In 2022, with funding from the U.S. Department of State’s Bureau of Near Eastern Affairs, FSVC launched a program to strengthen micro, small and medium-sized enterprises’ (MSME) reforms, opportunities and growth in Iraq.  FSVC will target, in priority MSMEs owned by women, youth, and religious and ethnic minorities.  FSVC is implementing this program in partnership with Takween Accelerator, a local business accelerator located at the American University of Iraq in Sulaimani.

FSVC’s program will tackle the following three objectives:

1) Improve the legal and regulatory framework for MSMEs:  FSVC will work with the Government of Iraq to simplify the business regulatory framework and strengthen the quality of public services to MSMEs, with a focus on business registration.

2) Increase access to finance for MSMEs:  FSVC and Takween Accelerator will work with public and private stakeholders to strengthen the financing ecosystem for MSMEs.

3) Strengthen the MSME business support ecosystem:  FSVC and Takween Accelerator will build the capacity of Business Support Organizations (BSOs) and individuals who support MSMEs so that they can in turn provide better services for their MSME members to grow and expand their operations.

Program Impact

  • Strengthened the capacity of financial institutions staff in how to identify and assess market conditions, and manage risks.
  • Development of a risk assessment matrix for Iraqi financial institutions to help define loan amounts based on the risks associated with an MSME.
  • Development of a business operations toolkit with key templates and checklists for MSMEs to assist them in their everyday operations. The toolkit covers the following topics: 1) business plan; 2) business idea; 3) financing; 4) personnel; 5) marketing; 6) partnerships; and 7) financial statements.