We finance Iraq's SMEs
We invest in Iraqi communities

Nomou Iraq Fund

The Nomou Iraq Fund (NIF), managed by GroFin, was launched in 2013 with the objective to build a strong SME sector to help rebuild the economic fabric of Iraq and create sustainable jobs for Iraqis. The Fund aims to support local businesses/SMEs to help rebuild an industrial economy damaged by war and embargoes and to create employment in a region where the fast-growing and predominantly young workforce have limited opportunities.

GroFin initially started its operations in Iraq in Basra, in the south of the country, where the Nomou Iraq Fund has built up a portfolio of SME clients. During 2019, GroFin expanded its footprint in Iraq by establishing Northern Iraq Investments (NII) as a separate vehicle for investments in the Nineveh plains and other areas previously controlled by ISIS.

The operational setup GroFin has put in place and the success achieved so far in driving investment in the SME sector in a challenging market continues to attract the attention and interest of development funders. The Nomou Iraq Fund is working closely with a major European development finance institution to catalyse further investment into the country. This will expand the Fund’s presence and significantly scale up its activities in the coming years.

Investors and Funders

USAID logo
GroFin logo

Since inception, GroFin’s investments in Iraq have been supported by GroFin Capital and USAID with total capital commitments to date amounting to USD $20m together with grant support of approximately USD $6m.

Fund Performance

The COVID-19 pandemic and subsequent collapse in oil prices placed unprecedented strain on Iraq’s economy during 2020. COVID-19 hit Iraq’s oil dependent economy at a time when the country was already facing social and political tensions and still trying to rectify the damage caused in regions previously controlled by ISIS. Although the Nomou Iraq Fund (NIF) had to operate in this extremely challenging environment, its investments continued to generate positive impact.

At the end of 2020, the Nomou Iraq Fund had invested USD 8.0m in 13 SMEs. The Fund still sustains a total of 498 direct jobs and ultimately 7,700 livelihoods.

GroFin Model

Positive impact, jobs and enduring social and
economic value

Invest risk finance, skills and knowledge
into viable SMEs

Create funds that provide risk capital and
business support to grow successful businesses

Develop local capacity to create a
sustainable SGB impact delivery model

The Nomou Iraq Fund is built on GroFin’s unique Viability Model and enables us to successfully partner with, and provide medium-term risk capital and support to entrepreneurs and businesses in the Iraqi SME sector.

This model represents a unique approach to providing small and growing businesses with access to markets, risk capital, skills, and capacity building; and is appropriate for the emerging markets in sub-Saharan Africa and MENA where many such entrepreneurs and business owners find themselves in the ‘missing middle’ – Small and growing businesses that are considered too large for micro-finance, too small for traditional private equity and too risky for traditional security-based lenders.

Local Partners

The GroFin Iraq Investment Team develops partnerships with credible local trade groups, government ministries, development agencies, and large organisations with extensive supply chains and other local SME stakeholders in the Iraqi governates of Al Anbar (Ramadi), Babil, Baghdad, Basra, Dhi Qar, Al-Qādisiyyah, Diyala, Duhok, Erbil, Halabja, Karbala, Kirkuk, Maysan, Muthanna, Najaf, Nineveh (Mosul), Tikrit, Sulaymaniyah and Wasit. These partnerships help the programme to achieve its mission by providing best in class services focused on supplying access to finance and market linkages to start-ups as well as growing SMEs. And by increasing the capacity of entrepreneurs and their businesses, the programme is developing supply chains and helping to create much-needed employment.

Moreover, the in-country network of business associations, accountants, SME consultants and SME focused banks further the programme’s efforts to provide comprehensive business support services to SMEs and help to generate a steady flow of qualified entrepreneurs seeking our integrated support solution.

Nomou Iraq Local Partners