What is EDF?

IOM’s Enterprise Development Fund (EDF) is an innovative programme that supports livelihoods and job creation in small and medium enterprises (SMEs) through private sector revitalization and economic development in Iraq.


Sustainable economic growth

  • The EDF funds strategic economic sectors that are labour-intensive and have potential for growth.
  • The EDF is adapted to different contexts, operating in rural and urban areas of Iraq, and in areas devastated by conflict, impacted by climate change, and affected by protracted displacement or high returns.
  • The EDF is tailored to the needs of different groups that face challenges accessing capital to start or grow their businesses, such as women, youth, and farmers.
  • The EDF promotes financial inclusion and supports business owners to transition into formal financial services (including bank accounts, savings accounts, and commercial credit opportunities).
  • The EDF incorporates components of private sector financing, balancing the objectives of economic recovery and development with best financial practices to identify and invest in businesses with the best potential for growth.
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Displacement, return, and vulnerability at the center of EDF

The EDF’s geographic coverage reflects displacement and return dynamics of Iraq, namely.locations with high density of internal displacement or high return affected by the recent war on the Islamic State of Iraq and the Levant (ISIL). This includes Ninewa, Anbar, Salah al-Din, Kirkuk, Diyala, Baghdad, and the governorates of the Kurdistan Region of Iraq. The EDF also targets other areas of concern and priority such as southern Iraq – characterized by water shortages and salinization–which are also at risk of increased displacement along with marginalized groups such as at-risk youth and female entrepreneurs.

Building bridges

The EDF partners with key stakeholders and establishes linkages with government-financed programmes, financial institutions, non-governmental organisations (NGOs), Community Resource Centres (CRCs), and job centres. The EDF also has economic linkages with IOM’s individual livelihoods support interventions through training and referral mechanisms, as they exert a demand stimulus in the local economy as well as provide skilled labourers sought by SMEs in the private sector, especially those selected and participating in the EDF programme.

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