Articles - BIP Iraq 2007

An evening course in Business Plan Development

An evening course in “How to establish your own project” was organized at BIPs from November 25th to December 6th 2007. It was the first time such an evening course was organized, in order to help those who can not attend daytime courses.

A series of daily lectures each lasting three hours were presented over ten days. The course was managed by Govand Shafeek Tawfeek, Omar Karim and Lajan Bajalan from BIP.

The participants all had different types of projects, such as quality control of medicines, car sales, office computers, an advertising company, a boutique, etc.

All the participants were positive about the course because, as they said, it taught them how to study and analyze the possibilities of making a project by putting together a financial plan. They also wanted to encourage others to take part in such courses because such courses are very new and it’s the first time they were able to participate in such a detailed course, which is particularly important as they wanted to make their projects as practical as possible.

There were serious and warm discussions during the course and its results.

Training the trainers in Erbil!

The second phase of the Training the Trainers program by Business Innovation Programs has been completed. The subject this time was “How to start your own project”, and incorporated studying the mechanisms of presenting materials for the upcoming courses for youths as part of the programs for investing in youth organized the Ministry of Youth.

This course was carried out in Erbil in from the 1st to 8th November.13 trainers from 6 cities representing the Directorates of Youth and Sport participated.

By way of its completion, the second phase of Training of Trainer program has been finished. This was aimed at training local trainers in order to organize future courses to train young people so that they can establish their own projects which will lead them to the start depending on themselves rather than depending on others.

The local trainers will start the third phase in the beginning of 2008 according to a plan published by Deputy Minister of Youth and Sport. 24 courses in “How to start your own business” are planned for different places in Iraq. Thee courses will be managed by training teams. Each team consists of one main trainer with four assistants for a course attended by 25 participants.

In this way 600 young people will be empowered to start their own small businesses and the training skills of more than 30 local trainers will be developed so that they can continue working and improving the region they work in.

The levels of the participants varied according to their previous attendance at these courses and this in turn stimulated healthy competition among the trainers seeking to get high degree of information in order to be able to produce quality work in fitting with developing projects for the youths.

Bizhar Taha Khalil says; The Business Innovation Program’s course is the strongest basis in planning and managing!

Mr. Bizar is sales supervisor for the Maha Company in the city of Sulaimaniya where he supervises 14 workers who distribute more than one thousand home products to more than five hundred shops selling home products.

Mr. Bizar who was one of our course participants in Sulaimaniya in October 2006 says that his participation in the course focused him towards management, and he adds; practicing through B.I.P helped me a lot in developing my abilities in financial planning, the way of following up representatives and activities in the market. It also helped me in establishing a work system that controls the mechanisms of measurement, studying the market, the competition, organizing the work's courses, and the ratio rate of achieving goals.

Bizhar adds; I consider myself very lucky for being able to participate in the B.I.P course. The course made me confident in making projects, though my initial scientific degree is about general health care from the university of North west-California U.S.A, and having worked in the Italian Hospital in Sulaimaniya for five years, I discovered my abilities from the B.I.P course which made me go ahead and work in the Maha Company in August 2007 when the certification from the course was the best reason for getting this job.

I hope to participate in future B.I.P courses so that I can develop my abilities to improve the quality of the work, as the Maha Company is considered for its quality work and leading development of the market, as too does the B.I.P course for developing projects and how to manage them.

A course in “developing business plans” was organized in Sulaimaniya in September 2007.

The course (How to establish your own project) was organized in Sulaimaniya with cooperation of Baban centre on 1st to 6th Sept 2007.The course focused on developing the administrative capabilities and on studying the possibilities of establishing small projects with the participants. The course was presented by the manager of B.I.P Dr.Hussein Falamarz Tahir with the coordinators Mr. Shorish and Mr. Nawzad Tahir.

A variety of people were participating in the course including returnees from Norway, Sweden, Holland, and Germany, as well as local people from Sulaimaniya who have practical ideas.

23 people took part in the course, nine of them women. The group consisted of Doctors, Academics, Engineers, and others. The participants had a wide range of commercial ideas which they wished to see accomplished. These included a poultry farm for producing meat and eggs, a computer repair centre, establishing a humanitarian organization, a dress factory, a veterinarian clinic, youth training institute, animal husbandry (keeping calves), a tourism company, and others.

After completing a questionnaire among the participants, we found out that the material, the method of lecturing, and the expected outcomes scored very high points. This is a good incentive to continue organizing such courses. The course also encouraged the manager of Baban Centre to organize similar courses for new participants in the future.

A course in Business Plan Development in Erbil in August 2007

A business plan development course was held at the People’s Aid Organization (PAO) hall on 25-30th August 2007. The course was presented by Dr. Hussein Falamarz Tahir, the local manager of BIP, along with his assistants, Govand Shafiq Tawfiq, Omar Karim Ahmed, and Sarmad Hussein Omar and Miss Lajan Bajalan also participating.

A group of mixed people, including returnees from Norway and other European countries as well as local people who have practical ideas that they want to study and analyze, participated in the course.

Fourteen of the participants were returnees, the remainder were locals who never been outside their country.

Six of the returnees from Norway finished the course showing high levels of competency and wanting to fulfill their own projects according to the experiences they gained in Norway.

The participants had wide ranging ideas and projects and want to complete these as they see the projects as very urgent. They took part in the course to train in the BIP way of doing small projects, evaluating financial aspects for the projects in order to get successful results, getting an idea of the supporting organizations that need to be involved and exchanging opinions with the other participants.

The projects were; A centre of training teachers with modern ways of teaching, a book centre, cafeteria, selling genuine car parts, a centre for business innovation, contracting office, etc.

As most of the participants were returnees of Norway, the levels of understanding were high in dealing with the materials provided and they asserted that they would participate again in such courses in the future especially when organized in official offices and with a view to developing the efficiencies of officials and develop the ways of working because this course provides excellent methods for studying and planning projects.

A teacher returns to home!!

Ali Al Jabery is on his way to Iraq with his family in order to transfer his academic and educational experience which he has gained in Norway! Ali Al Jabery has lived in Norway for about ten years, always hoping he would return to his home country ever since the day of his departure. He has not been idle; he has qualified himself to become a teacher in legislation science (Al Sharia). He has studied at one of Norway’s higher institutes, the Bergen College of Teaching, where he has specialized in pedagogy. He has also obtained science degrees and persisted in achieving his goals by developing his personal skills in London where he has qualified as a bachelor and master in Sharia. All of this is in line with the ambitions he made for himself when he left Iraq.

He participated in the BIP course “How do you establish your project” in May 2005 already. This course made a big impact on focusing his thoughts on matters of finance as these are considered the biggest obstacle to every immigrant thinking about returning home. As such, the course came to be an intellectual bridge creating confidence through the support given by BIP to those returning home. The course also revived the feeling of empowerment for all the participants even though it is a long time since they left their country.

Mr. Jabery has always insisted on trying to get the most benefit from the ways of studying is carried out in developed countries. He has practiced what he has learned by contacting a group of teachers and observing study techniques by working as a native language teacher in schools in Norway. In this way he has helped pupils who have difficulties in learning, and helped them choose courses that are suitable to their abilities. This helps prepare this group of students in a way that will be fruitful in the future.

Mr. Jabery says: No doubt that there is an obvious contradiction between the ways and manners of studying in different countries. In the last period of Iraq, when it was full of wars which had a negative effect on the development of teaching, and not in pace with modern ways and practice of studying .The direction of teaching should be to make the relationship more close than it was before between the teacher, students and the material.

Mr. Jabery asserts that returning to Iraq means a lot to him, as an Iraqi person he wishes to see Iraq safe and with a very advanced teaching system because developed countries are measured by their teaching system. He thinks that the educational experience and the scientific degrees he has gained makes him qualified for, and enthusiastic about, working in Iraq’s next phase to revive the soul of educational awareness – bringing in international developments and adapting them to be suitable with our culture. Mr. Jabery adds that Iraq needs all the abilities available and capable to develop the programs, so as to raise a civilized generation and remove all the consequences of the wars which have had negative impacts on society, and thereby bring constant stability to all over Iraq!

Sherko wants to move his work, expertise, and company to Iraqi Kurdistan

Sherko Salih Tagarani is a married man from Sulaimaniya and has two children. He has been living in Norway for ten years where he worked on qualifying himself to be a Master Builder of wood houses. He has established the Tagarani Company for building houses in the Norwegian style. When he was in Norway, Sherko qualified himself to develop his skills in carpentry and to start and manage his own company. The company builds houses that are made mainly of wood, and the majority of the work is extremely tasteful. Sherko called his company Tagarani, which is the name of the place in Iraqi Kurdistan where he comes from. We visited Sherko in the house that he was building with one of his trainees, Shahgar Ali Ahmed, who is about to qualify himself to be a Master Builder thanks to Sherko.

Sherko says that building a house using wood means the process of designing and building a house is easier. In addition it reduces the need for traditional building materials. Sherko says that it is his intention to transfer his work and his company to Iraqi Kurdistan in order to transfer the expertise he has to this region. In this way others can benefit and develop building in the region. He thinks of it this way;

“I have to get a contract with one of the investors or investing companies which intend to build groups of houses when proper circumstances are available and to train a number of trainees in order to enable them do work by themselves or for another company.”

What will be achieved by following this idea will positively affect the development of building styles, improving house design and taste, as well as creating job opportunities. Subsequently this can lead to new possibilities for cooperation by transferring Norwegian expertise to the region to be used by local workers.

For more information, contact Sherko direct:
Mobile;: 004797165521

A course for improving efficiency in the management and study of how to assess the feasibility of projects, held in Duhok in July 2007

The first training course was organized on 1-5 July, by Business Innovation Programs in the city of Duhok with cooperation of the governorate, and under supervision of the Centre of Guiding and Information managed by Engineer Shaban Mizury. The focus of the course was about improving efficiency in the management and study of how to assess the feasibility of projects. The course was presented by Dr. Hussein Falamarz Tahir, Director of Business Innovation Programs with cooperation of the officials of Centre of Guide and Information, Miss Sundus Sabah Matty, Mr. Sherzad Mustafa Ahmed, and Mr. Jasim Qasim Ali.

The participants of the course were mostly Government officials in the city of Duhok, including three general managers, seventeen office managers and a number of Engineers and officials, two of them are returnees from Holland and Germany. There were 26 participants in the course, including five ladies. The course concentrated on improving efficiency in management by discussing the changes occurred in the last century which made working & strategic planning a base in all businesses, thus building a clear unified management.

The second part of the course dealt with the importance of specifying the factors of any idea or business planning that is done by studying business ideas and assigning them on a clear practical and scientific basis which is considered the most important merit for a manager.

Two lectures were presented by Dr.Hikmat Rasheed Sultan and Dr. Khalil Ghazi Hassan who were in the same college Economy & Administration College- Dohuk University, the lectures were presented in the second and third days of the course, one was about management and the other was about economy, and they were about the core of strategic planning.

The course was considered as a great beginning for improving the art of management and the possibility of studying businesses by the participants, and that this course helps managers to go along with the changes happening in the region and its important to be more courses in the future .

The course was opened by Dr.Fazil Omar chief of Duhok Municipality who asserted on the importance of such courses, especially from a developed country like Norway .The course was concluded by the mayor of Duhok Mr.Majid Saiyd when he thanked the organizers of the course considering these activities as important activities

An engineer on his way from Norway to Erbil to establish his own project

Engineer Irfan Ahmed Amin graduated from the University of Technology in Baghdad in 1982. He has lived in Norway for about eighteen years and has always been interested in working and learning programs and sciences by participating in different courses. He has a degree in mechanical engineer which later qualified him to work in the Netherlands at the Opera Company which is specialized in making Gas Torpedoes.

Irfan wishes to work in his country’s oil fields. He is now visiting Erbil to discuss the possibilities of establishing a project with cooperation of his existing relatives in the region, and he hopes to transfer the knowledge and expertise he has in his specialty which he earned whilst outside the country.

Engineer Irfan says that Business Innovation Programs (BIP) is a great beginning to encourage people to depend on themselves and create strategic projects in Iraq, In particular, the goals of (BIP) are long term goals and have a big impact through continuing its work. He comments “There is a good point that I want to mention, and that is the difference between those who want to establish businesses - some of them need expertise and knowledge to establish businesses which is possible by participating Business Innovation Programs, while others need financial support which is not included by BIP itself as BIP depends on others to provide that kind of support.

Engineer Irfan (in the middle) during his visit to the BIP center to discuss his future projects

A course of developing business plan in Erbil in May / 2007

A training course in developing business plans has been organized at the centre for Public Aid organization on 7th May to 17th May, with cooperation of the information centre in Erbil. Dr. Hussein Falamarz Tahir, the course manager lectured in the course along with Govand Shafeeq Tawfeeq, Sarmad Hussein Omar and Omar Karim Ahmed.

Returnees from Europe as well as the local people who never traveled abroad have attended the course. 14 people participated, including one lady.

One of the participants was a returnee from Norway, 6 returnees were from Britain, 2 from Germany and the rest of them were local people who never left Iraq.

The business ideas that were discussed and developed during the training were represented a wide variety of enterprises including ideas from the fields of poultry, fisheries, bakery, car wash, general trade, ironing shop, tomato paste factory, butchery, selling electric devices, and a variety of shops and otherprojects.

At the end of the course, all the participants had positive opinions especially that they had been trained on how evaluate projects and do strategic planning in order to ensure financial success of a project

The majority of the participants asserted that this kind of training is very useful for creating jobs.

Mr. Dler Shawess who is member of Kurdistan Parliament and chairman of its economic committee visited the course and gave a valuable speech about small projects.

There was also got a visit from Mr. Asos from the ministry of youth and sports who gave a speech about supporting small projects by giving loans, and then he asked the participants some questions to see test the validity of the various projects.

Norwegian BIP delegation in a visit to the Iraqi project!

Mr. Bjorn and Mr. Wiggo, from BIP Norway visited Erbil province in Iraq from March 26th to April 2nd. The goals for the visit were:

• To meet with the local project staff.
• To establish and develop cooperation with local ministries such as Ministry of planning and Ministry of Youth and Sports.
• To establish and develop cooperation with local and international organizations.
• To meet with repatriated citizens from Norway and participants from BIP courses.

Meeting the staff
Mr Hussein Falamarz Tahir, the Office Manager, Miss Lajan Bajalan, Mr Govand Shafeek Tawfeek, Mr Omar Karim Ahmed, and Mr Sarmad, all had meetings with the Norwegian delegation.
The staff members have quite different backgrounds, including engineering, biology, sociology, agriculture, and law, but they are all motivated towards their duties and that enables them to do a good job with returnees from Norway.

Our organization has moved to the building in front of the old park in Ainkawa used by the Kurdistan Youth Empowerment Organization (KYFO).

Meeting the ministers
During the visit meetings were held with the Minister of Labour Mr Adnan Muhammad Qader along with a group of ministry officials. A meeting was also held with the Minister of Planning Ms. Osman Showany and General Manager Ms. Abalrazzaq Muhammad Mustsfa, as well as the Minister of Youth and Sports Ms.Taha Barwary.
Everybody was positive toward our project and hoped that the cooperation would remain indefinitely.
Here are some of the impressions from the meetings:
• The Minister of Labour mentioned in particular that Iraqi refugees, with the skills they have, are very important asset for the reconstruction the country.
• The Minister of Planning focused on the same topic and was positive about our cooperation and about developing the relationship.
• The need for practical training materials in order to develop good commercial ideas was highlighted, and that these need to cater for different kinds of graduates.
• It is important that projects to be directed toward to youths and women in particular.
• It seems many youths want to travel abroad believing it is easy to find a job and reside in Norway or other European countries, so the Minister of Youth and Sports would like the cooperation to be focused on this age group.

Small loans directorate
This directorate is part of the Labor Ministry, and Mr. Rozhgar is one of the department's directors. When granting loans is resumed, $10,000 will be paid as a loan for small projects. Maintaining cooperation with this directorate is very important for the activities of BIP. It was agreed that the directorate would cooperate with BIP in the future to establish what can be done to find practical solutions for an enduring cooperation.

Visiting the local and the international humanitarian organizations
• AGEF is a highly developed organization specialized in the field of migration. It has a large training program covering linguistics, computing and accounting as well as having a system for matching job applicants with unfilled positions.
• PAO (Public Aid Organization) is a local organization that deals with human rights and legal issues for returnees.

International migration organization
Cooperation with the International migration organization was not in place when we first visited them, but this can be made very soon as there is a dialogue going on in Norway concerning this issue so as to be able to present services to returnees to the region.

Meeting some of the returnees from Norway
During the stay in Erbil we met three of the returnees from Norway. In spite of our short meeting we received the clear impression that all of them are strongly motivated to take part in rebuilding their country. They wish to develop their relations with Norway and that Norway should have a role in the current stage .Some of these stories will be published on the BIP website.

Meeting the participants of BIP courses
We met Mr. Sarbast and Mr. Saman who had participated at BIP training courses. They have a medicine store and as a result of participating in BIP training decided to merge with the Hez Company. Their impressions were as follow:

• Both consider that BIP has a practical approach and excels by the nature of the course material, its contents, and the way the training is carried out and accomplishing. It is unlike other training programs that exist in the region.
• They have a good impression about the local staff and their way of doing training and concluded that the BIP training has completely changed their way of managing a company. Both of them have good degrees in science (Pharmacy & Engineering) and expressed the benefits of continuing to develop the program.