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2008

Provincial Economic Growth (Tijara) Iraq

Irak

Titre  : Provincial Economic Growth (Tijara) Iraq

Country : Irak

Sector : Economic Growth and Trade

Project Timeline : 01/01/2008 - 01/31/2013

Project description
* Microfinance helps address credit needs
There is little tradition of credit or bank lending in Iraq, so the Provincial Economic Growth Program (USAID/Tijara, which means “trade” in Arabic) fills a major gap in business development. Access to financing bolsters the economy by enabling the start-up or expansion of small-and-medium enterprises. These loans help re-open shops, create jobs, and support local businesses, encouraging Iraqis to invest in their country.USAID/Tijara supports nine indigenous microfinance institutions (MFIs) established over the course of the past four years and three international MFIs. In addition to loan capital, the program provides training, technical assistance and capacity building. These institutions offer one-year loans, with an average outstanding value of $1,415 at 15 to 18 percent1 annual interest.MFIs provide financial services to the poor in all of Iraq’s 18 provinces. Since 2004, the USAID-supported microfinance institutions have distributed more than 287,215 loans worth $666 million. As MFI employees manage loan portfolios, they learn fundamental financial and management skills, laying the foundation for a lasting credit industry in Iraq. Since the project’s inception, more than 98 percent of clients have repaid their loans.
* SME development and bank lending helps private businesses prosper
USAID/Tijara works to stimulate independent lending throughout Iraq, strengthening institutions and establishing new ones to do so. The Iraqi Company for Bank Guarantees (ICBG) has energized private bank lending to small and medium sized enterprises (SMEs) nationwide. Also, in mid-2009, USAID/Tijara helped launch the Iraqi Company for Financing SMEs (ICF-SME), owned by nine private banks. Altogether, cumulative USAID/Tijara-assisted SME lending by partner banks totaled $87.7 million (5,064 loans) by May 2011.
* Business development centers build entrepreneurs’ management skills
The program has established 11 new small business development centers (SBDCs) in addition to five established under the USAID-funded Izdihar project. The SBDCs provide training and consultancy services in business management, budgeting, strategic planning, and other professional skills. More than 13,753 Iraqi entrepreneurs (29 percent of them women) have taken benefited from their services. Surveys indicate that 23 percent of trainees have either started their own business or are in the process of starting one.
* New policies promote trade, investment and an improved business enabling environment
Accession to the World Trade Organization is critical to bringing Iraq into the mainstream of international trade. USAID/Tijara builds the Government of Iraq’s capacity to develop and enact trade policies that meet international standards and treaty obligations.The program implements the recommendations in the Investor Roadmap of Iraq to undertake policy and administrative reforms to strengthen the business and investment environment, and improve Iraq’s standing in the World Bank’s Ease of Doing Business survey.

Results
Created 315,072 jobs ; disbursed over $26 million in loans to small and medium sized businesses through partner banks ; total of 1,731 youth received training to become business entrepreneurs, of whom 431 (16% women) borrowed around $1.5 million to start new businesses ; 738 youth participated in employability skills training of whom 346 (35% women) were placed into apprenticeships, 35% percent of the youth completing their apprenticeship, kept their jobs

Total obligation : $192,501,724

Agence de Développement International du Gouvernement des Etats Unis (USAID)

Page publiée le 26 février 2014, mise à jour le 17 juin 2019