Basra, Iraq - June - July 2022
The training program of the “Sustainable Agro-Energy in Iraq – #IPI Call for innovative entrepreneurship”, organized by UNIDO ITPO Italy in collaboration with ENI Iraq B.V. and ENI Joule with the support of LVenture Group, successfully concluded in July 2022.
The Call — aimed to identify, support, and promote innovation in the agriculture, energy and water sectors of Iraq in order to contribute to social, economic and environmental development in the country and create a virtuous circle of connections among the private, academic, financial, and institutional ecosystems of Italy and Iraq — was organized within the framework of the project “Investment Promotion for Iraq - Phase II” (#IPI) funded by the Italian Agency for Development Cooperation (AICS) and implemented by UNIDO.
In May 2022, the Call was launched involving directly stakeholders and institutions from the Iraqi Governorate of Basra; after a careful screening of +60 individual applications received from Iraqi companies, SMEs, startups, university spin-offs, research centers and students, 30 candidates were selected (most of them young entrepreneurs and startuppers, among which notably 7 women) to join a dedicated training program to learn new entrepreneurial skills, improve their business models and increase investment-readiness thanks to an integrated approach.
During the 3-week training program held in June 2022, the trainees were supported in developing their innovative ideas in the agritech, energy and water management sectors, working on specific projects through practical experience and mentorship. After its conclusion, a pitch day was organized, followed by a careful selection of the trainees’ profiles on the basis of rigorous selection criteria, an exam and the evaluation of the project proposal and business plan.
The 15 winners of the IPI Call officially announced will now access to the second phase of the initiative, taking part in an ad hoc Innovation Trip to Italy in Autumn 2022 and dedicated honest brokering, mentoring and advisory services.
This initiative — the first of its kind for Eni abroad and with UNIDO, testifying to the fundamental role of the Organization in leveraging and involving the private sector in a sustainable and inclusive way in the mechanisms of cooperation development — had great importance at local and national level in Iraq, as evidenced by the constant support and presence of the highest representatives of the Basra Governorate at the official launch of the initiative and during the main highlights of the program, as well as by the numerous mentions in the Iraqi media.