In recent years, Iraq has witnessed a rise in training programs that encourage Iraqi youth to start their own businesses. The goal of these programs is to strengthen the role of vocational training and advance the country’s socioeconomic status.
In aid of this goal, KAPITA, in partnership with the Dutch embassy in Baghdad and Asiacell Telecommunications Company, has launched the first Orange Corners Baghdad program in Iraq.
What is Orange Corners Baghdad?
Orange Corners Baghdad is an incubation program lasting six months. The program currently operates in over 14 cities across the world and is funded by the Dutch government. KAPITA is implementing the program in Baghdad and is a newly formed company with a mission to support and develop entrepreneurship and startups.
As part of the program, incubatees are provided with a free workspace, training, workshops, and consultations across multiple sectors. At the end of the incubation period, the top five startups will receive financial support.
Orange Corners Baghdad is the longest incubation program in Iraq. The project is set to run for three years with two cohorts per year.
Startup selection process
The KAPITA team received over 250 applications from budding entrepreneurs across Iraq. Each application was assessed for feasibility, market needs, growth abilities, and competition.
45 startups were shortlisted and asked to participate in a two-day bootcamp in mid January 2020. The semi-finalists were asked to pitch their ideas before a jury of entrepreneurs and activists from the private sector and financial institutions. 20 startups were finally selected to join the incubation program.
The next cohort will begin in June 2020 where another 20 startups will be chosen to take part in the program.