Prospects and Challenges of Entrepreneurship Development in the Kurdistan Region of Iraq: An Overview

Zrar Mohsin Mohammadali 1  and Sabir Sadiq Abdulkhaliq 2
  • 1 Department of Business Administration, Soran Technical Institute, Soran, Iraq
  • 2 Department of Business Management, Faulty of Law, Political Science and Management, Soran, Iraq


Entrepreneurship as a driver of innovation and economic growth plays a key role in economic development and the appearance of knowledge and innovation-based economies. The most important effects of entrepreneurship development are increasing innovation, upgrading technology, increasing employment, producing technical knowledge, and generating income distribution at the community level, which can lead to increased national wealth and economic growth. At the moment, global developments are made entrepreneurship so important, and organizations need more innovation and entrepreneurship than ever before to adapt to new circumstances. In fact, in relation to entrepreneurship as the most important factor in economic development, organizations can gain more market share. The objectives of this study are to examine and overview the prospects and challenges of entrepreneurship in Iraq’s Kurdistan region. In this regard, it can be said that with the human resources available and the valuable experiences available in the field of entrepreneurship around the world, it is necessary to plan for entrepreneurship development in the Kurdish Region of Iraq (KRI). It is revealed in this study Iraqi Kurdistan is determined can be one of the top entrepreneurial centers in the region with the scientific ability of specialists, and the potential of human resources, flexible structure and efficient technology. This paper recommended some strategies to reform and removing barriers to entrepreneurship development in the Kurdistan Region of Iraq by using factors such as entrepreneurship development and appropriate culture building, job training, setting up small business development centers, sponsoring entrepreneurs, establishing the legal framework for entrepreneurial activities, and providing spiritual support to entrepreneurs can lead to social, economic and industrial development and the declines of unemployment.

If the inline PDF is not rendering correctly, you can download the PDF file here.

  • Abdullah, N. H., Shamsuddin, A., Wahab, E., & Hamid, N. A. A. (2014). The relationship between organizational culture and product innovativeness. Procedia-Social and Behavioral Sciences, 129, 140-147.

  • Abtahi, M., Karamipour, M., & Abbasi, K. (2014). Investigating the effects of personal entrepreneurial characteristics. Management Science Letters, 4(3), 417-420.

  • Acs, Z. J., & Szerb, L. (2007). Entrepreneurship, economic growth and public policy. Small business economics, 28(2-3), 109-122.

  • Acs, Z. J., Autio, E., & Szerb, L. (2014). National systems of entrepreneurship: Measurement issues and policy implications. Research Policy, 43(3), 476-494.

  • Adenuga, R. A., & Ayodele, K. O. (2013). Adolescents’ entrepreneurial behaviour: The predictive effect of the big five personality factors. European Journal of Business and Social Sciences, 1(12), 48-58.

  • Agu, E., & Ayogu, D. (2015). Assessing the Prospects and Problems of Entrepreneurship Development in Nigeria. International Journal of Business and Management Invention, 3(10), 208-221.

  • Ahmed, A. (2018). Promotion of Entrepreneurship Development and Start-Ups in Jammu and Kashmir. International Journal of Innovative Knowledge Concepts, 6(9), 07-13.

  • Alvarez, C., Urbano, D., Coduras, A., & Ruiz-Navarro, J. (2011). Environmental conditions and entrepreneurial activity: a regional comparison in Spain. Journal of Small Business and Enterprise Development, 18(1), 120-140.

  • Audretsch, D. B., Grilo, I., & Thurik, A. R. (2007). Explaining entrepreneurship and the role of policy: a framework. The handbook of research on entrepreneurship policy, 1-17.

  • Bager, T. E., Klyver, K., & Nielsen, P. S. (2015). Special interest in decision making in entrepreneurship policy. Journal of Small Business and Enterprise Development, 22(4), 680-697.

  • Bartnick, A. (2017). Obstacles and Opportunities for Entrepreneurship in Iraq & the Kurdistan Region. The Institute of Regional and International Studies (IRIS), the American University of Iraq-ulaimani, Kurdistan Region of Iraq.

  • Bennett, R. J. (2014). Entrepreneurship, small business and public policy: Evolution and revolution. Routledge.

  • Burke, A. (2011). The entrepreneurship enabling role of freelancers: Theory with evidence from the construction industry. International Review of Entrepreneurship, 9(3), 131-158.

  • Casares, M., & Khan, H. (2016). Business dynamism and economic growth: US regional evidence. International Review of Entrepreneurship, 14(4): 423-446.

  • Cassim, S., Soni, P., & Karodia, A. M. (2014). Entrepreneurship Policy in South Africa. Oman Chapter of Arabian Journal of Business and Management Review, 3(9), 29-43.

  • Cuckovic, N., & Bartlett, W. (2007). Entrepreneurship and competitiveness: the Europeanisation of small and medium-sized enterprise policy in Croatia. Southeast European and Black Sea Studies, 7(1), 37-56.

  • Dennis Jr, W. J. (2011). Entrepreneurship, small business and public policy levers. Journal of Small Business Management, 49(1), 92-106.

  • DeWeaver, M. (2015). Kurdistan’s Great Recession: From Boom to Bust in the Rentier Economy. IRIS Iraq Report. American University of Iraq-Sulaimani. December, 10.

  • Dhaliwal, A. (2016). Role of entrepreneurship in economic development. International Journal of scientific research and management, 4(6), 4262-4269.

  • Djukić, M. I., & Lepojević, V. (2015). The effect of entrepreneurial activity on national competitivenes: A comparative analysis of developed and developing countries. Improving the Efficiency and Competitiveness of Enterprises and National Economies, pp. 169-191.

  • Dovbiy, I. P., Мitrofanova, I. V., Russkova, E. G., Shkarupa, E. А., Batmanova, V. V., & Mitrofanova, I. А. (2017). Tendencies, problems and prospects of the balanced and competitive Development of agrarian Entrepreneurship in Russia. Revista Galega de Economia, 26(2), 97-112.

  • Drucker, P. (2012). The discipline of innovation, selected articles, HBR innovation.

  • Forsström-Tuominen, H., Jussila, I., & Kolhinen, J. (2015). Business school students’ social construction of entrepreneurship: Claiming space for collective entrepreneurship discourses. Scandinavian Journal of Management, 31(1), 102-120.

  • Foss, L., Henry, C., Ahl, H., & Mikalsen, G. H. (2019). Women’s entrepreneurship policy research: a 30-year review of the evidence. Small Business Economics, 53(2), 409-429.

  • Gilbert, B. A., Audretsch, D. B., & McDougall, P. P. (2004). The emergence of entrepreneurship policy. Small Business Economics, 22(3-4), 313-323.

  • Hart, D. M. (Ed.). (2003). The emergence of entrepreneurship policy: governance, start-ups, and growth in the US knowledge economy. Cambridge University Press.

  • Henderson, J., & Weiler, S. (2010). Entrepreneurs and job growth: probing the boundaries of time and space. Economic Development Quarterly, 24(1), 23-32.

  • Hilmi, M. (2018). Entrepreneurship in farming: What is the current status of knowledge in the Kurdistan Region of Iraq?. Middle East J, 7(3), 858-875.

  • Hölzl, W. (2010). The economics of entrepreneurship policy: introduction to the special issue. Journal of Industry, Competition and Trade, 10(3-4), 187-197.

  • Hoppe, M. (2016). Policy and entrepreneurship education. Small Business Economics, 46(1), 13-29.

  • Hussein, B. (2016). It’s Time for Iraq’s Kurds to be Entrepreneurial. Atlantic Council.

  • Ivanović-Djukić, M., Lepojević, V., Stefanović, S., van Stel, A., & Petrović, J. (2018). Contribution of Entrepreneurship to Economic Growth: A Comparative Analysis of South-East Transition and Developed European Countries. International Review of Entrepreneurship, 16(2), 257-276.

  • Jafari-Moghadam, S., Zali, M., & Sanaeepour, H. (2017). Tourism entrepreneurship policy: a hybrid MCDM model combining DEMATEL and ANP (DANP). Decision Science Letters, 6(3), 233-250.

  • Kim, Y., Kim, W., & Yang, T. (2010). The effect of public policy on entrepreneurial activity: Evidence from OECD countries. In ICSB World Conference Proceedings (p. 1). International Council for Small Business (ICSB).

  • Knight, F.H. (1921) Risk, Uncertainty and Profit. Boston: Houghton Mifflin.

  • Liñán, F., & Chen, Y.W. (2009). Development and cross–cultural application of a specific instrument to measure entrepreneurial intentions. Entrepreneurship Theory and Practice, 33(3), 593-617.

  • Lucky, E. O. I. (2013). Exploring the ineffectiveness of government policy on entrepreneurship in Nigeria. International Journal of Entrepreneurship and Small Business, 19(4), 471-487.

  • Lundstrom, A., & Stevenson, L. A. (2006). Entrepreneurship policy: Theory and practice (Vol. 9). Springer Science & Business Media, 117-152.

  • Mathew, V. (2010). Women entrepreneurship in Middle East: Understanding barriers and use of ICT for entrepreneurship development. International Entrepreneurship and Management Journal, 6(2), 163-181.

  • Matlay, H., & Hannon, P. D. (2006). Teaching pigeons to dance: sense and meaning in entrepreneurship education. Education Training, 48(5), 296-308.

  • Matsunaga, H. (2019). The Reconstruction of Iraq after 2003: Learning from Its Successes and Failures. World Bank Publications, The World Bank Group, 1818 H Street NW, Washington, USA.

  • McClelland, D. C. (1987). Characteristics of successful entrepreneurs. The journal of creative behavior, 21(3), 219-233.

  • Mehari, A. T., & Belay, C. F. (2017). Challenges and prospects of entrepreneurship development and job creation for youth unemployed: evidence from Addis Ababa and Dire Dawa city administrations, Ethiopia. Journal of Innovation and Entrepreneurship, 6(11), 1-22.

  • Mihaela, S. (2016). Competitiveness and economic growth in Romanian regions. Journal of Competitiveness, 8(4), 46-60.

  • Mirzanti, I. R., Simatupang, T. M., & Larso, D. (2015). Mapping on entrepreneurship policy in Indonesia. Procedia-Social and Behavioral Sciences, 169, 346-353.

  • Montoro-Sánchez, Á., Soriano, D. R., & Knörr, H. (2011). From top management to entrepreneurship: women’s next move?. International Journal of Manpower. 32(1), 99-116.

  • Muro, C. T., Sanchez, J. R. V., & Castell, F. F. (2013). Entrepreneurship in Latin America during the 21st century. European Scientific Institute, ESI (publishing), 273.

  • Niyazi, M. (2008). Sociological analysis of the factors affecting university women’s entrepreneurship. Economy, Business and Society, 102: 6-57.

  • Nkechi, A., Emeh Ikechukwu, E. J., & Okechukwu, U. F. (2012). Entrepreneurship development and employment generation in Nigeria: Problems and prospects. Universal Journal of Education and General Studies, 1(4), 88-102.

  • Popescu, C. A., & Simion, P. C. (2012). Entrepreneurship Education and e-learning: A Perfect Match. Journal of Electrical and Electronics Engineering, 5(1), 203.

  • Rabiei, A., & Nazarian, Z. (2013). Studying the Obstacles of Entrepreneurship among Iranian Educated Women. Innovation and Creativity in the Humanities, 2(4), 1-26.

  • Redford, D. T. (2012). Entrepreneurship and Public Policy in Today and Tomorrow’s Portuguese republic. University of California.

  • Sabella, A. R., Farraj, W. A., Burbar, M., & Qaimary, D. (2014). Entrepreneurship and economic growth in West Bank, Palestine. Journal of Developmental Entrepreneurship, 19(01), (1450003) 1-15.

  • Samitowska, W. (2011). Barriers to the development of entrepreneurship demonstrated by micro, small and medium enterprises in Poland. Economics & Sociology, 4(2), 42-49.

  • So, H. (1992). Factors affecting the implementation of democratic school management policy in the Republic of Korea.

  • Somers, M. J., Passerini, K., Parhankangas, A., & Casal, J. (2014). Using mind maps to study how business school students and faculty organize and apply general business knowledge. The International Journal of Management Education, 12(1), 1-13.

  • Stevenson, L., & Lundström, A. (2001). Patterns and trends in entrepreneurship/SME policy and practice in ten economies (Vol. 3). Vällingby: Elanders Gotab.

  • Sümer, F., & Joseph, J. (2019). Compatibility of the Kurdistan Region of Iraq’s Institutions and Economic Development Within Iraq. In Iraqi Kurdistan’s Statehood Aspirations (pp. 27-54). Middle East Today. Palgrave Macmillan, Cham.

  • Tasie, G. O. (2017). The Symbiosis between Entrepreneurship Formation and Employment Creation: A Strategy for Job Opportunities in Kurdistan Region. International Journal of Academic Research in Business and Social Sciences, 7(3), 33-46.

  • Tsai, W. H., & Kuo, H. C. (2011). Entrepreneurship policy evaluation and decision analysis for SMEs. Expert Systems with Applications, 38(7), 8343-8351.

  • Van Stel, A., Carree, M., & Thurik, R. (2005). The effect of entrepreneurial activity on national economic growth. Small business economics, 24(3), 311-321.

  • Weinberger, M. (2016). Why entrepreneurs are essential to the global economy—EY. Financial Times, June, 7.

  • Wibowo, A., & Saptono, A. (2018). Does teachers’ creativity impact on vocational students’ entrepreneurial intention?. Journal of Entrepreneurship Education, 21(3), 1-12.

  • Winter, S. C. (2012). Implementation perspectives: Status and reconsideration. The Sage handbook of public administration, 265-278.

  • Zainol, N. R., Al Mamun, A., Ahmad, G. B., & Simpong, D. B. (2018). Human Capital and Entrepreneurial Ompetencies towards Performance of Informal Microenterprises in Kelantan, Malaysia. Economics & Sociology, 11(4), 31-50.


Journal + Issues