A young founder at work in the innovation center.


Starting a career in Baghdad

Youth unemployment is high in Iraq. GIZ supports young people in setting up businesses and starting their careers.

The oil industry and public administration are the two key employment sectors in Iraq, but there are fewer and fewer jobs available in these sectors. At the same time, young Iraqis are becoming increasingly interested in careers in information and communication technology (ICT). The tech sector offers great prospects. However, Iraq’s education system is not set up to prepare people for the ICT labour market.

This is where the Deutsche Gesellschaft für Internationale Zusammenarbeit (GIZ) GmbH comes in. On behalf of the German Federal Ministry for Economic Cooperation and Development (BMZ), GIZ supports innovation centres called ‘Makers of Baghdad’ with equipment and financial resources. And this has been successful: between 2019 and 2023, 1,236 Iraqis took part in business training and programming courses at the tech hubs. Subsequently, 221 of them went straight into a career and a further 32 founded start-ups. GIZ has supported the innovation centres in organising and financing themselves independently. ‘Makers of Baghdad’ have thus been independent since 2024.

Professional self-realisation

Abdulrahman Nassir benefited from his time at Makers of Baghdad. He initially took part in a three-month training programme in product design. ‘I was able to try out modern technologies in the innovation centre's workshop,’ he explains.

The 22-year-old then founded a start-up that sells customised, turned accessories. At the innovation centre, he received the support he needed to turn his idea into reality. ‘I had access to 3D printers, laser cutters and robot technology. I was supported by engineers and gained insights into the market. The atmosphere at the innovation centres really motivated me,’ he says. After founding his start-up, Nassir soon became an employer himself: ‘Demand is high and I have now employed a trainee in product design.’

The tech hubs promote networking, co-working and exchange. People with a start-up spirit come together to learn from each other and develop business ideas. After their training, participants can meet engineers and investors and learn how to develop a career. Makers of Baghdad is thus helping to improve employment prospects in Iraq. GIZ is continuing to promote economic development and fair employment in Iraq.

Additional information


Iraq flag

Information on our work in Iraq


Qualifying young Iraqis to gain employment in innovative technologies