RiTS is an Iraqi innovative company with deep local and international experiences in business management, IT and capacity building. We present Noah’s Ark© to the people of Iraq as a humble initiative to institutionalize the creation of new work opportunities in the Iraqi private sector. We achieve this through concentrated efforts to nurture entrepreneurship among Iraqi youth. We focus our efforts on university graduates in particular. We work outside the norms of “official” Iraq. We are independent from government, political parties, and business councils. We have no financial backing from any public or private sector sources from inside or outside Iraq. But we make up for poor funding with tons of enthusiasm and rock solid determination to succeed in achieving the Ark’s goals.
What is Noah’s Ark©?
There are around 450,000 new youth entrants to the Iraqi job market every year. This includes 120,000 graduates.
Government statistics tell us the unemployment is running at 35% among the youth groups. Experts put it at 50-60%. Therefore there is a gap in work opportunities of the order 270,000. In view the widespread corruption, flight of Iraqi capital, and lack of meaningful economic policies, it is quite difficult to close this gap in available work opportunities. Our Noah’s Ark initiative is geared to help create work opportunities on large scale through supporting large numbers of startup entrepreneurial projects. The Ark uses a number of functions to achieve its goal including educating in entrepreneurship (Iraqis became accustomed to the nanny state), nurturing startups through incubators, enabling social media interaction along crowdsourcing principles to bring in helpful participation from migrant Iraqis. These and a few other functions enable the Ark to reach its stated goal.
© Noah’s Ark Functionality
The primary target for the Ark are male and female entrepreneurs. We focus on university graduates. However having a degree is not a condition of membership. More importantly we find people who test positive as having entrepreneurial tendencies. This is an important aspect, because those who are not naturally entrepreneurial will suffer greatly in trying to run a startup in the tough Iraqi business environment.
In their first days and weeks the entrepreneur will attend at the “Entrepreneur’s Café” where they will undergo an educational process about entrepreneurs and entrepreneurship. Should he/she not have a project idea in mind, they will find material parading projects launched by other Iraqi, regional and world entrepreneurs. As a successful project is usually one that solves a problem, we will with the aid of the crowdsource create a list of Iraq’s many problems to consider while looking for a project idea. Moreover we encourage our entrepreneurs to work in teams where possible because teams have a better chance to overcome obstacles and solve project problems.
Having picked a project idea, the project should be listed on the Ark. Now the crowdsource will go to work by engaging the entrepreneur with discussions both technical and business. Mentors, potential investors, customers, etc will all come forward to discuss the project idea and offer advice and guidance. These discussions can be private or public.
At the point of making the project public on the Ark, the entrepreneur will have an opportunity to choose an incubator to help him/her to thoroughly study the project and ensure it is successful. These incubators are existing organisations or initiatives for encouraging Iraqi entrepreneurship. These may follow differing methodologies and techniques for evaluating the projects. RiTS, the initiator of Noah’s Ark is just one of the incubators available on board the Ark. The entrepreneur has the full choice between the incubators as well as working without an incubator if so they wish. In this case they may make use of the extensive library of knowledge we will endeavour to build on board the ship. In any case the entrepreneur will benefit in all circumstances from the crowd who visit his project to discuss the project.
The project remains on the Ark passing through all stages from inception to launch and beyond launch. We encourage the entrepreneurs to maintain their project page because its journey is of high value to future generations of Iraqi entrepreneurs.
Noah’s Ark© Development Road Map
The following refers to planned versions of Noah’s Ark.
Noah 1 : Graduate entrepreneurs (only for profit projects).
Noah 2 : Crowd Funding (highly innovative method of finance) based on micro lending.
Noah 3 : Social entrepreneurship projects.
Noah 4 : Specialized incubators. Examples: Agricultural, Marshes rejuvenation, 3D printed Buildings, Music related projects (Kareem Wasfi to lead). Babylon Tourism (Idris A-Oboudi to lead).
Noah 5 : Community of inventors. With involvement of Iraqi Scientists outside Iraq, Iraqi businessmen/women, and the crowd.
Noah 6 : Professional communities meeting place. e.g. teachers, doctors, musicians, footballers, etc.
Noah 7 : Company listings of all Iraqi owned businesses. Each has their own space for conversations.
Noah 8 : Made-in-Iraq eCommerce market place. To help all Iraqi owned industries and handmade crafts to sell their products across Iraq and across the world.
Noah 9 : Booking Iraqi tourist holidays.
Noah 10 : Iraqi content. Books, newspapers, music, videos, the full archive of Iraqi culture.