Hussam Jassem Mohammed Samir Al-Manna
- Alaa Abdul-Hussain Musa Sultan of the authorities
- Muhammad Muslim Aqeel Dawood Al-Salman
- Mustafa Abdel Karim Youssef
- Nour Al-Huda Majid Hassan
- Istabraq Mustafa Taher Abdul Hussein Al-Ghanim
- Alaa Zuhair Zuwaid
- Wafaa Wafi Abdel Wahab Jerry Al-Tamimi
- Ihab Jalil Abdul Razzaq Hamza
- Suns of Jabbar Taher
- Asmaa Abdul Wahed Hamid Abdul Razzaq
- Bint Al-Huda Jabbar Shnit Obaid Al-Maliki
- Hajar Hussein Mohamed Ali Aoun
The Basra Business Incubator and the local competition are one of the Peer-to-Peer project activities, Between the Association of municipalities and towns of Slovenia and the governorate of Basra, Under Supporting Recovery and Stability in Iraq through Local Development programme, Funded by the European Union (EU) and Implemented by the United Nations Development programme (UNDP).