Research and Blogs

AUIS Alumni Spotlight: Hero Mohammed, Founder at Potan

AUIS Alumni Spotlight: Hero Mohammed, Founder at Potan

Hero Mohammed (Information Technology,‘17) is the founder of Potan, a B2B company focused on IT solutions and software development founded in 2020 and based in Sulaimani. With a team of five young professionals as well as clients in Kurdistan, federal Iraq, and internationally, she aims to grow Potan, which builds meaningful and scalable software solutions for companies around the world. Hero is also the founder of Hackasuly, a coding community started in 2017 with the goal of promoting technology and encouraging people to join the tech sector. Their first hackathon event was held in 2017 at AUIS...

AUIS Alumni Spotlight: Hayas Ismail Khayat and Hasara Ismail Khayat, co-founders of Nakhsh

AUIS Alumni Spotlight: Hayas Ismail Khayat and Hasara Ismail Khayat, co-founders of Nakhsh

Hayas Ismail Khayat (Business Administration, ‘19) and Hasara Ismail Khayat (Business Administration, ‘17) are sibling co-founders of Kurdish clothing brand Nakhsh, which prioritizes locally-produced and sourced materials. The company was founded in August 2019 and ran successfully for several months before the onset of the coronavirus pandemic. The global shutdown proved to be a serious obstacle, but the Khayats have remained passionate and are striving to achieve their ultimate goal of creating an international brand. Nakhsh attire can now reach national and international customers. They export to 14 different countries so far including the United States, Poland, Germany, United Kingdom and many more. You can find their website at: .

Alumni Spotlight: Dawar Fuad and Barham Mahmood, co-founders of Plus the Edge

Dawar Fuad (Information Technology, ‘19) and Barham Mahmoud (Business, ‘18) are AUIS graduates and co-founders of UK- and Iraq-based consultancy and technology solutions company Plus the Edge, which offers services covering advertising, business and tech consultancy, as well as professional training sessions. The founders’ journey hasn’t been easy; Plus the Edge launched just two months before COVID-19 shut down much of the world, but since then, the company has managed to not just survive the pandemic, but thrive in spite of it, and it now boasts more than 15 employees. AEIC was pleased to meet a number...

Community Spotlight: Shapol Majid, Founder of Khanem Fashion

Shapol Majid is the Founder of Khanem Fashion in Sulaimani. We talked to Shapol about her efforts to support female entrepreneurship and empowerment, the challenges of franchising a business in Iraq, and how her experience abroad influenced her goals and work ethic when she decided to start her business in her hometown of Sulaimani.

AEI : Could you briefly describe your business and what inspired you to start it here in Sulaimani?

SM : I have long committed myself to the empowerment of women. I have chosen to do this in a rather unusual way:...

Community Spotlight: Faten Alweli, Founder of Escape the Room Baghdad

Faten Alweli is the co-founder of Baghdad’s first “Escape the Room,” an interactive puzzle game in which participants follow clues to complete an adventure. We talked to Faten about her inspiration to build an escape room in Baghdad, concerns about starting her own business, and ways her various professional endeavors complement her life as an entrepreneur.

AEI : What gave you the idea to start the first Escape the Room in Baghdad?


A Parallel Iraq – A thriving entrepreneurial culture has taken root

Originally published in by Ahmed Tabaqchali and Emily Burlinghaus in October 2018.

Most of the coverage and analysis of Iraq post-2003—by international, regional, and local journalists and analysts—has focused on the dysfunctional state and warring political elites whose failures to provide basic services to an already alienated population has come in sharp focus during the recent Basra demonstrations. However, despite the vital nature of this coverage, it has missed a new entrepreneurial Iraq—represented by its youth—that has emerged and flourished in the...