KAPITA and Cihan University Conclude Successful Inaugural
SynergyHub Event on the Digital Economy in Erbil
KAPITA Business Hub, in collaboration with Cihan University, proudly announces the successful conclusion of the inaugural SynergyHub event held in Erbil on February 1st. This landmark event was organized under the auspices of the SynergyHub initiative, a joint effort by KAPITA and GIZ to coordinate events across five different Iraqi governorates with the aim of fostering cohesion within the entrepreneurial ecosystem to advance the digital economy.
The event in Erbil follows the signing of a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) between KAPITA Business Hub and Cihan University-Erbil to bolster entrepreneurship and advance the private sector, and lay a foundation for extensive collaboration for future initiatives.
Cihan University-Erbil was founded in 2007 by Cihan Group, and is considered a leader in the educational landscape of Kurdistan through its principles of innovation and entrepreneurial spirit, and its extensive efforts at industry-aligned programs and fostering entrepreneurship.
KAPITA is a pioneering private sector development company dedicated to empowering small and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs) through an array of services including investment, research, incubation/acceleration, and market development programs. KAPITA is advocating for the advancement of the entrepreneurial ecosystem in Iraq, through new startup development, scaling established Iraqi businesses, and fostering personal development for entrepreneurs.
The SynergyHub event in Erbil, held at the conference hall of Cihan University, served as a platform for enlightening students and recent graduates on the intricacies of the digital economy and its potential impact on various sectors. By offering insights into the local business landscape, the program aims to support young individuals in exploring opportunities, understanding the potential within their regions, and hearing success stories from active members in the private sector and entrepreneurs in their governorates.
The event began with welcoming remarks from Dr. Hasan Fahmi Jumah, Director of the Research Center at Cihan University, followed by an introductory speech given by Dr. Mohammed Jamal, Head of Research at KAPITA.
Next, Dr. Hanguin Safa, Policy Consultant at KAPITA, delivered a presentation offering insights into the digital economy and emphasizing the critical role of entrepreneurship in nurturing young talents and driving economic advancement.
The highlight of the event was a thought-provoking panel discussion titled “The Current State of the Digital Economy in Erbil and Future Prospects,” moderated by Mr. Hayder Al Samarray, Senior Investments Associate at KAPITA Business Hub. Distinguished panelists included Dr. Muhammad Bajilan, a Board Member of SAWA; Dr. Bayar Shahab, Founder and Managing Director of Wedo; and Mr. Kamiran Shivan, Director of Programs at Rwanga Foundation for Development.
The panel discussion featured success stories and insights into the digital economy landscape of Erbil. The panelists highlighted the concerted efforts made by the Kurdistan Regional Government and the private sector to propel Erbil's young and promising digital economy. The government’s initiative to digitize many of its operations, and stable network in Erbil, as well as the Ministry of Education’s keen vision and aim to maintain hands-on practice, lays the foundation for an Erbil that is rich with opportunity for a robust digital economy. Dr. Mohammed Bajilan highlighted:
“The Kurdistan Regional Government is motivated and visionary in its approach to digitizing the economy. Progress is being made incrementally while preserving cultural heritage, with a keen awareness that youth will be the drivers of change.”
However, issues remain within the educational system, as youth often overlook the proper utilization of information and expertise provided by institutions. As the KRG and various educational institutions in the KRI push towards a syllabus that aligns with the needs and potential of the market, growth for the digital economy in Erbil is on the horizon.
The success of the inaugural SynergyHub event demonstrates the power of collaboration in advancing our collective goals. Looking ahead, KAPITA Business Hub and GIZ are dedicated to building on this success, with plans to expand the SynergyHub initiative across four additional governorates in Iraq.